Tag Archives: snow

Frozen in Finse

This morning I got up early and climbed to the top of a mountain near Finse, Norway. I watched the sunrise from lower down where it wasn’t snowing as much and then continued on to the summit which was pretty wild! My camera was close to frozen at this point but it got the job done ūüôā

Wikipedia tells me that this is where they filmed the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back….this does not surprise me at all.ÔĽŅ

Frozen in Finse

Posted in Finse, Norway Also tagged |

The King’s Trail – Hiking Kungsleden

When I was researching fun hiking destinations in Europe, Kungsleden (the King’s Trail) just kind of jumped out at me from nowhere. I’d never heard of it and then all of a sudden I was reading about it everywhere, with people raving about the unique landscapes and beautiful scenery. It didn’t take much¬†persuading¬†for me to book tickets and make my way into the Arctic Circle for the first time. Flying over Lappland was the first eye opener, with vast plains and shimmering lakes covering the world below. There was a little asking around involved but I didn’t have too many problems finding accommodation in Kiruna and a train to Abisko, the northern end of the Kungsleden trail. From here it was an endless supply of gorgeous views, mixed with changeable weather and a late setting sun (it is summer in the Arctic after all). I saw reindeer, learned about the Sami people, climbed to the highest point in Sweden and ate a lot of dried fruit. From a photography stand point it was fantastic, with the section from Abiskojaure to Alesjaure being the highlight, the reflecting lakes and funky cloud formations were¬†mesmerizing. The Kungsleden trail¬†stretches¬†much further south but like most people I walked the northern section, finishing my journey at Nikkaluokta. I’d love to come back in the winter to see the northern lights and do some dog sledding but for now I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Kungsleden adventure.

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Posted in Lappland, Sweden Also tagged , , , , , |

The Jukkasjärvi Ice Hotel

To celebrate the end of my Kungsleden adventure I booked myself into the¬†Jukkasj√§rvi Ice Hotel for a little frozen fun. Being summer time things aren’t quite as spectacular as they would be in the winter but it’s a lot quieter and I almost had the place to myself. I took a tour of the ice factory where they process harvested ice from the river, creating all kinds of ice sculptures and drinking glasses before shipping them around the world, the whole process is quite remarkable. I then moved on to the ice rooms which are really cool (sorry), each one is uniquely themed and they spare¬†obviously¬†spare no expense when making them.

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Posted in Lappland, Sweden Also tagged , |

Climbing Kebnekaise

I walked like a mad man over the last few days to give myself enough time to climb Kebnekaise (Sweden’s tallest mountain at 2,106 metres, 6,909¬†ft) so the summit fever was raging inside me even before I set out. It was another dramatic day with low clouds and fog hovering around early in the morning. There were slippery slopes, a few¬†awkward¬†river crossings and I¬†genuinely¬†got lost in the fog at one stage but I reached the first peak without too much drama. Only this peak wasn’t the summit, it had already been quite strenuous but I had to go down the other side before going back up to Sydtoppen, the real deal. The summit was quite a sight, with the snow covered peak rising sharply into the clouds. There are some dangerous drops at the peak so you have to be very careful when posing for that triumphant photo at the highest point in Sweden. I lurked around in the hope that the clouds would magically part but they didn’t and I was getting a little chilly so reluctantly moved on. The descent was tricky at times and it felt like I’d never reach the mountain station but I eventually got there. I then celebrated by devouring dinner in record time, what a day!

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Posted in Lappland, Sweden Also tagged , , , , |

Hiking in the Dolomites, Italy

What an incredible week! Hiking in the Dolomites mountain range in north-eastern Italy has been an amazing experience that I definitely recommend. We’ve managed to tick off a little bit of everything from the jagged peaks of the Latemar mountains to the yellow fields of Val Gardena, the steep trails of the Black Horn and the majestic Vajolet Towers of the Rosengarten. Aside from a few showers the weather was kind to us and we enjoyed staying in our sleepy little town of Carano (not to mention devouring fresh Italian food every day). I don’t know what I liked best about the Dolomites (other than the great company I enjoyed of course) but the jagged peaks, mountain lakes and yellow fields certainly spring to mind. The worst thing was probably the crazy Italian drivers who roam the roads of Trentino and South Tyrol, the road works that got in our way more than a few times weren’t so great either. A week of intensive climbing certainly took it out of me but at least my body is run down in a good way, or so I keep telling myself.¬†If you love the great outdoors then why not get yourself to north-eastern Italy and check out the Dolomites in person, you won’t regret it! Man I hate it when I sound like a travel brochure, feel free to stay at home and do nothing, that’s cool too you know.

Posted in Italy, The Dolomites Also tagged , , , |

Latemar Group Panoramas

Here’s some panorama photos from our hiking expedition in the Latemar group. Just a great day in the mountains.

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Posted in Italy, The Dolomites Also tagged , , , |

Climbing in the Latemar Mountains

Today we got our Dolomites adventure underway with a spectacular climb in the Latemar mountains. The summit was incredible and while the name eludes me, I do know that it was near the Torre di Pisa refuge. The jagged limestone rocks that protrude into the sky were impressive and while the trail got a little tricky when we hit the snow line, it wasn’t too bad for a first day climb. The weather hung in there so we couldn’t have asked for a better first day of hiking in the Dolomites.

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Posted in Italy, The Dolomites Also tagged , , |

Snow Days in Mito

There’s been a lot of snow here in Mito over the last few days which is kinda cool, and kinda cold (if that makes sense). Time to get out there and start a snowfight with some random obaasan…

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Posted in Japan, Mito

Skiing in Niseko

Other than all the annoying Aussies (jokes!), Niseko was amazing, great slopes and not overcrowded like you might expect. I ski rather than board by the way, which probably means I’m not cool, unless I’m somehow retro cool, god I hope so.

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Posted in Hokkaido, Japan Also tagged |

Sapporo Snow Festival

I took the ferry from Ibaraki to Hokkaido for the Sapporo Snow Festival. I loved the snow sculptures, hot ramen and everything else that makes Sapporo so much fun this time of year. If you’re wondering about the pics, Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa is the big head, Marimokkori is the character with the suspicious bulge in his pants and the statue is of William Clark, an American professor who worked as a foreign advisor in Sapporo back in 1876, his parting words were “Boys, be ambitious!” which has become a well know motto in Japan, I guess¬†he told the girls to shut up and get back in the kitchen…

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Posted in Hokkaido, Japan Also tagged |