This last week in Tirol has been great. The locals complain that the weather isn’t great, but for a Norwegian its not too bad. First I went to the HEAD factory to get some boot-work done(ok, HEAD sports is in Vorarlberg). Then of to Kaunertal for training and ski testing. For spring skiing you need good weather. Clear sky means cold nights and hard snow. And the bonus is that it´s also sunny during the day. It´s usually a win win or a bad situation. On the weather forecast it looked like we would get just rain. But it held up ok and we got a few good days. Early morning program. Get up at 4.00 and done skiing by around 10.00. Then back to the hotel for lunch. some sleep and more Tirol nature. Both on the mountain bike and the motorbike. One of them great for training, the other one very touristy. But if you wanna be a tourist on a bike there are tons of mountain passes to cruise around on. Two more days of mountain biking in Innsbruck, and now my bags are packed and I´m off the Monte Carlo for the F1 race. Go Red Bull Racing!! If you wanna see photos from this week check out http://instagram.com/asvindal
I spent the day doing physical tests with these guys. Juniors, Europa Cup guys and a few young guys that have already made they´re way into the World Cup. Maybe you have seen some of them already, but you´re for sure goona see many more of them in the future. These guys are tough, and they¨re getting after it. I worked my ass off trying to keep these guys behind me in the different tests. And most of the time i couldn´t do it. Twice a year we do a test we call the Ironman test. Start in the morning and do all tests before lunch. Lots of running, lifting, jumping and just hard work. It´s a super tough day where everybody pushed 100% at every exercise. Today we were 15 guys. I have never been in one of these tests with that many. And all 15 performed really good. They have impressed me before and they impressed me today again. Overall I can still keep most of them behind me, but its getting very close. Kind of strange also being the by far oldest and most experienced guy. But they also motivate me to work hard. In the 90´s the Norwegian skiteam was the “Attacking Vikings”. These are the new young Attacking Vikings. Look out for them!!
Today I felt like a true cyclist. A beautiful stress-free ride with coffee brakes and good company. The ride even took me past my old training hill Varingskollen. A great GS hill in Hakadal outside of Oslo. I haven’t skied there for many years, but hill has worldcup standard. I´m not saying cyclists don’t work hard. But to get enough hours on the bike you also need easier days. I usually bike so it hurts. Today was a nice change of program. And the fact that the Anti doping agency woke me up at 0600 this morning made my day as a cyclist complete. And it was a good day. I enjoyed it a lot. So if this keeps up I might have to consider shaving my legs… But no worries, I´m not even close to being there yet.
After a long winter you probably need a long summer. That’s not really how it works. We try to extend the winter as far into the spring as we possibly can. If there’s still good conditions you can get a lot of good training. And each day of spring skiing here in Scandinavia is a lot cheaper than a day if skiing at a glacier or in New Zealand or Chile in the summer. So even if you’re tired and the body hurts a bit after a long winter, it’s for sure worth trying to get something done. I like to look on it as ski testing. That’s a lot more motivating. Nothing beats the feeling of finding a pair of skis that’s faster then your old ones. That gives you the feeling you’ve taken a big step forward. And it works well for the ski campanies as well. Then they know more about what to work on trough the summer. Last year I found my super-g race skis at a camp in May. I used them every race last season. So even if your body hurts a bit, your mind is a bit tired and you have to get up at 4.45 to ski before the sun melts the snow, get after it. You can get a lot of good stuff done!
We had 10 great days in Lyngen. Or more precise, 5 amazing days and 5 ok days. Together that is 10 great days. For 5 days everything was 100%. Blue sky, no wind good snow and snow stabile enough to ski steep mountains. The last few days it got too warm and the snow melted. That’s bad cause you don’t get that powder feeling, but also bad from a safety aspect. The top layer melts in the sun and warm winds, making the snow unstable and an avalanche much more likely. It´s the combination of ocean, fjords and mountains that makes the nature in northern Norway so special. It feels like there is not a single meter of boring terrain. And you don’t have to hike for to get to the fun, steep skiing. Stop your car on the side of the road, and it begins right there. Also fun seeing how the locals are proud of their nature and very welcoming when you come to visit their backyard. I had a lot of fun skiing and hiking in Lyngen this year, and I hope the film crew got some good footage so it will look just as fun on film.
