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Learning how to ski…

My plans to write more articles before my next trip have been put on hold due to a broken computer. A flashing question mark folder on an iMac screen… Not a good sign. Temporarily I am using my Toshiba laptop, but it is less convenient especially without certain programs. (And I will not mention that haven’t backed up everything before the crash so lesson learnt.) I am not able to post new photos but hopefully it will get fixed soon.

Hiking Kungsleden trail, 2012

Hiking Kungsleden trail, 2012

On a positive side, in less than 1 week I am flying to Sweden. I will be back on the Kungsleden trail, but this time on skis! Well, I hope I will ski and won’t end up as a snow(wo)man. It might not sound very adventurous to some people, but it will be my first time on skis (in the real world). My last Kunsgleden trip in Autumn 2012 was great and unforgettable. I really need to write about it more one of these days. But as I did it shortly after I had sprained my ankle, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. But still, hiking from hut to hut, far away from civilisation, without electricity and running water, seemed like a dream to me then and is also very tempting now.

I have done some lessons on an indoor slope and to be honest “Learn to ski in a day” didn’t quite work for me. I had a foot surgery when I was little and – to make long story short – my right leg is weaker than the left one. So when everyone else in my group was progressing into turns, I could hardly snowplough down (really slowly) trying to keep my balance and not to swerve to the left. It was one of those moments in life when I felt a bit like an idiot surrounded by children speeding down from the top of the slope when I was slowly making my way down. On the other hand, I actually had a lot of fun, giggling every time I fell down (which was most of the time).

Snow snow snow, Lofoten islands 2013

Snow snow snow, Lofoten islands 2013

To move things on a bit, I did some research and discovered something which is called Skiplex. So I went to Reading with my friend having booked 4 hours of skiing. For a first timer Skiplex seems like a funny place with the revolving carpet which pretends to be a ski slope. But it is really clever though, as the gradient can be changed and it becomes steeper if you want to, or the speed can be increased and you almost feel like flying down. I would really recommend it to those people who are slow learners like me. Or to someone who wants to learn really fast. I gained confidence and started finally doing snowplough turns. I even started working on parallel turns and I guess if not some muscle pains I could probably get there as well. My friend did much better as a regular “gym goer”, and annoyingly she was eager to do more whilst I could hardly move my legs after 4 hours of skiing (even with the breaks they give you!). If you live far away from the slopes and want to do as much as you can in one day, booking 3 hours rather than 4 seems to be a wiser option. Especially, if you don’t want to look like an idiot the following day when you have difficulties sitting down on the chair (unless of course you are my friend who went to the gym the following morning).

Skiing the Kungsleden trail will be of course absolutely different being cross country skiing rather than just going downhill. So I am trying to become fitter as I don’t want to die of the exhaustion on the trail. (The balancing board seems to be helpful as I can shift the weight from one leg to another). Squats, and more squats.

Kungsleden trail, Sweden, September 2012

Kungsleden trail, Sweden, September 2012

After getting from Nikkaluokta to Abisko, we are planning to go for a few days to the Lofoten islands. If you have read some of my blog posts, you would know by now that it is one of my favourite places. There is not much snow there now and I hope it will change by the time we will get there so I can do more skiing. This time I will not take my ice climbing gear as I don’t want extra weight on the trail but apparently the conditions are much better than last year… Well, you can’t have everything.