Norway, mountains, friends and stuff…
Minus thirty. Eyelashes tipped with mini balls of ice. Fingers numb. The cold gnawing at my cheeks so they feel that skin has been stripped from them. I wonder about my legs, my feet, if my toes are blue; and we’re planning to head for Antarctica?
It seems a mad plan when even a Norwegian winter feels so harsh. At minus thirty, the sit-ski has no glide over the snow, as if there’s a layer of superglue between it and the white stuff. Pulling on my ski poles with all my strength, I barely move, and suddenly the prospect of a mountain ski-tour seems like a sentence for torture. My friend Kristina straps on a harness, normally for towing sleds, and hooks me in. She’s hardy, born on skis and used to the Norwegian winter. The ‘stick’ of the cold snow is broken, and we start moving. My arms work like pistons in rhythm with her legs, and the intermittent tug from the tow-line keeps my momentum going.
Slowly but surely we follow a skidoo trail, up, up and up into the mountains. Way up high, its warmer; some kind of temperature inversion. There is pristine snow, peaks and valleys blanketed in ice, the sky blue, a sparkling landscape. I’m glad for friends mad enough to help me be there. Without friends none of the stuff I do would be possible. So thanks to all of you, and for being a little bit crazy to trek high and far with me. That’s the stuff that brings life to life.