World Cup in Stockholm!

Since I now live a 10 minute walk from Stockholm’s alpine ski center at Hammarbybacken, I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to shoot the Alpine Ski World Cup when it came to town this week. It was a great and exciting event with the two participating Swedes, Frida Hansdotter and Mattias Hargin, competing in front of an ecstatic home crowd. Both of them did really well, Frida finished fourth in the women’s competition and Mattias got to step up on the podium as number three in the men’s. Mikaela Shiffrin from the US won the women’s event while german skier Linus Strasser was number one among the men.

Shooting fast action sports is really fun, and indeed, these guys were fast! It was a great challenge but I was quite pleased with how some of the shots turned out. Here’s a small selection.

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Bouldering in Lofoten – the guidebook!

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So, it may not have escaped anyone, but earlier this month the first ever guidebook to bouldering in Lofoten saw its release. The book – titled ”A comprehensive guide to Bouldering in Lofoten” – presents more than 700 problems in 24 different areas, from Svolvær in the east to Bunes in the west.
320 pages, with written descriptions and photo topos to all problems, combined with all the necessary maps, directions and logistics you need to get the most out of the bouldering here this guidebook will hopefully put Lofoten on the global bouldering map. Also, the book contains an adundance of inspiring photos that will hopefully wet your apetite for some arctic bouldering.

So far the response has been overwhelming and it’s been a pleasure to work on this project and finally see it come to life. Thanks again to everyone involved; advertisers, collaborators and friends!

Bouldering in Lofoten is available from well sorted outdoor shops – both in Lofoten and elsewhere – but it can also be ordered at lofotenbouldering.com. At lofotenbouldering.com you can also report new problems, for a future second edition of the book.

 

 

 

Outside cover

This photo of mine, showing Karin Flack on Dalstuva here in Lofoten, just made the cover of Outside Magazine’s Swedish edition.
Pretty nice, and extra fun since this came as a surprise on Karin’s birthday today. Happy B-day Karin and I’m looking forward to more adventures together!

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Go for some birch plywood under the tree this year!

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Last year I offered some photos printed directly on plywood. The photos, which proved to be quite popular, were part of an exhibition at Magnolia Café in Stockholm. Now you still have a chance to get your hands on one of these limited items. Furthermore, I have added four more photographs to the collection. These photos, beautifully printed directly on birch plywood, have a very special feel to them and would certainly be a perfect Christmas gift to a dear friend, or to yourself!
All prints are 70 x 100 cm and the number of prints for each photograph is limited to ten. You can have a look at the available prints here, and if you want to place an order, just contact me through e-mail or telephone. Please note: If you want your photo ready before Christmas I need your order by November 30 at the latest! When your prints are ready they can be picked up in Stockholm. Shipment can be arranged but the cost for this will be added to the price. I look forward to hear from you and to take care of your order!

Petzl RocTrip 2014 Turkey

Daila Ojeda at Olympos.

Daila Ojeda at Olympos.

The Petzl RocTrip 2014 took place in eastern Europe. This year the RocTrip was set up as a journey to several different climbing areas in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey. I was fortunate to be one of two prize winners in Outside Magazine Sweden’s photo competition, which meant I got to join the RocTrip at the last stage in Turkey. This was the first time I met the other prize winner, Ola Lindberg, and we had a great time together, climbing, taking (and discussing) photos and basically having a great week together. We also met a bunch of other nice folks, some new faces and some old.

The first few days were spent in Geyik Bayiri, a place I visited earlier this year. The climbing is fun, but many, or most actually, sectors are in the sun, making it a little too hot for my taste this time of year. Mid week we were transferred to Olympos and Kadir’s Tree Houses. Wow! This place was very nice. A nice athmosphere and lots of good climbing (and shaded too!). Plus there’s a beach. I like it! This trip I was focusing on just having a great time with no special agenda, which felt just right. Of course I had my camera equipment ready and managed to get a few nice shots. I’d call them snap shots really. Below are a few of them.

Thanks again to everyone who voted for my photo in the competition! And thanks for voting for Ola’s as well, otherwise I wouldn’t have had such a great week.

