Norway – A Trip Through Ullr’s Playground

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DAY 9

As with all good weather forecasting in the world, it’s often wrong. Today was supposed to be cloudy and snowing but it’s sunny and perfect again. Having not set a plan yet, we spend most of the morning discussing options for our last few days. We agree on heading up to Balggesvarri to ride a north facing chute that we hope is in the shade. We take the afternoon to skin up and camp at the foot of the mountain so we can get an early start. Perched below a huge boulder (on dry ground!) our camp is surrounded by insane mountains.

DAY 10

3am comes much too quickly when the sun sets at 11pm. Not much sleeping in a tent up here. We quickly eat some food and head up the mountain to the foot of the couloir. 50 degrees for about 600 vertical meters, with just a hint of sunlight on it. It looks great. We put our crampons on and start heading up the line.

Snowballs start to rain down on us as the little bit of snow in the sun warms up and drops off the cliffs. As we climb, the snow steadily gets worse as snowballs whiz by us. Why is a couloir in the shade so hard? WHAM! iceball in the groin. Thanks. A few steps later, the snow turns to solid ice and kicking steps is a serious effort. The snowball storm worsens. We decide the mountain is telling us to leave this line. Besides, riding down 50 degrees on ice isn’t really our thing. So we bail from the line, cowering from the snowballs barrage as we change over to our boards.

Since we’re already part way up Balggessvarri, we skin up the normal route to the top and enjoy the spectacular views along the way. As we climb we notice the sunlight sliding through our intended chute for about 30 minutes from top to bottom, just enough to bake all the snow. A few options for lines present themselves but it’s obvious the sun is packing a hefty punch on any slopes that it touches. Some good turns are found as we head down to camp, but we start to think maybe spring has sprung in Northern Norway.

DAY 11

A pretty nice (but warm) day is upon us for our final day in the Tamok area. Miikka decides to call it a season while I head up with another of the Olsrud Adventure guests to one of the mountains behind the compound. High clouds ring the peaks as we sweat through the arrival of spring. We drop into a north face, hoping for powder but spring has sprung and it’s slushy everywhere now. Having lucked into the conditions of the year and with my plane set for tomorrow morning it seems like the perfect time to leave.

Many thanks to Miikka Haast and Jonas Haagstrom for having me in their zone. If you’re interested in riding the amazing Norwegian peaks in the Tamok area, contact Aadne Olsrud at Olsrud Adventure (olsrud.adventure@gmail.com) His ancestors are the original settlers of the valley and he’s got multiple options for a place to stay with a huge quiver of boards and bouldering cave, he snowboards and skis and obviously has a wealth of local knowledge.

– Justin Lamoureux
– Justin Lamoureux & Miikka Haast
http://www.justinlamoureux.com
Check out this video of Justin’s trip to Ullr’s Playground:

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