Thursday, 31 March 2011

Thunder on the Tundra - the trip in numbers

Kautokeino or bust! Well, we bust. Battered by Arctic storms, struggling after a skier/river interface and lacking some crucial local knowledge we were forced to change our plans and our attempt at a north/south traverse turned more into a circular escapade around the northern tip of the Finnmark plateau. Those of you following on SPOT must have been laughing your asses off!

A failure? Never. We experienced and learnt more about the terrain and ourselves than we would ever have on a sunny, effortless traverse. Nothing worth learning comes easy. So as we sit back and reflect on the lessons learnt and experiences endured, upload photos and write-up diaries I leave you with some trip numbers:

Blisters - 1 (Joe)

Stuff-sacks lost to the wind - 2 (Jorgen)

Tent poles snapped - 1 (Joe)

Rivers fallen in - 1 (Jorgen)

Lake over-flow floundered in - 1 (Joe)

Trees crashed into on skis - 1 (Jorgen)

Trees crashed into while sliding down a mountainside towards certain possible death - 2 (one each)

Times we were lost - 0

Times we were not 100% certain of our exact location - the first three days...

Languages spoken - 4 (English, Norwegian, Swedish and Anglo-Saxon)

Pee-bags sat on whilst inside the tent - 1

Rocks ran over on borrowed skis - lots (sorry Steve!)

Pairs of socks worn or carried - 4 (2 each)

Tent pegs carried - 0

Compasses that crapped out - 1

Trolls seen - 1

Times I got really scared - 2

Memories that will last all my life - countless


kate said...

not owning up to who sat on the pee bottle then ;)

Nielsen Brown said...

It seems that you still had the composure to count all the mishaps and it sounds like a fun trip, one you will need to repeat, with a reduced number of unexpected occurrences.

Unknown said...

From the photo, it certainly looks like you could only have a rough idea of where you were!

I'm wondering what the two scary moments were, and what the local knowledge was that might have made a difference.

But in general, I can't wait to hear more about the trip!

Anonymous said...

"Those of you following on SPOT must have been laughing your asses off!"

More like wondering what the hell are you doing! =D SPOT adds a new dimension to armchair adventuring as you see the progress (or lack of it) but don't have glue about waht is happening (well, weather services give an idea).

Sitting on a pee bottle sounds like a bad idea! I prefer hard plastic bottle with secure cap (keep it in sleeping bag after use to keep it emptyable for the morning).

Please, get the trip report written before April 6th as that's when I'm leaving to Svalbard and would be able to read the report only at soem point in May or so... =D

Joe Newton said...

Kate - the victim will no doubt be revealed when the trip diaries are published next week...

Roger - a rematch was already being talked about while we were still on the trip!

Mark - Scary moments? Sliding uncontrollably down a mountainside (no, that isn't my normal skiing style...) towards a cliff was one of them.

korpijaakko - trip diaries will start on Monday, I hope you get to read some before you leave on your epic!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! You can read so much into those numbers, the mind boggles! Awesome :D

Yeti said...

Sounds like the kind of trip that feels even better afterwards. I'm looking forward to the more details reports.

Unknown said...

"Those of you following on SPOT must have been laughing your asses off!"

I experienced all sorts of emotions but concern was the most common. I can honestly say I didn't laugh once. I was watching the YR.NO weather forecast, severe weather warnings and the Headlines that followed all emerge togther with your track locations in "almost real time". Genuinly very glad your both back unscathed. Very recent experience of strong winds in deep cold had me formulating a very vivid picture of your predicament in my minds eye.

selfpowered said...

glad 2 hear yr back safe n well. look fwd to the full reports

Anonymous said...

No worries Joe! There's plenty of time to try again and again and experiences you two gathered are priceless.

Jörgen Johansson said...

Now, about the pee bottle, being discrete is of course second nature for guys like us. Not wanting to point my finger at anyone in particular I can only say that it was not Joe...

Jörgen Johansson said...

We plan to have most of the gear discussions after telling the tale of the trip. This will most likely be after April 6. Feel free to contact us directly before that if you have any questions about our gear or how that performed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the offer Jörgen! I have about everything squared for my own big trip of the season and I'll need winter gear next time in, well, next winter so I have time to read your opinions when I'm back from Svalbard. It might be a good "soft landing" to the world of green leaves and the lack of snow and freezing temps. ;)

PS. The verification code for this comment happenes to be "realhell". Hopefully your trip was more fun than that! =D