Archive for the 'daytrippin' Category

Norwegian summer & winter

Just got the idea it would be interesting to compare same/similar scenes from Norway in the summer and winter through photos. Photos taken in July/August 14 and February 16.

Leirdalen toll road, Jotunheimen NP
plenty of wind transported snow on Hemsedalsfjellet


weird swirling cloud formations above Årdalsfjorden/Lærdalsfjorden


wind, waves & crazy currents – my place is out there, Rongøyna island
revisiting my favorite swim spot on Rongøyna


Sikkildalshøa & Heimdalshøe


Bessa river, Besshøe (2258m) & Besshøbrean glacier
Røgjin, Hemsedal, 1370m


Bessa river crossing
Svarthetta ridge, Grøndalen/Hemsedal

More below in the slideshows

Winter tour of Sør-Norge

Summer tour of Sør-Norge

Post ISSW13 discussion

a fork in the road, Col du Midi

In October I attended ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop) in Grenoble. One of the few science conferences that are not a total waste of time. One of the few conferences where you don’t just spend time running around the city until it’s your turn to present. One of the few conferences where you actually sit through days of lectures and poster sessions with sustained interested (though I can’t claim that siestas were completely avoided). Basically, a conference that should not be missed if you spend any time in the mountains during winter months regardless if your interest is scientific, professional or just recreational.

Grandes Jorasses ©Jaka Ortar

A day trip to Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi were of course very welcome but a sideshow nevertheless. What truly did it for me, apart from meeting some cool people, was the realisation akin to the eureka moment of Archimedes. On the final two days all the pieces came together into a realization just how and why our avalanche risk communication is broken. A paper based on this realization is already in progress so I don’t want to spill the beans too early, but let’s say we created a mess out of avalanche problems and danger patterns.

Full reveal to follow soon (I hope). More photos in the gallery.

Col du Midi & Refuge des Cosmiques

Many thanks to Glòria Martí, Solveig Kosberg, Jaka Ortar, Dušan Polajnar, Klemen Volontar, Eric Johnsen, Arnold Studeregger, Arnulf Wurzer, Grant Statham, Karl Klassen, Joe Obad and many others for their opinions, presentations and conversations.

Tenerife ep.02 & La Gomera

Los Roques

Tenerife—and the Canaries in general—have always seemed to me a place where retired people go on holiday. A nightmare mix of hotels and time share apartments. After two visits that image is alive and intact. It is indeed a geriatric haven full of tasteless concrete monstrosities and tourism practices that actively repulse me. But at the same time, it’s complemented with an entirely different idea. That of absolutely beautiful, remote and rarely visited canyons, ridges and villages where, to use that oft abused cliché, time seems to stand still.

The best view and nicest village, end of the road @ La Cumbrilla

Once you remove yourself from the coastline, and you should, especially the south/northwest, you enter a very different world. Make no mistake, there will be plenty of rental cars, motorcycles and bikes on nearly any paved road you take, but they tend to limit their photo stops and exploration to the usual suspects. And they tend to respect nature a bit more. Go a bit further and you’re on your own.

view from El Bailadero, Macizo de Anaga

La Gomera on the other hand is an island where the best of Tenerife exists on its own. Not many tourists and even fewer facilities to cater to them. The short visit there made me want to visit the other two small islands of La Palma and El Hierro even more. I have no doubt surfers will keep their Fuerteventura as it is so there’s no rush to get to that one.

Ficus benjamina (not your indoor variety), San Sebastian de la Gomera
Garajonay NP, La Gomera

This time around the visit was of a different nature, a bit shorter and much more packed so there wasn’t nearly as much time or freedom to explore the unknown. Surfing was out of the question as the only waves (and decent wind) was on the northern side (and I’m not good enough on a board to handle those conditions) so climbing was the main distraction. We only went out into the canyons around Arico on two mornings. As I haven’t climbed in over 4 months due to an injury, we stuck to the easiest routes. We explored two new areas, Las Bovedas in Barranco del piedra bermeja and Arico arriba/abajo in Barranco de los albarderos. The later is without a doubt the most developed and visited climbing area in Tenerife with a very nice mix of boulders as well as short, easy (arriba) and long, hard routes (abajo) in a canyon offering sun and shade all day. Well, the heat does get a bit intense and shade scarce around mid day. Las Bovedas is another area in a extensive range of lonely canyons where it’s more than likely you’ll be the only person around. With several nice water-washed basalt narrows it’s a sight worth seeing on its own even if you don’t climb.

Las Bovedas, Barranco del Piedra Bermeja
the pidgeon cave, Barranco del Piedra Bermeja

For the more intense canyoning experience there’s the Barranco del Rio around El Sotano climbing area. The approach itself should be done with plenty of caution and a bit of a head for heights. Certainly not to be taken lightly. As we didn’t come properly equipped we turned around when we came to the point where a descent on an old rope was the only way down towards an unseen bottom.

sector VI Dimension, Cañada del Capricho, Teide NP

Cañada del Capricho, the first climbing area on Tenerife, is much easier to approach, plus it comes with excellent views of Pico del Teide. We only walked around to scout as there was not enough time, plus there aren’t that many routes graded below 6. As I said, not really in shape to bother with those just yet.

Teide from Cañada del Capricho

Overall my verdict on Tenerife, confirmed yet again, is that it’s definitely worth a visit but only if you get a really sweet deal on the flights and the place to sleep. Trust me that helps when you need to ignore the masses of tourists. We seem to have been successful in avoiding them as a family friend pointed out several times while looking at all the photos. There were hardly any people in them. I never really noticed it until she said so as I had the exact opposite image in my head.

Oh, and don’t forget to spend a few hours at Jardín de Aclimatación de la Orotava. Just trust me on that one.

Tenerife ep.02 & La Gomera in photos

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