Nu är det dags

Tältsaden där vi förvarat all utrustning är riven. Cykellådor, TA bins, klätterutrustning och glaciärutrustning är packat och placerat i olika lastbilar. Vi har packat våra ryggsäckar och hänger på rummet och försöker lugna våra nerver. Kartorna är packade och vi har en viss aning om vad som kommer ske de närmsta dagarna. Glaciär och tundra trek första etappen, straxt under 60km. Finfint. Det kommer bli tufft från första rycket. Följer ni oss på trackern så kommer pricken inte rusa fram direkt. 

Vi vill gärna ha trailmail. Skicka en hälsning eller många via hemsidan så får vi den när vi kommer till nästa TA där vi byter till en ny etapp. Det piggar upp! 

Följ oss på ExpeditionAK.com

Tjing 

 

Sista rycket

Sista frukosten innan avfärd imorgon. Sista koppen kaffe. Igår fortsatte förberedelserna med björnsäkerhet och kartutdelning. Vi vet var vi ska nu. Glaciärtrekken första två dagarna kommer bli brutal. Om ni följer oss på spotten så bli inte förvånade om den knappt rör sig. Björnkunskapen var egentligen inget nytt mer än att det finns grizzlybjörn här omkring och brun och svart vanlig björn. De räknar med att vi kommer möta björn många gånger per dag. 

Vi fortsatte med glaciär genomgång och test. Allt som vi faktiskt kunde innan kändes som bortblåst. Efter ett antal räddningsförsök och uppsättningar så känns det faktiskt som det sitter. De gissar att flera av lagen kommer behöva använda sina räddningskunskaper och vi tänker inte bli en av dem. Det är oerhört mycket glaciärsprickor. Vi kommer välja att ta oss långsamt fram för att hitta en säker rutt, eller så säkert det kan gå. 

Vi packade och packade igår. Och idag ska jag åter igen packa om. Det finns ju ingen chans att vända eller fixa något när vi väl är på gång. 

Nu följer wilderness first aid. Och ompackning. Och mer kartgenomgång. 

     

Fortsättning

Denali, Alaska. Lång bussresa norr över. Björnspan från bussen. Incheckning och upplockning, urlastning och allmänt kaos. Packade upp och monterade ihop cyklar som varit nerstuvade i lådor. Lite vint framhjul. Började packa matpåsar och klädpåsar. Maten håller inte hög standard.

Idag har vi i timmar fått mer utbildning i glaciär räddning, sprickor etc. Strålande sol och blå himmel. Alla blev aningen uttorkade och dammiga. Framåt kvällen cykling med full packning ner till floden där vi gick en snabb genomgång i hur man tar sig upp i flotten om man tippar. Torrdräkt och flytväst gör det hela lite meckigt. Strömt och väldigt kallt vatten, ännu mer besvärligt. Tur att vi är aningen vana efter träning i WA och har lite skinn på näsan. Läskiga saker. Efter turen packade vi ihop cyklarna och stoppade ner dessa i lådorna igen. Japp, cykelmeck och sånt pysslar vi också med.

Imorgon fortsätter vi glaciär träningen med prov och sedan björnkunskap. Pust. Och gear check. Hoppas att vi inte glömt något hemma.

Nu sover vi så gott vi kan. Lite lägerkänsla. Något taskigt och fuktig lukt. Och tydligen så snarkar jag. 

           

Då bär det av…

Efter 8 timmars shopping och matintag har vi hyrbilen full med konserver och allmän skräpmat som klarar sig ute i rabarbern.  

 

Vi hämtar också upp björnsprej och insekts sprej som ska kunna ta död på mygg stora som svalor eller örnar, cykelpump och lite annat smått och nödvändigt.

 

Nu bär det av mot wiffi fritt land… Tjing

Bunkring

Då var det dags. Okristligt tidig uppgång och färd norröver. All utrustning dök upp på bandet och vi lastade kärror, hyrde bil och lämnade cyklarna på hyrutrymme bland älghorn och frusen fisk.  

   Nästa stopp lunch och sedan upphämtande av lagmedlem nummer 4 från östkusten. Nu gällde det att tänka till bunkra upp för långlopp och stora kaloriintag. 

Hey out there

Sun is out and it’s Sunday. The family is out and about. One car took off Friday for a climbing comp in Oregon. The rest of the bunch have other things to do. Going in different directions. I’ve been enjoying lots and lots of pictures from graduations and last day of school parties from Sweden but we are not quite there yet. We have another week of school and finals. I know my former colleagues are now taking a deep breath and have cleaned out their classrooms after a long school year. Happy summer to you.

