Archive for April, 2008

30th April 2008

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

A very cute Husky, outside Haugastøl 1000 moh

We all survived the trip so far, we just have to brave the Norwegians on the ferry home and we are done. The ferry/Newcastle is a popular weekend break destination for Norwegians in search of an affordable three day drinking party. The ferry is the first night of their weekend long drinking session.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Haugastøl 1000 moh accommodation

Today it’s raining. Really raining. No one is complaining after being beaten up by 30mph+ winds yesterday. Since there is little point in going outside just yet, I have used the time to photograph the family run [accommodation] here at Haugastøl. It’s brightening up now though, time to get the kites out…

28th April 2008

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The Hardangervidda plateau

The Hardangervidda plateau, the largest plateau in Scandinavia, with an area of some 2,900 square miles, lies at an average altitude of between 1,200 and 1,600m, with numerous frozen lakes and a meager covering of pasture grazed by large herds of wild reindeer. It is a barren landscape, above the tree-line, but immensely impressive. This is our playground.

27th April 2008

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Today promised to be very special – the forecast was for wind and sunshine, and for our first 30 minutes on the hill, it all came true – massive expanses of untracked snow in the hot sunshine with lovely clean winds.

26th April 2008

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Walls of snow. Haugastøl

The roads here are quite an adventure in themselves. When the wind blows snow onto the roads, you have to wait for a passing snowplow and get in line behind it for the journey to base.

Today it snowed all day, and the wind got up to about 25mph at times. It was a rollercoaster ride snowkiting in whiteout conditions, where moving the kite slightly too quickly was sure to produce involuntary airtime for the rider. We all learned a lot today, and came home exhausted and happy.

You might have noticed that there is a lack of snowkiting action shots here. So far we have had only a few days where the wind has been good enough, and only for some of the day, to snowkite at all. The idea running for a camera instead of a kite in these situations seems way beyond the call duty for at present! You can either take my word that there are people spinning around in the air, flying down snowy hillsides and generally looking like masters of this fledgling sport, or see the daily uploads the trip organisers are adding to their website [here].

25th April 2008

Friday, April 25th, 2008

The wind meter sit on a pole by the vans today. When it gets above 10mph, the wind is strong enough get out and ride the white desert. It was above 10mph for only 30 minutes today, but what a 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I had snowkited a mile from the vans when the wind dropped back down to 4.8mph. I now have good experience walking with a kite.

24th April 2008

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I am quite intimidated by the kite I am using to snowkite on these shots. Its a 12m2 inflatable water (kitesurfing) kite, which I am sure is great fun on water but feels like flying a small house around in a white field at the moment. I am sure I will get used it it’s size and power with a bit more practice. I must confront the fear and fly it again tomorrow.

23rd April 2008

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

We came to Europe’s most respected snowkite location for the clean mountain plateau winds and as yet we have had no wind at all. Today though, a couple of us found some wind at the top of a mountain col while heading off for experimental steps on cross-country skis. A stolen few hours of moderate wind and a few stolen first steps at snowkiting. Its a fantastic feeling, being able to snowboard over flat ground, up hill, down hill, off-piste, over frozen lakes. We are now praying for more wind…

22nd April 2008

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Andrew, mid-backflip. Andrew trained as a gymnast a little while back, and finds all sorts of creative uses for his skills these days. Above Haugastøl at dusk.

20th April 2008

Monday, April 21st, 2008

telegraph pole on the rallarvegen, haugastol

Rock exposed to the spring sunlight after wintering under a blanket of snow. Haugastol.