Sunday, February 22, 2009


My friend Gregers invited me for a weekend skiing in Hemsedal, where he has a camper trailer. There was no way I could resist the opportunity, considering it involved both being trailer trash (which I'll add has been fully adopted into the Norwegian language) and backcountry skiing. Sweet. It's about 3 hours' drive from Oslo, but the time passed quickly with shit talking and good music.

The first day we did several long, tree runs in the backcountry and hiked up one peak for a nice powdery bowl. The light was a little flat though, and it started snowing pretty hard as the day went on so we hit the 'after ski' for beers at about 4:30. It was my initiation to Norwegian after ski, and I've gotta say that I am definitely a fan. It's not like the garish idea of après ski that I had in mind, but more just a big post-ski-happy-hour where everyone clunks into the pub in their ski boots for beer. There was a live cover band, random SKÅÅÅÅÅL-sessions and plenty of drunk Norwegians dancing on tables in the aforementioned ski boots. Good times.

Today we got up a bit earlier to hit the powder, and did a couple of steep in-bounds runs before the crowds showed up. Then we hit some more backcountry and had a really awesome day of it. Oh, the Fluffy.
Gregers looks for the entry while Bent demonstates
some high-wind-snowboard pissing.

We skied from the upper left into this photo;
If you look closely (left of center in the shade) you can see the fracture line from a
Sluffalanche that I started when I dropped into the bowl.

I didn't take many pictures on my camera, but Gregers allegedly got some good action shots including some airborne Davids.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Park Rats

They don't even have to leave the city. I walk by this everyday on the way to work and it's usually crawling with snowboarders when I walk home in the evening.

I would almost be tempted to grab my skis and head over, but I really just can't get psyched about rails--seems like you're just putting your teeth at risk for very little gain.

Besides, I'm heading to Hemsedal for the weekend, suckas!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Fun

Started out the weekend right by taking a 'fredagspils' (~happy hour) with several of the guys from work. I think my boss must be hiring people based soley on how funny they are, because everyone i work with is absolutely hilarious.

On Saturday I went for a ski tour to my friend's cabin in Nordmarka (the woods bordering the city to the north.) It's the same place where we celebrated the new year, but this time we only skied in for the day. The weather was absolutely perfect, with clear skies, powder snow and tolerable temperatures (just a few 'kuldegrader'.) The days are a lot longer now too, so our fatty fat late start didn't hurt us.

At the cabin we made soup and pillaged the cellar for some beers. Then after lunch I practiced some flips off the deck railing. I have been tempted lately to do some (purposeful) flips on skis, so practicing the motion with soft landings was nice. Now I just need to call my mom and have her send me my ski helmet :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My Canucko-Austrian friend from home introduced me to another ski friend who lives in Oslo. When I first talked to him on the phone i was surprised when he answered me in perfect South African English--not what I expected from someone who I had been email corresponding with in Norwegian, but what the hell. He's a fun guy, with a ski-résumé including high Andean and Central Asian peaks, so I was excited to meet up again and go for a skitour on Guastatoppen--the closest real mountain to Oslo (about 2 hours away in the Telemark region.)

The drive there was actually very nice, and I was reassured that Southeast Norway isn't as boring as I had worried. There's snow everywhere and the hills surrounding the city and fjord get bigger and could almost be called mountains by the time you have driven a half hour out of the city, with steep U-shaped valleys and rocky outcroppings.

We had a bad coincidence though when we stopped for gas, realizing simultaneously that we had both forgotten our wallets. Balls. The two hour drive thus turned into a 3.5 hour drive as we had to go back and grab money so that we'd be able to make it to the mountain and back.

We tobogganed into a parking spot just as pretty much everyone else was skiing down from the mountain.There were a lot of smiling faces coming down as we started, so had high hopes (albeit dwindling daylight.)

The weather was clearing up after some fresh snow, but as soon as we got above treeline we realized that we had a problem. The temperature was below 0F and the wind had started howling like crazy higher up. After an hour or so of that, Andrew decided that he'd rather just make laps on the lower part, because 1) He'd been to the top before and 2) he couldn't feel his hands or feet and snot was freezing to his face.

I wasn't as cold so I decided to keep going, and we agreed on a turn around time and meeting place. I continued up, soon getting some frozen snot of my own, but was actually really enjoying the skiing and the views. I ended up running out of time about a hundred meters below the summit, but it was getting dark so I was pretty okay with heading down. The skiing was really variable, with a mixture of windswept styrofoam, packed powder caches and boiler plate. Pretty manky on the whole, but fun and challenging nonetheless.

Made it back to a cold Andrew ('I'm a freaking african damnit, i'm not made for this shit!') and we hit the car and drove back to the city. Guess there's a reason a lot of Norwegians wait and do most of their 'toppturing' in the warmer, lighter months.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Yesterday I went up to check out Tryvann, which is the best of the small ski hills in Oslo. It's nothing too special--about comparable to Summit Central at home--but it's definitely nice to have just above the city (you can take the Tbane up there.)

It's been snowing the last couple of days and so conditions were pretty good. Went with two friends on telemark and we ripped down the slopes and later practiced our 'mad 1080 backflips' in the park.

I have access to two season passes to the place through my job, so I think I will be dragging friends up there quite often this winter. Gotta love free skiing.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I spent the weekend in Lillehammer, which hosted the Olympics in 1994. A friend's aunt lives there in a big house overlooking the valley, and was nice enough to host us and continually feed us delicious food.

We skied at Hafjell, which was fun. Found some nice dry powder and jumps in the trees, and hauled ass on the pistes. It was very cold both days (-13F) and my nostrils kept getting ice in them--I need to buy a new balaclava.

From the top of the mountain we could see the snow-clad sexies in Jotunheimen to the west. I can't wait until there is enough daylight to get out on some multiday tours. Looks like some seriously sweet terrain out there.