We have less than two weeks left before takeoff for Alaska. We met up yesterday morning at a park and ride in Lynnwood and drove up to Baker, a nice two hour drive. I couldn’t sleep the night before and got more and more stressed until I just accepted that this would be another sleep training weekend with a good chunk of training without sleep. I got up at 4.45 after about 2 hours of sleep, packed up and left. It was a gorgeous day, not too warm, sunshine and lots of snow. Heavy backpacks on with all race gear, crampons, ice axe, tent, 50yrd rope, harnesses, food etc. After walking uphill for 2 hours the mountain opens up and leaves you breathless. It is beautiful! And I instantly understand why people go mountain crazy and don’t want to leave. We started walking up on the snow. Avoiding crevasses, big and small, and finding the best route. We met other climbers, saw a few tents and chatted a bit with a bunch of guys. We came to practice roping up and climbing together, so that’s what we did. Around 2 in the afternoon we sat on a tarp at 7600ft, ate a little, drank a little and talked. The summit would only take us a few more hours but today is not the day for that. We definitely have to come back. We packed up and started walking, gliding down. I even tried gliding on my butt. An absolutely fantastic day. I wish I had good pictures but somehow I messed up with sunglasses on and sun in my face all the time.

And we are back on the trail, walking and walking. We walk for miles on a ridge and there are marmots everywhere. They are whistling and heat up their furry bodies in the sun. I am trying to figure out the Swedish word for marmot but I can’t think of it. I don’t know why it always takes forever to walk back. The pack feels heavy, I am sweating, my face hurts from not using enough sunblock on the glacier and the car feels far away. And after about 14 hours I am back home and the oldest and the youngest have dinner ready for us and I fall asleep in front of a movie. One day closer.

IMG_6637

IMG_6641

IMG_6653

IMG_6654

IMG_6634

17 days

It’s summer. Nice, warm days and long nights. We’ve had dinner outside the past week and the volleyball net is up for after dinner runarounds. We have a bunch of rabbits that moved to our yard but I feel like it’s a nicer family than the deer family last year so I’m just going to let them stay. They don’t take up as much space. It is nice, lovely, beautiful and all that. School is still in full swing for two more weeks. Finals and more finals. Lovely! Food changes a bit when it’s warm. Lots of barbeque, salads, fruit, cold yoghurt sauces, cheese and of course olives every day.

Less than two weeks to take off. And the weather is not very good in Alaska right now. I move stuff around from the car, garage, kitchen. I have piles of clothes in the bedroom. I have bins with stuff that goes wherever I go. I use most of it since we are still rafting, paddling, running and biking. My PFD smells and I am a bit worried that it will attract animals. I still need to get my bike in for a last tune up and there are a few things that I need to buy. I made a trip to REI today and I hope it was the last one. I might need a few bungees, food, more wool clothes since watched the weather channel this morning. And I probably need more socks. But I did the last body repairing today. Got my foot drained again and it will hopefully do well until after the race but still need a few days of rest before I see the result. It looks very blue right now so it can only get better.

What I am really thinking of is food. What to bring and buy. How much and what do you really want to eat after a few days without real food. And what about coffee? I am doing my best to cut back so I won’t miss it too much. I’ve got different kinds of jerky to try, espresso beans covered in chocolate (thanks Eric), nuts mixed with chocolate and all sorts of good stuff to try and decide before takeoff. I found bacon jerky, sounds brilliant! And so does salmon jerky.

We have done some rafting the past week. We drove to Wenatchee Saturday for some speedy rafting in a fast river in almost 100 degrees. And we got some nice barbeque in Cashmere before the actual rafting. Cashmere, the center of earth. Really good barbeque. It felt like I was going to sink when the actual rafting started. I ate half a cow. We stayed local yesterday. We met up by the fall in Snoqualmie and blew our rafts up and took off. Got up after a few rapids and hiked back up and did it again. On the way to Fall City to pick up the third car a dog started following us, swimming behind our boats. We got our own Arthur. We thought it would be a bit of a problem to bring him to Alaska so we called his owner instead. A couple of beavers swam by too. Those would be even more of a problem to bring as mascots. We will conquer parts of a big mountain Saturday. Crampons, ice axes and ropes. Very exciting.

Rafting is interesting. I felt really worried a few weeks ago and I don’t even know why. Of course you can tip over, flip and get really wet. You can hit your head since there are rocks all over but that’s why you wear a helmet. I think it’s the feeling of fast moving water that is a bit scary. Well, it doesn’t feel scary anymore. More like an intense ride, a wet rollercoaster. But it will be different in freezing water with a dry suite on…

Stuff learned this week:

Driving to Eastern Washington for a quick bike ride, a short but intense rafting session or a hike is no big deal. It’s just a 3-4 hour drive and some mileage on your car. And then 3-4 hours back home when you are tired.

River rafting, it’s just fast moving water. You will somehow move forward. And get wet.

Blow up your raft. Your once crushed tailbone really hurt when you hit big rocks and get stuck in the river. It kind of moved all the way up your spine. But that’s a good thing, you’ll know that your nervous system works.

Sunscreen is essential.

An ice cream bar melts very fast in 100 degrees.

Your body gets tired from thinking too much.

Closer

23 days left. That’s what it says when I click in on the website. And I check every day just to be sure. Strange thing is that I could swear that it said 33 days yesterday. Anyhow, it’s getting closer. Alaska is happening.

