Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oppdal Storsamling

Its been hard to find time during the week to write up my blog, but finally I have a chance to sit down on the couch and do so! Last weekend was the Wing Orienteering Club 'storsamling' (social gathering) in Oppdal and since then we have been so busy working, biking in the snow and ice and eating lots of yummy food I have had no time to write anything.
On Friday night before we went to Oppdal Helen picked me up and we went over to Lene's for a girls' sushi night - which was a delicious affair indeed. Lene has some beautiful porcelain and a very stylish flat. We made some yummy sushi and had a very enjoyable time - so I had to include photo of our meal in this post.

The next morning we hopped up quite early and made our way over to the Dragvoll campus to catch the organised bus to Oppdal. It was a beautiful morning because it was snowing lightly and thin white powder was settling over the countyside. By the time we reached Oppdal it was white everywhere.

There is a prominent mountain called Allmanberget (1342) which rises steeply out of the Oppdal township with a very large aerial tower on top. We were told there was a relatively easy track which climbed directly up the snowy face. Intrigued Chris, Bård and I decided it sounded like a fun adventure to try to climb it, while most of the others decided on a run on a map in Oppdal.

Warming ourselves by the hot fire on the way up....

The track started very easily and well marked, climbing out of the valley towards a rocky couloir. We continued up as the route became more exposed, but nothing to put us off so far. We reached a small book to write our names in, then continued happily on up. Not much after this a sign directed us to climb out of the gully and onto the main slopes.

The little box

From here the route became more exposed and icy. Bård started to kick steps into the ice and it was rather tricky for Chris, given he only had one hand to use and was wearing running shoes. After a very steep section which I felt would be rather difficult to down climb we reached a sign which said "Hard route/ Easy route" pointing in two different directions.

Getting a wee bit steep!

Easy or hard? Or just cling to the sign?

We were a bit relieved as we headed in the 'easy' direction. However it wasn't long before we couldn't see any possible way up, there were small bluffs all around us and the slope was very steep and it was better not to look down between your legs too much! We traversed around - but that was hopeless. We were just weighing our options when Bård noticed a green triangle on a rock above us.

Steep.... yikes
We made the decision to head up towards it, up some even steeper ground that I was very unsure about descending. Carefully we continued up, finding some hairy ledges to kick steps into. Finally Bård said he could see the tower above us and the angle of the slope lessened. The feeling of reaching flat ground again was a very good one!

Looking back down one of the gullies gave one a slightly eerie feeling

Cold on top

It was chilly on top so we didn't spend long admiring the clouds. We found a much easier route down round the side of the mountain. There were still some very slippery patches to cross, and Chris slipped on one and hit a rock with his knee and cracked the bottom part of his cast...oops. It grew dark as we wound our way down through the forest and finally back to the main road and back to the cabins where we were staying. I won't ever be able to drive through Oppdal without looking at that mountain in the same way.

I have drawn our route on here. The dots are where we lost the way.

It was fun, but I think next time we would have an ice axe and crampons to try that kind of malarkey - and maybe not with a bung hand either - Ally suggested afterward that Chris should have had a claw or hook (-; We had a very nice evening eating yummy food and playing a quiz.

Cake, mmmm

The following day a group of us went for a walk/ run up another mountain near Oppdal. It was a beautiful crisp sunny day and this mountain was at a much more appropriate angle. We saw a massive herd of reindeer and Ally decided to chase them.

The running crowd ready to go

Up through the snow

Claw man on the way up, enjoying the sun and the snow

Ally running after the herd of reindeer

On top the wind was blowing, so it was super cold, but we got a wonderful view out towards the Trollheimen mountains. The mountain was called Blåøret (1605 m). It was really nice to run back down into the relative warmth. It was kind of slippery, so you could sort of glide back down the hill. We got back down to the bus just as the sun was setting, feeling very satisfied with ourselves.
The summit

The summit cairn with the Trollheimen mountains in the background.

This week it has been very cold and icy in Trondheim, so the snow has stayed round our place. The Kyvannet is completely frozen (although Chris decided it was hot enough for a swim!) While Chris was sitting inside today a little reindeer wandered past our front door. So now it feels like winter has really arrived and we are just waiting for some more snow so we can ski - claw man will just have to be careful (-:

The Claw

After posting a very funny picture of Chris lying zonked on the beach in Portugal I have another amusing photo to add - this time of the bung thumb, or the 'claw' as it has later been named. Chris arrived home from the ARWC in Portugal 2 weeks ago, feeling pretty tired.