Alizée Dufraisse on a morning cruise at the Cennet sector, Olympos.

Alizée Dufraisse on a morning cruise at the Cennet sector, Olympos.

 

Unknown climber at the beautiful Cennet sector at Olympos, Turkey.

Unknown climber at the beautiful Cennet sector at Olympos, Turkey.

 

Jenny Axelsson at Cennet.

Jenny Axelsson at Cennet.

 

Ola Lindberg, my travel partner and new friend.

Ola Lindberg, my travel partner and new friend.

 

Jenny Axelsson trying hard on a 7a at the Cennet sector, Olympos. Cennet is a long, vertical crag with lots of stuff from 7a and upwards, with a few easier ones thrown in too. Apart from the impeccable climbing the wall also is in the shade from noon.

Jenny Axelsson trying hard on a 7a at the Cennet sector, Olympos.

Discovering a new side of Lofoten

Having been to Lofoten many times, focus has always been on roped climbing, single or multipitch. Sometimes we’ve played around on the boulders below Presten or elsewhere, but without a pad there’s been nothing serious to it. Now, when living here and with two pads at the ready I’ve been able to discover a side of Lofoten I haven’t really seen before. There’s no doubt about it, some of the problems would be rated three stars anywhere in the world.
Apart from doing some bouldering on my own I have also had the time to capture some of the Lofoten bouldering with my camera. This is an ongoing project, what the end result will be remains to be seen. But why not share some of the images in the meantime?

A very nice boulder near Valberg.

A very nice boulder near Valberg.

 

Elisa Strand trying to reach the jug on a steep problem at Stem Bastensen.

Elisa Strand trying to reach the jug on a steep problem at Stem Bastensen.

 

Carl Granlund trying Monster, near the Stem Bastensen boulders, just along the E10.

Carl Granlund trying Monster, near the Stem Bastensen boulders, just along the E10.

 

Carl Granlund highballing it on the first ascent of Fear of Temptation, near Svolvær.

Carl Granlund highballing it on the first ascent of Fear of Temptation, near Svolvær.

 

Henrik Sundahl making quick work of an immacculate, slopey boulder at Stem Bastensen.

Henrik Sundahl making quick work of an immacculate, slopey boulder at Stem Bastensen.

 

A nice, easy crack at Børvågen, near Svolvær.

A nice, easy crack at Børvågen, near Svolvær.

Unexpected adventure on Eidetind

Below the north west face of Eidetind.

Below the north west face of Eidetind.

So, about a week ago my regular climbing partner came up to northern Norway for a brief visit. We met at the parking below Kugelhornet and Verdensvaet in the Efjord area and had our eyes set on Livet lever, a 16 pitch route on Eidetind’s north west face. The route, which is graded 6-, has three stars in the excellent guidebook Stetind and Narvik – dancing on the devil’s dancefloor by Mikael af Ekenstam and Lars Thulin. Having climbed a few other routes in the area (and in other areas in northern Norway) we knew that three stars would most likely mean world class granite climbing. Naturally, our expectations were high.

We headed up from the small village of Eidet in the afternoon, reaching the foot of the wall at around 5 o’clock. The route follows a system of cracks from bottom to top and it sure looked like a nice line. After scoping out the general direction of the route we started on the first pitch. The rock on Eidetinds north west face is a lot smoother than that found on Stetind for example. I guess most of the small knobs have been worn down by snow and running water over the years.

On pitch seven. Fortunately, the slab sections were clean.

On pitch seven. Fortunately, the slab sections were clean.

The climbing felt good, the sun was shining from a clear blue sky and there was hardly any wind. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing really. The only thing we soon discovered was that the three stars given to the route had to be given as a joke or as a way of trying to lure more climbers to this seldom visited side of the mountain. A few pitches up (of course) the grass and moss was abundant, filling the cracks on many of the pitches. Fortunately the vegetation was dry and you could see that climbers before us had dug out holes in the grass to be able place protection, thanks for that! Nevertheless, our high expectations were shattered and we wondered what the first ascentionists could have been on when reviewing their own ”creation” for the guidebook.
Anyway, sometime early morning two nagging middle aged men stood on the top with a breathtaking view of mountains and fjords.

