Cover on Dagens Nyheter

In late august I got news that Dagens Nyheter (DN) ran one of my photos from Kalymnos, Greece, on the cover. DN published my feature story about climbing and life on the small and beautiful island of Kalymnos. This was my first cover on a major news paper, very happy about this.

Kalymnos is an awesome place to go if you’re looking for a quite place combined with world class climbing. Go there.

Cover on Dagens Nyheter Kalymnosrep-1 Kalymnosrep-2

Kalymnos climbing

The little Greek island Kalymnos is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a climbing and family combination. If you stay in the small village of Massouri you will have many of the major crags within walking distance, as well as the beach and all the other facilities in the village. If you want the flexibility to choose from all the crags on the island you should rent a scooter.

Steep Camp in Chamonix

Together with freelance writer Magnus Wistrom I joined Miles and Liz Smart at Smart Mountain Guides for a few days at their annual Steep Camp in Mount Blanc mountain range. A steep camp with the Smarts means steep skiing. I consider myself a solid off piste skier but on a few occasion during the camp the steepness of the colouir’s just touched the peak of my ability.

Aiguille du Midi, France.

Very crouded from the top station at Aiguille du Midi:

The top station at Aiguille du Midi.

Looking down at the glaciar Vallee Blanch:

 

The S-couloir at Aiguille du Midi, France.

The S-couloir up at Aiguille du Midi offered a full day of great adventure and steep skiing. Easy accessible from the top station at the Aiguille du Midi, the couloir is reached via a short traverse followed by a 40 meter vertical rappel down to a ledge that connects to the couloir.

The route we followed.

Even though you are very close to the top station, the environment feels a bit exposed
indeed. According to our guide Miles Smart the S-couloir is usually only skied a handful times each year. When Magnus asked him to point out the descent in the guide book later that same night, Miles reply put a smile on Magnus’s face:

- It’s not in this book, it’s in the climbing guide book…

The exit tunnel up at the top station:

The ridge leading to the rapell:

A few climbers we met, they were going up, we headed down…

Magnus can’t believe his eyes, or goggles. He survived the rappel…

The S-couloir is about 200 meters tall couloir, where the top part is around 52 degrees before it levels out down at the glacier Vallee Blanch. Very steep for us, no doubt about it. It’s no place to loose balance and tip over…

Happy to reach the cabin where the last sunlight in the valley hits you.

 

Courmayeur, Italy.

Back in Courmayeur again, on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif.

I have been to France many times but have always felt I had yet to discover the world famous French cuisine. And now, finally, the tastes, spicies and enjoyment of the French kitchen lived up the its reputation. We were in for a culinary treat! I might be a bit biased here though, since several of the restuarants we visited were run be Swedes! :-)

An article will be in print in Brant next winter, stay tuned.

Fontainebleau, France

I went to Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris, to do a feature story about the bouldering here for the magazine Brant. You will find it in print in the fall.

In the forrests around the picturesque village of Fontainebleau in France loooms many bouldering areas, mostly known as Font. This is the birthplace for modern bouldering, and people come here year round from all over the world. This was my first trip here, and it just blew me. Amazing. Fantastic.

A typical Font face:

Many royalties have spent considerable time at the huge castle Chateau de Fontainebleau.

The small villages surrounding Fontainebleau are weekend destinations for wealthy Parisians. Driving through the village of Burron Marlotte, you’ll see many mansions like this:

Peter Schön on a 7B with a really sloopy top-out:

Talking about sloopy top-outs, here Erik Heyman shows you what you’ll most likely face if you go climbing in Font:

When we go to the area Franchard Isatis, my friends were extremely close to convince me that I could easily warn up on a nice looking problem they pointed at. Their poker faces weren’t good enough though. The problem they had in mind turned out to be one of the classic really hard ones in Font; Karma 8A+. Here is the dutch climber Enzo Nahumury on Karma:

However, you can definetely find any kind of climbing you like in Font, not only slopers. Excellent dynos, slabs, technical aretes, power-problems…

Muscles ache, the skin is thin and the energy is below the red mark. The day is over.

How many pain chocolat can you eat during a rest day?

Eco-climbing in Thailand

Jai Dum. It translates into black heart. But it is also the name of one of the best hard routes in southern Thailand, namely right on the beach at Tonsai.

I went to Tonsai to discover climbing on the beach, and enjoy the soft Thai life, and people. Grilled chicken, banana lassi, spicy egg noodles, and the ever so delicious Thai pancakes.

I also traveled to Thailand to write an article for the Swedish magazine Outside not only about the climbing scene, but also the environment. Most of us know very little of how these friendly Asian people react to the all increasing environmental pressure that is put upon us. So, do they react in any particular way? Are they as aware about the threatening
environmental pollution as we are in Europe? I’d say yes and maybe. Yes when it comes to regional and local work, but only maybe for more long term, sustainable and global work. Some of the poeple I talked to during the trip seemed to be honestly conserned, and very aware, of the environmental threat we are facing. But on the other hand, I also met people that didn’t care squat. For example: one restaurant “happened” to release its sewage straight out to the beach. Team Norway reacted very quickly though and confronted the owner, and prompted him to take care of the sewage internally.

Tonsai beach, right next to Freedom bar, a very relaxed place perfect for a moment of peace and calm watching the sunset over the Andaman sea. It’s also the perfect place if you like to watch some late night sendings on the steep routes in the roof next to the bar. Here is a guy trying Tidal Wave 7c, which might be one of the most frequently climbed routes in the world. It has almost constant traffic throughout the day, except for a few hours at mid day.

Humanility 6b is an excellent four pitch route above Freedom bar. Many climbers are astound when they reach the crux on the third pitch. Suddenly all the features for both hands and feet are gone. Gone. Unless…

Classic sunset photo, I know, but nevertheless pretty?

View over Tonsai beach with its grand wall. To the right is the magnificent Thaiwand wall with several multipitch routes of good quality. Maad, a Tonsai beach resort manager, told me that Tonsai is quite unique; it’s one of very few beaches in the region that has real forest growing all the way down to the beach. Usually there is only palm trees growing on the beach. Saving the forest is the common goal for all forteen land owners on Tonsai beach, according to Maad.

Next stop on the trip was the small island Lao Liang a few hours south of Krabi. Very small, very peaceful, very nice. Super relaxing. You live in tents right on the beach, and has a handful of decent routes within 30 seconds beach-walk.

I think all the guests at Lao Liang are struck by the heavy artillery present on the island. Hard bolied men with camoflage uniforms?? Well, they turned out to be park rangers working to control fisching quotas, and fight back bird nests thiefs. These guys take the job seriously, and seemed to be truly interested and engaged in doing their part in saving the globe.

Stay tuned for the article in Outside in the fall.