Saturday, March 31, 2007

Torleifs Farm in Valle, Norway

Torlief Harstad. Margarets 5th cousin put us up for the week at his farm here in Valle. It was awesome. Still a working farm in the beautiful valley of Valle and Torlief still a great skier every winter!


Marg finds the ancesteral pit

You cant throw a rock in MN and not hit somebody who has some family tie to Norway, so in that regard we are not very special, we do however keep in constant touch with those distant relatives in Norway and on this trip Margaret went to visit the place where her family genesis took place. Unfortunately it is so old that it is just a hole in the ground. Good view though.

Bloodsport, 50km classic race in Norway

I had always heard about blood bouncing on ice but I actually saw it happen three times at the Sesilami. The first 22 km's is a climb up this pass then you are thrown into this long seemingly easy downhill. Since you are above tree line it is hard to visualize the angle of the hill until it is too late. The loype were in full klister conditions, which means solid ice, so I would not hesitate to say that I most likely hit 50mph on that hill and after a 20 km climb, your legs are a bit unsteady! You are also pack racing since you start in age groups so all at once there was just carnage, bindings ripping off skis, poles breaking, guys flying over the edge of the trail onto the crust below. Insanity and I was loving every minute of it.

Friday, March 30, 2007

This one is for Joe and anybody else who likes to ride a Kite

So this terrain is endless and all over Norway. I saw kites in big numbers and it was incredible to realize the potentian of touring and just playing with kites in that environment. Next year I am certainly bringing a kite. Oh and the car in the snow shot, that is in Myrkdal, didnt have to worry about base there.

Second try on the big hit, Voss, Norway

Thursday, March 29, 2007

We also took the time to get some paddling in while in Norway

The boys at God Tur, really hooked us up. At first we thought we might not make it. We were afraid we would just take on too much by throwing a paddle trip into a ski trip but "Chiller" shamed us into getting off our butts and heading to Bergen. We went paddling north and west of Bergen and it was incredible the think that we had been skiing powder the day before and then hanging in the sun in a kayak the next! Chiller and Ronny(sp?) are opening a really nice Kayak shop in Bergen and they are selling IR and Astral and so are in the "family" so to speak, wwe wish them the best and thank them again for taking time out of their busy week to go paddling with us!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Old School

This man is Torlief Harstad. He is a farmer from Valle, Norway. He is also one of the first founders of the Sesilami Nordic Ski Marathon, 50km from Sirdal to Setesdal. He also happens to be a distant relative of my wife Margaret. We stayed with Torlief for about four days and I learned so much about life, skiing and history that it made my head spin. Torleif comes from the old school days of ski racing and ski care. IE, he gets his skis ready with a blowtorch and a farm trailer. He is 60 and he is most likely tougher than you. That is not a joke, I was 23rd in my age class (36-39) but looking at the 60-65 age class I would have been 24th! In other words 23 men up to 65 years of age kicked my ass in that race!

This man knows what he is looking at.....

There are a couple of things against you when you decide to race a 50km classic ski in another country, one is the stuff you can carry on the plane and two is the fact that you need travel light. Waxing for Nordic skiing right is generaly not a light thing. So needless to say, I was pretty pumped when I met this guy. Olav Arnfinn Arnelberg. He is a waxing guru, from the Setesdal Valley (where the race was held) a top finisher himself in the race and a near miss on the big Norwegian ski team to boot. Luckily for Margaret and I, he was also a bit burned out on the race thing and had taken the year off. So he was happy to throw down some crazy mix of klister that magically stuck and glided at the same time for the race. We had perfect skis. We also had perfect klister conditions. IE frozen granular, slightly melted but firm as hell, machine tilled to perfection. This is to classical skiing what powder is to a backcountry skier. Pure glide and a perfect wax to propel you forward without any extrra energy spent. It is quite literally like flying and this man, was the genius that put it on my feet.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Another Tasty Morsel

Same line, different time......

Kid World Cup skiing in Roldal, Norway

We were hanging in this small Norwegian town and ran into this school. It turns out it was kid "world Cup Ski" day at the school. It was awesome. The kids were divided into countries and there was an opening ceremony with flags and also with the kids singing the national anthems of the countries. Then it went into different events. There were kids jumping, kids racing, a "biathlon" that involved throwing balls at targets and a pursuit race as well. They had a stadium, sweet grooming and tons of enthusiasm. There were five year old kids who were classic skiing better than I ever will.

A taste of Norway

The amount of terrain in Norway is astounding. Originally we had tried to ask, learn and research places to ski from both Norwegian and American friends but it quickly became clear that we could just hop out of the car and hit shots like this almost anywhere there were stable conditions.

Hansi and Marg back from a killer trip to Scandinavia

We just hit the US last night so once I get out from under the work load I will start placing some killer shots of our ski adventure in Norway.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Uni Klister off to Norway for some skiing

Catch you in a few weeks!

Canoecopia show huge success

Really cranked it at the Rutabaga sale last weekend. CD was number one brand sold in dollars, Wenonah Number three and Legacy number four. So I had three brands in the top five. Looks good for the future of the season! Astral and Ir both tripled their biz over last year as well.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Down to Southern CO with my bro

Once Kass and Elmo had tied the knot I drove off to Durango and visited my brother. We had a great time, we hit the pow pow at Wolf Creek and also put in a few days trapping mule deer for a big study that he is doing on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. The skiing was sweet, good pow and no people, even on locals day. The trapping however was super muddy and we had a tough time getting enough deer for the study but we did manage to capture a bunch and put radio collars on a few for sure. After that I had the big drive home and it was not easy.