Meanwhile in real life… A little bit of work and lots of fun. A very sore and tired body. It’s been days since I dressed in human clothes, my natural gear seems to be running shoes and tights or jeans if it’s a slow day, this has to change. My car has slowly turned into an adventure central. I could without a problem scramble out gear for a 24 hour race and feed a football team. Paddles, wet PFD’s, smelly boots, brown bananas, bikeparts, dried apricots, gloves for paddling, cycling and gardening, shoes and boots, water and a warm Pellegrino… And I can fit two fully inflatable rafts in the back. I am glad we decided to keep the old mothership for another year.

Only difficulty I have with lots of training-racing-bobbingaroundinthewater-life is the clothing. I don’t wear hiking pants. Well, I do but it’s not my thing. My thing is bright yellow or pink Nike’s, Lulu tights, tank tops, some days high socks in lovely colors, Patagonia dresses in nice materials… There are a few things I really don’t like wearing or it doesn’t excite me. I am not built for tight women sized t-shirts. And hiking pants…ehhh…I do own a few pairs…but there is something about hiking pants that is so unattractive. All those important things in life… So I got myself another pair of pants today. And I know for sure that I will be the only one on the team wearing pink compression socks.

We are still going through the gear and I am adding on new stuff every day. I’m searching around the house for stuff I haven’t seen since we moved from Sweden. I had a pair of rain pants that I loved and wore every day biking to work… missing, but found two other pairs. And how many coats do you need? And wool socks… I need more than 10 pairs…who owns 10 pairs of wool socks? Gloves – many, since I always have cold hands. Sunglasses for the glacier – still needed and I probably need snowshoes. Raft – check, bike – all good but needs a good tune up again. Dry suite – rented. Mosquito net, need to find a good one – muy importante, très important, erg belangrijk… well you get it.

I’ve been to REI every day the last month. I am that crazy person the staff avoid. I am turning every water bottle upside down, trying to stuff it inside my shirt to see how it fits and feel. I walk around making grunting noises around the hiking pants but I can’t get enough of the Smartwool baselayer. Shoedepartment… you can never get enough shoes… I walked around the backpack department for days with different backpacks on before I decided. I even tried to lay back on the floor leaning on it since that’s probably how I will sleep. And I ended up getting the same I had before but a bigger and a different color. And strobe light, who owns a strobe light? But I am happy to say that I have a raft that fits in my backpack without a problem. I still have about 10 more trips to REI before I take off. I should have applied for a job there months ago, it would have been much easier.

Time to mow the lawn…

FullSizeRenderIMG_6586

IMG_6598FullSizeRender (1)

Overnight training

Monday morning and I wake up rested and recovered. This may sound trivial but for the first time since I got my Band a few months ago I slept 8 hours. 8 hours and 12 minutes! And the secret is to stay up a full night before to get a decent night sleep.

I left for Lake Chelan Friday afternoon and I can’t say that it’s been a restful trip. After picking up ¼ of the team at a park and ride in Issaquah we drove to the sunny side of the state. The full team “I don’t remember” met for the first time and we had a nice weekend and an overnight outing in the mountains. After a toasty mountain bike race at Echo Valley Ski area Saturday we all tried to nap but with various success. The race was hot and very sunny and I felt drained even before it started. I had a bit of gear trouble on the first climb but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. It was beautiful and I felt like stopping for pictures but I had to tell myself that it would be ridiculous since it was a race. 30 miles passed fast and without any surprises. Very, very hot but gorgeous trails and views.

Saturday night brought dinner, bubbly drinks (for the support crew) and games before we packed our packs and took off around midnight. After a long car ride to a dark parking lot in the middle of a national forest we all took a deep breath and took off at 2am. Heavy packs and a tiny bit tired from start. Lots of elevation, beautiful surroundings that hid in the dark and snow at 7000ft. When we all turned off our headlights around 5am we saw the sun slowly wake up over the mountains. It is absolutely magical to watch the sun reach the sky an early morning. We sat for a few minutes and ate a little before we moved on. I think we all felt more awake when we got some sunlight. We kept walking and walking, reached snow, turned back and walked again. We reached the car before lunch and packed up and left for Chelan again. I sat down in the back of the car and felt my head tilt back and I could hear myself snore. I bumped my head in the window over and over again but decided to just ignore it. And when we got back to our home for the weekend It was a tired and squeaky body that slowly folded out from the car. After some leftovers and a shower we decided to take a 20 minute nap before heading back to Kirkland. I woke up one hour later with a corduroy pattern all over my face and a swollen eye. I fell asleep or more completely face planted with my eyes open in the living room stretched out on the couch. With two muddy bikes in the back of the car and lots of hiking gear we took off for Seattle and drove all the way to Cashmere where we stopped for greasy burgers. Finally home just in time for dinner and then time for bed.

IMG_6572IMG_6560

IMG_6557

IMG_6568