Svalbard in March 2016!

You can truly call this an extempore trip! I had no plans to travel abroad during the spring. Instead I was planning to spend the spring quietly at home with a few ski trips. For about a week ago those plans changed completely: I’m going to Svalbard for a ski expedition in the end of March for three weeks! Svalbard is a group of islands located about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, and yes – there are polar bears walking around.

During these three weeks our plan is to ski about 300 km. We will start the expedition from the town Longyearbyen. If the weather is on our side the plan is to summit the highest mountain peaks Newtontoppen (1713 m) and Perriertoppen (1712 m). We will also visit Pyramiden, which is an abandoned Soviet mining town.

On a typical day we are going to ski about 7-8 hours and the night we are spending in our tents. The sledges will weight about 70-80 kg, but the sledges will get more lighter when the trip progresses.

The expedition is organized by Ankarat Avotunturit, the same company that organized the Vatnajökull expedition last year.

I will write about the training and planning for the Svalbard expedition during the spring, so stay tuned!

Topographic Map of Svalbard – By Oona Räisänen (Mysid) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

An evening at Partioaitta

I participated today in an evening at Yrjönkatu Partioaitta. Pata Degerman was host for the evening and the theme was winter touring. The emphasis was on clothing and equipment. Although some of the content was already familiar to me, I also learned new things. I got for example to see a Paris sled which was equipped in a slightly different way than my own. I also got a good tip on how to fix a protection around my thermos bottle, so it will not get dents what could cause heat leakage.

The eternal question, of what kind of sleeping bag to wear in winter, was also discussed. According to what I’ve learned from previous lessons and courses, you should have an inner down sleeping bag and an outer bag with a synthetic material. That should move the moisture away from your body through the down bag to the synthetic material. According to yesterday’s discussion it was recommended to only have one sufficiently thick down sleeping bag. But it hard to say what is right and what is wrong. As long as you don´t freeze it´s good. We also went into the subject on how to do when nature calls in a snow storm, and that it may be more difficult for ladies to go to the “bathroom” quickly without having to remove several layers of clothing. Well, now there is GoGirl on the market! I’m not going in on that subject more, but you can check out this link: GoGirl, and make your own opinion on how practical it would be.

This was a pilot evening, and we can hope for that Partioaitta is going to arrange more evenings like this in the future. This concept is great!