After many hours sleeping for the first few days he started to feel better, but noticed that his hand was still very sore from crashing his mountain bike about half way through the race. Wisely he decided to get it checked at the doctors, but to our horror they decided he had torn the thumb ligament and needed surgery immediatly to reattach the ligament to the bone.

So the following Tuesday Chris became part titanium (well, very small part - like .00001 percent). So now he is stuck with a very unusual looking claw cast on his right hand that has to stay on for 6 weeks, meaning he can't ride a bike, and skiing is dubious. However, after a brief mourning period he has realised that the timing isn't so bad - there is not too much happening at the moment he will miss out on. I'm sure a rest won' do him any harm!

Grønlia hut with a little smattering of fresh snow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I just can't resist putting this photo on my blog! Nike finished in 2nd place after leading for the majority of the race - so they were a bit disappointed, but philosophical too....and very pleased to finally be able to get some sleep!

Friday, November 13, 2009

World Adventure Race Champs (ARWC)

While the mornings in Trondheim become more and more frosty and the lakes frozen solid Chris has been busy in Portugal competing in the ARWC with Team Nike. It sounds like it has been a bit warmer there - but still quite cold, even for Portugal. They have been racing since Sunday, and it sounds like it has been really tough with minimal sleep and fast racing the whole time.

I have been so busy working and going to Norwegian that I haven't had much time to follow the race online - but from what I can tell it is the most difficult race to follow ever! The website is not frequently updated and no one seems to know how many points anyone has!

Apparently Nike snuck under a culvert to avoid an 'out of bounds' area - sounds like a Chris tactic to me!

Nevermind, Nike has had a few very close shaves to not miss out the 'cut offs', including one where they made it with only seconds to spare. I have been in touch with Cris, who is supporting them with his friend from Germany, Kati. Sounds like they have also had a really tough time, and he called me at 2 am in the morning after they literally pushed an extremely tired Nike out of a transition!I couldn't get to sleep for a while after that!

It sounds like they are knackered but doing really well on the points score, so we will just have to wait and see. The Kiwi's of Orion are also doing very well, but are many hours behind the 'leaders' just like Nike because they have been collecting lots of checkpoints along the way, where some teams have been skipping checkpoints so they make the cut offs more easily and can potentially collect more controls at the finish. So we'll just have to wait and see, I think it is still pretty open as to who will win at this stage! Aaron Prince is racing for Lundhags and they also have been taking a lot of controls.

You should look at Cris's blog for more live stuff - this is just a random post to let you know that I haven't forgotten about my blog! I'm really looking forward to our Christmas trip with Stu and Fiona (both of whom are actually racing in Portugal too) to a snowy winter cabin for some skiing and general relaxing - I think they will all be needing that!

I took these photos from the race website as well as I hope they don't mind me popping them on my entirely noncommercial and extremely low key blog (-:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Raid Uppsala!

After being asked by Swedish multisporter Martin Flinta to come and race the Swedish Adventure Race Champs (combined this year with the Raid Uppsala) Chris decided that sounded like fun and I decided to tag along too. Fortunately through Aaron I managed to find myself a teammate to race the shorter women's class.

So on Thursday we started to get organised with the plan of heading away mid afternoon. By 7 pm when it was dark, cold and raining we were finally ready - we decided to postpone our departure until Friday morning.

The drive to Uppsala is pretty long - especially driving on the slow and windy Norwegian roads. We drove over a snowy pass, then down down down until we were on the flatter faster Swedish roads. We stopped to look at a crater formed by an asteroid thousands of years ago.

'The Crater' (Snowy hole in Swedish forest = highly unusual)

Strange bear thing we passed by

Finally we reached Uppsala, and Martin's girlfriend's brother's house where we were able to stay! It was rainy and a bit cold, so Chris decided he better head out for a last minute roller blade practice (-:

We reveled in the cheap and delicious Swedish supermarkets.

In the morning it was still raining and cold, but luckily we had both brought loads of warm gear with us. We drove down to the kayak transition to drop off Chris's boat, and I met my very friendly teammate Josefine. Then it was up to the main race transition area to madly try and get everything sorted in time.
Pre race organisation - or lack of...we forgot all our compasses - opps!

For the short course we started with a short canoeing section, which was fun, but a crazy mad scramble to get down to the river. After the canoe was the orienteering section. Josefine was super speedy, but had left me entirely in charge of the navigation.... the forest seemed like typical Swedish terrain, flat, no features, marshy, the odd boulder....ghghegehghe!

Chris heading out on his paddle.... meanwhile I am lost somewhere in the forest (no photos, please!)
Chris out on the chilly river that runs through Uppsala

I really struggle in that type of terrain, especially under pressure and so we made some big mistakes. After over an hour we made it round the course and switched to the mountain bike orienteering section. This was pretty straightforward, but extremely muddy slippery riding.

