Route preparation with TwoNav Land
TwoNav How did you choose this destination? What led you to jump to the North Pole?
Fate was easy. Both of us, long before we met, dreamed of climbing great mountains and traveling to glacial lands. As we are lovers of skiing and adventure, we soon decided to go to the Lyngen Alps for this adventure.
How was your preparation?
Helen and I function differently. I improvise: skiing, climbing, running, cycling and then I see if I’m ready, or not, for the challenge in question. Meanwhile, Helen plans the challenge without leaving anything up in the air, taking care of the smallest detail: physical preparation, food for each stage, not leaving a single loose end. She makes it clear that she is in the world of long distance and ultra endurance with some relentless strategies.
The Land software, how did it help you in the preparation of your expedition?
Land software has been a very important pillar. The North Pole is still a hostile place, little frequented, and there is very little information. Thanks to Land we have been able to plan our routes from the sofa at home, with the most extensive information, to later be able to decide the best route at a glance.
North Pole Adventures
How was your experience? Tell us a little about the stages.
We start at Russelvfjellet, an easy 800m+ peak to warm up. Or, rather, to suffer the authentic polar cold! At this peak, the wind threw us to the ground, making progress impossible. It was a fight in which nature won, showing us that she was in charge there.
We continued with bad weather, but since no one beats big heads, we went “to play”, so we continued on.
Then came the turn of the Little-Galten, 800m of positive elevation gain. We find more of the same. It was then that doubts began to arise. The idea of going to the very north pole, was it a good idea or not…?
“The third time lucky”. The ascent to Mount Barehia, with a positive drop of 400m, was the first summit of the North Pole that we were able to reach. Bittersweet, since we wanted to climb bigger mountains, but the weather was too unstable. Everything changed very quickly there. We went from the wind to the clouds, to the sun that never managed to get the temperature above 0 degrees and too fast to be able to face these situations.
As we had planned, and lost to the river, we headed to the most northern area that can be reached at this time under the thought that “everything is a visual impact here.”
The Storhaugen awaited us. 900m of positive elevation gain and 14km of route, this one is! Finally!! A “real” peak. The descent, a spectacle… As the temperature never rises above 0 degrees, the snow never gets to transform, so the quality is more than supreme.
As scheduled, we went for the crown jewel. To get to the island of Uloya, it was necessary to go by ferry, pure adventure. We managed to climb the Kjelvagtinden, a difference of 1100m positive, quite a spectacle to be skiing on an island where all that surrounds us are fjords.
We continue with the good streak, we went for the Fasdaltinden, with a final ridge, and a pointed summit, this time of 1250m and 13km.
And the last route we did was the Lyngseidet with its 700m+. The final icing on the cake, it seems that we have already got the trick of facing 69N latitude. We take advantage of the last afternoon to visit Tromsø, capital of Lapland Norway.
How does an outdoor GPS help in this type of expedition?
We could have all the information of the route prepared with TwoNav Land in the palm of our hand thanks to our TwoNav GPS so that we could guide ourselves and follow that chosen route, know details such as the kilometers and altitude traveled, those that remain to be done, mark waypoints or alerts, for example, in route deviations or avalanche zones and all this without taking your hands out of the gloves!
Final thoughts and advice
What was the best moment of the whole adventure?
Perhaps it is the most difficult question to answer. It is clear that crowning Kjelvagtinden on the Island of Uloya, the peak for which we took a ferry, was one of the most exciting moments together with the pleasure of skiing through those shovels of dry and recently fallen snow.
What lessons have you learned there?
See how there, the issue of security is taken much more seriously than in the Pyrenees and the Alps. It is true that it is a place where the risks are very high. Without going any further, three skiers were wiped out by an avalanche relatively close to where we were. The locals go out really equipped to minimize risks against lightness or speed.
Any advice for our users who are thinking of doing this type of expedition?
That they hire us as guides! Seriously… planning is basic. Always go with a plan A, B AND C.
The arctic circle has abruptly changing weather, which makes you change your plan, place and objective. If the TwoNav community decides not to hire guides, leave nothing to chance.
PS: there are no shops or bars where you can drink hot coffee.