“It was midnight as we approached the summit. One thousand meters from sea level, saturated rays of lavender and rose colored light peek their way out of an overcast sky. My body aches for a quick break. No time. The others are at the top waiting to warm up behind the one and only boulder shielding us from the elements that come with gallivanting around the arctic. Dinner & Dumay are just around the corner as is one of the most breathtaking views I will potentially ever see. Breathe. I have tuned out all noise at this point and the only thing I can hear are my own thoughts. I must be dreaming. Eleven souls from all different walks of life on a trip that nearly no one in the world gets to experience. Focus. The view is sickening to my stomach, I feel as if I am going to fall of the face of the earth although my skins are gripping onto the spring snow like super glue. I can see the finish line. I am there. My fingers are numb, I am drenched in sweat yet I am radiating with happiness. We all made it, safe and sound. The silence of the outdoors fills my ears as I smile from ear to ear.
A few cups of coffee & cognac later, I click into my Icelantic skis for the last time this season. What a season it has been I thought to myself. From skiing through trees in Japan, couloirs in Chamonix, aprés skiing in Val Thorens, a weekend trip to Garmisch and spring skiing in Aspen - I really outdid myself.
As I traverse off the summit I gaze down to the ocean and far into the north. I get to spend the last turns of the season in silence with not a lick of civilization for what seems like hundreds of miles. Another smile lightens up my face as we make our final decent into a back bowl down into the bare trees; one turn after another the snow is heavy, and my legs are burning - satisfaction has never felt so good. A short hike out of the woods and it's 1 a.m.. Light is lingering as rain starts to fall from the sky. The group struts with pride while listening to “The Last of the Mohicans” on a UE Boom back to the Arctic Princess. Champagne, Pop. What a week it has been.”
Sailing to skiing has been on the top of my bucket list for quite sometime. The idea of combining all of my favorite things - the sound of the ocean, the view of the mountains, the silence of the outdoors & the presence of good company seems too good to be true, and it was. Spirits were at all time high even when energy levels were low. The group bonded over passions and laughed at just about anything. There was 192 hours of never-ending sunsets and infinite sunrises, the ultimate bliss. Time seems to gets lost that far north and after a couple of days, I had no idea what day it was.
Mornings were spent french pressing, finding mountains to skin up & laughing (read: struggling) all the way to the top.
Afternoons were spent relaxing in the sun, fishing, saunaing & photo sharing
Nights were spent cooking, stretching, story telling & tea drinking.
There were beach bbq’s, tacos for cinco de mayo, fresh shrimp, water from waterfalls & even an ice cream / avocado toast breakfast combination. The trip was magical. We never spent a night in the same place, and we found the coziest of bays to escape the wind.
We spent one week on board the Arctic Princess, a Lagoon 450 Catamaran (a fish out of water (pun intended) compared to its fishing boat counterparts sailing on the arctic seas).
She treated us like gold and was the perfect boat to store our skis on the bow, and gear in the stow (also known as the kelp jungle -- smelt like fresh roses if you were to ask me) along with hosting breakfast, lunch, dinner, deep sleeps & providing the perfect dock for taking a dip in the sea. 360 degree views were at an all time high with modern amenities while utilizing the sea to catch a cod or two.
In cod we trust.
Ski touring. For those who are unfamiliar, ski touring combines the art of skiing uphill (with mohair skins on the bottom of your skis) along with skiing downhill. To sum it up, it's physically demanding, slow, steady yet the hike up is far more rewarding than the descent, although that is certainly the fun part (especially riding on Icelantic skis).
At The Top (Oh how sweet it feels)
Playtime & Lunch time:
When we spotted the Arctic Princess:
the crew - because the trip wouldn't have been the same without all of you <3
The Porter Brothers, Henry & Jeremy, USA
@THE Tom Roberts, UK
TEAM SLOTH MOTIVATOR, Monika, CA
The Trip Planner, Leo, Sweden
The pace maker, Johan, Sweden
The Skipper sent from the Gods, Anton, Sweden
TEAM SLOTH LEADER, FILMMAKER, Michael, Sweden
The Bavarian, Michael, Germany
A Red Rainey who is nearly impossible to find, unknown location of birth
How on Earth did we all meet? Long, far and near through a variety of The Yacht Week & The Ski Week events around the globe. We get along like PB&J if you were to ask me. They also take some great photos (many photos in this blog post were taken by the team).
& let's not forget about the view
See you soon Lyngen, this is just the beginning of exploring the Arctic.