I´m not an expert, but I´m getting better and better. Spending time in the mountains is very different if you´re not in a ski resort, but far away from people. You bring a lot of stuff that you need, and some stuff you hope you will never ever need. Let´s start with the stuff you do need: A pair of powder skis, in this case the new HEAD cyclic. We do want powder snow, so we need some fat skis to cruise that powder. I am wearing my ski boots, thats another must have. In my case I have the new HEAD boot with a walk function, for better movement when I´m climbing. And for climbing you need skins, like the ones in the top left corner. They stick on under the ski and provide grip when climbing. Under the skins we have the crampons. They provide grip when the climb is too steep for skis and not enough grip for just you boots. The ice axe is handy for steep climbs or just extra grip if you´re on a narrow peak. Digg the handle into the snow and hold on to the axe. The harness is when you need to be connected to a group for example crossing a unsafe glacier. The rope is missing, but that´s in the guide´s backpack. The we have a pair of adjustable Swix Sonic carbon pools. Shorter for skiing and steep climbs and longer for flat touring. Extra clothing for when the sweaty climb is over and you´re skiing back down. I´m wearing a wool layer and then just a thin shell, so this is warmer Phenix down jacket and pants to put on quickly on top. Helmets and googles for the ride down, or the climb up if there is a risk of rocks or ice falling down. In my case a Sweet Grimnir and a pair of Oakley Canopy. Make sure to have a UV lens with some tint. Snow and sun can be very hard on the eyes. I also have sunglasses and an extra hat, a pair of warmer Swix gloves, lots of bread(with brown cheese of course!!), lots of water and two Red Bulls for some fast energy when needed. What is missing here is sun screen. It´s in my pocket. Wear it! Snow and sun all day is a bad combo for your skin. I also bring a camera to take pictures of the lines your climbing up or skiing down. This way you can look at the pics if you cant remember. It alway looks different from the top or in the middle of the line. And a walkie-talkie to communicate with you group. Or in our group it is more to communicate with the filmers. Then to the stuff you hope you will never need. The guide carries a first aid kit. Top right corner. An avalanche beacon. It sends out a signal. So if you´re under the snow you´re friends(also with beacons) can find you. If one of your friends are under you can switch yours to search and follow the instructions on the beacon. Always test all beacons before a trip. A probe to easier find someone under the snow. A showel to start digging once you´ve found them. And an avalanche backpack. An avalanche backpack has an airbag inside. If you get caught in an avalanche you pool the trigger on your chest and compressed air will fill an airbag that comes out over you shoulder. This increases you chances to stay on top of the avalanche, but it´s far from a garantie. So the most importent part of the equipment is missing. The knowhow and the understanding of the mountain and the snow stability. In my case I dont have enough experience for the terrain that I want to ski, so I use a guide and always listen two his advice. That´s a lot of equipment. But better safe then sorry when the warm inside of a cabin is a little more then just a chairlift ride away.
Great day in the mountains. The north coast of Norway always looks breathtaking. Skiing with Aasmund Thorsen and Eirik Finseth. Blue sky and good conditions. Avalanche risk and snow stability also improved a lot the last two days. North facing sides has great powder. South facing getting a bit baked in the sun. Two days down, eight to go. If this keeps up we will get a lot of skiing done and ill be one tired dude next week.
The mini vacation on the beach was a great idea. This week is über busy, so it was important to charge the batteries. We have a downhill camp in Kvitfjell. And in that camp I am also testing skies with Head, filming with AntiMedia, photoshooting with Phenix and trying to spend some time with Julia that came to visit. The film project with AntiMedia is something we have been planning for a while. Started out when we got Red Bull on board, and now Telenor, Oakley and Head are also a part of it. I’ll tell you more about it when we have more material, but I can promise you it’s gonna be exciting. Oh by the way. Like this week wasn’t packed enough, I also took a trip down to Oslo to ski with a bunch of kids. I’m sitting on the train back to Kvitfjell now, to get more training there tomorrow. The pic is taken 7.30 this morning. We had sweet film session with the heli. Perfect weather and perfect conditions.
Happy easter everyone. I switched out the classical Norwegian mountain easter with some sun, beach and recovery. Now I´m repacking my bags ready to hit the snow again. Hope you all enjoyed a few days off, in the snow, the city or on the beach
Being at Oppdal for the Norwegian nationals was like being at a reunion . It kinda feels like that every year at nationals. It’s the same crew of super ski interested people coaching the clubs, schools and different private team. Probably the most important part of Norwegian alpine culture. If it wasn’t for those guys it would take the ski federation years to develop young talents. Now the kids are physically strong and already great skiers when they enter the junior team. I am not a kid anymore. I know all the coaches but almost none of the young racers. I went to school at Oppdal for 4 years. Moved away from home at 15 to be able to ski more. Those were 4 great years. I think I skied just about every day and learned a lot. Now it has been more than 10 years since my last day of school at Oppdal. Coming back there I run into so many old friends and people I went to school with. Check out the pic of the awesome hair that I was rocking when I went to school there. This picture is taken when I came back to school after I had won the junior world championships. The story behind the haircut is actually that my helmet felt too big, and didnt want to cut my hair so it would feel even bigger… haha!