The sun has finally come back to Umeå. In the mountains, the snow keep falling from the sky. Martin is in north Norway looking at funky layers in the snow. I’m looking at the sun through the window, while I lift my leg for the 100th time. Forward, backward, up, down, to this side, to that side.
My cast (hrm, probably NOT the cast, but what is underneath it) is starting to smell like.. actually, I’ve never felt that smell before, death? One week until take off. Poor staff at NUS. I hope they have some mouth and nose protection.
I know I should be patient, its only been 5 weeks. I know. I know. I know. But I want to MOVE! My soul wants to run. My body… has completed the transformation into a snail. This Saturday, I was overtaken by a man with a walker…
STOP. I AM making progress. Yesterday, I walked to Maria and back, 900 m one way.
AND I’ve found a way to work those thighs that the doctors can’t say anything about. I have to get out of bed right? So that is what I do, I get out of bed… 60 times in a row. Every morning. It is working really well. Now if I look very very very carefully, I can see something resembling a muscle squiggling down there.
But I still long to be back in those mountains. Since I can’t be there right now, I thought that I would go down memory lane and write about stuff that happened way before I went over seas and started this blog.
I’ll start with the perhaps stupidest trip ever. To Kittelfjäll in -40°C back in 2012.
Of course it was Martin who talked me into it. I really don’t know how he pulled it off. The weather report said that it was going to be freezing. Really really freezing. Like death freezing. And still I agreed. I must have been out of my mind. Somehow, I think that I thought that Martin was not mad enough to ski if the temperature dropped below -30°C.
But we had only known each other about 6 months at the time (this was one of our first ski trips together) so didn’t know him that well yet…
On our way out of town, we stopped by Utebutiken and bought ourselves down jackets. Well, at least THAT was a wise decision.
I think the temperature in Umeå was about – 20°C when we left. On our way up, it kept falling. In Lycksele, we hit -30°C. In Storuman, – 36°C. We had to drive on a low gear and at relatively low speed just to keep the engine warm enough. When we drove into Grönfjäll, we reached – 40°C….
I that time, I was convinced that I would spend the weekend indoors. I even joked about it, “Hey, Martin, should we say that the minimum temp for a ski tour tomorrow is – 35°C?” (thinking that I would not go out if it was below – 30°C). Martin laughed, but not at the joke they way I had intended… and I’m such an easily persuaded girl…
The next morning, the thermometer outside the cabin showed – 35°C. Almost spring for a hobbit. The joke was on me.
Our target for the day was Klippfjället.
To get there, we would have to hike about 5 km. First a bit uphill and then through a valley. The first part was cold. The valley was colder. So cold that stopping was not an option.
As soon as we started hiking up the actual mountain however, the inversion did it’s thing. From a temperature that must have been close to -40°C, it quickly got warmer as we climbed higher. At the top, it cannot have been much colder than -15.
The view was extraordinary. Its hard to believe that this is Västerbotten. But it is. Splendid, wonderful Västerbotten.
I wasn’t that used to walking up mountains back then, and I was definitely not used to walking up them in hobit pace, so I was a bit dramatic about reaching the summit. I remember falling to the ground, panting theatrically, and hearing Martin saying – That’s not the top. Get up and get on it.
So of course I did. I am a good girl after all.
The run down was not at all what we had expected. The snow in the alpine terrain in Sweden is usually bullet proof. This cold day, however, it was fast and soft. The run was mellow, but with that snow and in that sun, it was nothing less than fantastic.
And then, we just had to get back home.
By the time we reached the cabin, we looked a bit like yetis.
We ended the day by eating enormous amounts of pasta, drinking red wine, and watching a very weird German opera. Brilliant.
The next day, the temperature had risen to -25°C, but the wind had picked up and the clouds gathered, so we went for the trees at Kittelfjället’s south-west face. My first visit there. Perhaps one of my best.
I guess thats how our story started really, my and Martin’s. And perhaps that trip set the standard. I think we’ve gotten a bit smarter since (although you are totally entitled to question that after what happened 5 weeks ago), but it feels like there is a theme to our adventures: A bit of madness, a bit of misery, and a whole lot of massive fun.