We’d sworn a lot about those three stars which had fooled us up on to this rock face, but still, during the descent the feeling of having completed yet another mini adventure in the mountains became more and more positive. But would we recommend Livet lever to others? Hell no. Of course, if you know about the vegetation and lower your expectations you may have a great time.

View from the top of Eidetind. Kugelhornet on the left, Stetind in the distance.

View from the top of Eidetind. Kugelhornet on the left, Stetind in the distance.

We entered our tent at about 6 o’clock, falling asleep instantly.

The following day (well, the same day really) soon revealed itself as a rest day, with two worn down climbers mostly lying on the rocks by the stream that comes down the giant slab of Verdenssvaet. After some time we got restless though and for some reason we just couldn’t resist the temptation to do the first(?) nude ascent of the big slab. What can I say, sometimes when you come up with an idea – no matter how great or how crazy it is – you just have to see it through, don’t you?

The other mountains in the region still had quite a lot of snow on them and we decided to head up to Narvik for some sport climbing in Svartdalen. This is a very nice set of crags, complex and with a vast potential for new routes. We enjoyed some of the existing routes for a day and a half and then it was time for me to head back to ”Villa Valberg” on Vestvågøy. Can’t wait to go back to Efjord. But I’m done with Eidetind. I think.

The first nude ascent of Verdenssvaet? Now let's see what social media has to say about this.

The first nude ascent of Verdenssvaet? Now let’s see what social media has to say about this.

New gallery genre: Architecture

I’ve just added a new genre in my galleries: Architecture. As of now you can have a look at my photos of a private house in Uppland, Sweden, beautifully designed by habibihaus. Hopefully there will be more architecture photos to come here. I really enjoy looking for shapes, structures and angles in buildings.

Private house, Uppland, Sweden. Architect: Habibihaus

Private house, Uppland, Sweden. Architect: Habibihaus

Relocating to Lofoten

Bret Shandro enjoying some spring snow descending from Trollsadeln.

Bret Shandro enjoying some spring snow while descending from Trollsadeln.

Having been based in Stockholm for some 40+ years I thought it was time to try something new. Since early April I’m now residing in Lofoten in northern Norway. I’ve been here many times during the summer. The first visit was with my dad in 1981, hiking around the fishing villages of Kalle and Henningsvær. My climbing passion wasn’t born until ten years later, but maybe subconsiously it all began on that trip to Lofoten?

In 1994 I did my first climbing trip to Lofoten. Some things have changed since then. The free ”campsite” below Gandalfveggen is no longer the quiet place it was back then. Well, it is now, in the early spring, but in the summer it is usually very busy nowadays, and there are clear signs showing us that the presence of climbers is beginning to take its toll on the environment below Gandalfveggen. Some things are still the same though. The mountains are still just as beautiful, reflected as they are in the ocean at their feet. The rock is still of the same impeccable quality, but there are a lot more established routes to choose from nowadays.

I’ve also managed to sample some of the skiing here, although the past season hasn’t been the best according to the locals. Mind you, there might still be some interesting ski touring available out there. Now is the time for multiple activity days, with enough light to go climbing in the morning and then head for the hills for some ski touring in the evening.

Of course I’m not here on an extended vacation. I’m available for assignments both on and off the mountain, so please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or if you need help realizing your visual communications projects.

Selfie on King Fisher, one of many high quality boulders in Lofoten.

Selfie while working King Fisher, one of many high quality boulder problems in Lofoten.

The Addnature 2014 calendar

omslag_f2f2f2The Addnature 2014 calendar has been out for about a week now and I’m very pleased with the result. The calendar contains climbing photos from near and far, to inspire your climbing in 2014. There are also a bunch of Addnature events printed in the calendar, to remind you what’s going on in 2014. The calendar can be bought from addnature.com at three different prices. By making a purchase you will donate money to The Swedish Climbing Federation’s Access Fund, so I hope that all you climbers out there are willing to contribute.
It’s a great Christmas gift you know.