June 18, 2013
SCANDINAVIA: CAME FOR THE GIRLS, STAYED FOR THE BACKCOUNTRY
So those of you that know or follow me anything more than in passing will realize that this article isn't current- but it didn't get run in any of the ski magazines that we submitted it to. It did get run in a snowboard mag but only with the snowboarding shots, and Vasco Coutinho the snowboard photographer with connections has just given me permission to use all the best photos in this post, which I will because I think he snapped some bangers! I've just been back to this area, and comp-wise I'm in the same position now, so it seemed an appropriate time to be sharing it with the inter-web. Enjoy! An Italian snowboarder, a Kiwi skier and a Portuguese photographer/snowboarder aren’t who you might expect to find in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Norway. The people who stopped by to tell us that we couldn’t park and sleep in our van were certainly surprised about where we were from, and sometimes interested enough to let us park and sleep there after all. How did we end up there? Well the Italian-Norwegian, Kiwi-Swedish and Portuguese-Danish romances were the base ingredient, throw in a FWQ 4* competition in Røldal and top it off with Norway having about 10 times more snow than the alps that season and you’ve got Norwegian photo-roadtrip pie. It was a half day drive between surfing and this frozen moonscape, photo by Vasco Vasco in front of his find of the season, photo by me, Neil But I was jealous. I felt like Massimo had got the best two shots so far by jumping the spa with a sweet grab (I’m sorry, I can’t name the grab, I’m a skier. But it was definitely sweet) and winning the rock off for the first run in the natural pipe (then killing it). I wanted mine. I wanted my dessert. On the last day of the trip we found it. I can’t even remember where it was now, I just tried to find it on a map but looking for a place that I think that starts with S and is near a tunnel and somewhere on the way to Bergen from somewhere near Røldal is surprisingly difficult. Maybe it’s better that way. But as soon as we drove under it I knew I wanted it. That road gap was mine. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t stomp it, but I wanted to put my prototype Fischer skis to the test. They held up. My body was a bit sore though, stackars pungen! But it was the end of the season. I got my just desserts for my dessert but the taste of success still tanged sweetly on my tastebuds. Go big before you go home. Photo by Vasco. We dispersed back to the country of origin of our various romantic interests, and, later, dispersed back to our countries of origin. But we’ll be back. We still hunger for the raw beauty that Scandinavia serves up in its various ways. Maybe we’ll share these delights with others next time. Maybe it will be you. Thanks for sharing, meals bring people together. Hejdå Skandinavien, vi ses snart.