Then it was on to the 'bike run' section, where one person bikes and the other runs, and you can swap round if you want. I still didn't have the navigation under control really, but it was much easier fortunately. Finally we had a short orienteering course to finish the race - we headed up the hill and I decided to try really hard to make no mistakes.

The chaotic transition area
At the first control we caught another girl's team, and the race was on. "How can I beat them?" I thought, I felt sure I would make a big mistake, they had 'Uppsala Orienteers' written on their jackets. We stuck with them for a while, then I realised the easy map was making way more sense than earlier and we made our break.

To my amazement we managed to orienteer the last 4 controls perfectly and just hold off the other girls. So, even if we kind of sucked I was happy - and it was really fun racing with Josefine.

Rollerblading in the rain!
In the meantime Chris and Martin were still thrashing around their course. They had started with a 20km roller blade. Martin is an expert rollerblader and Chris, well..need I say more! Apparently he started off tottering along on slippery leaves and Martin probably thought "Oh no, who have I teamed up with?" Then Martin stuck Chris on a tow rope and they belted off, over taking a lot of teams in the process - much to the amazement of some teams who told Chris afterward they were very impressed to be passed by someone who looked so unco (-: (I'm sure he didn't look that unco).

Chris comes into a transition

After the roller blade they had a long paddle and this is where they actually lost most of their time on the winning teams - unfortunately Chris's lack of paddling in Trondheim showed up. After that they charged through an orienteering section, mountain biking, the same bike run thing and then the same little orienteering course. They finished in 6th I think, both saying they weren't so excited about their placing, but that they had really enjoyed the race. Both were completely brown with mud!

We had a nice little catch up with Aaron, Sara, Karin and Greta before the prize giving, then we headed back to our place in Uppsala for some delicious warm showers and dinner at a yummy Thai restaurant.

It was a long drive home on Sunday - especially given we both had rather sore muscles! But it had been a very fun weekend. I have to say thanks to the race website, I hope they don't mind me using some of their photos - it's hard to take some when you are competing (-:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Late Autumn

Because my last post had so many snowy pictures, I really feel like I missed showing you how pretty the autumn has been! We have moved into winter so fast it has taken me by surprise.
Today was a beautiful crisp sunny day so I wandered down to our lake and took some pictures of the autumn colours before they all drop off into the lake!

In some places the edges of the lake are already beginning to freeze.

What a pretty spot to live beside, especially when the sun is out! But enough of this pretty photography - we are about to head away on a mission to Uppsala for the Swedish Multisport Champs!

Monday, October 12, 2009


After several weeks of cold rainy weather and the odd patch of snow and ice, the autumn holidays are finally upon us. Twiddling our thumbs on Friday night we eventually decided a pleasant walk in the hills was on the menu. So we called on our regular partners in crime - Helen and Ally. Unfortunately Helen was away, but with very little arm twisting (just a hint of the word whiskey) and we had persuaded Ally of the virtues of our plan.

By 3 pm we were tootling down the motorway towards Størjdal, then through Selbu and into the bomveg to Vekta. We had very sensibly decided skis would be silly.... this was an autumn trip! However, the white landscape before us suggested otherwise. Snowmobile tracks compacted the snow for the first 50 metres, then it was plodding though knee deep snow with the occasional treacherous swamp hole to watch out for.

The valley had become a winter wonderland already, the lake was frozen and everywhere was white. We trudged along as the sun sank lower on the horizon. Eventually we could see the hut, but we knew in spite of that there was a good hours walk to go - we were averaging about 1.5km per hour!

Finally we struggled in the dark up the steps of the hut - that definitely wasn't the autumnal stroll we had been anticipating! Prestøyhytta is a very cosy little number, with solar lighting, an effective drying room, a radio, a warm fire and even comfy couches! We cooked up a feast and enjoyed some whiskey and chocolate cake whilst Emily made a bad attempt at playing the guitar and Chris demonstrated the kayak roll.

Strange happenings....


A leisurely start in the morning, we had no desire to climb the 'peak' we had been planning to go up, just slogging back out took enough motivation. I dug a nice path way through the snow to the creek and we all agreed that we will have to make a return trip to the hut - next time with some skis!

Following our tracks made the outward journey much faster and it wasn't long before we were heading back to Trondheim after a very enjoyable weekend in the hills. Oh, and I have to credit Ally with almost all the pictures for this blog, they are very pretty - even if he did have to take a trinososauris with him (-: