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Thread: Talkback: Extreme Soggy, Snowy, Sweden!

  1. #1
    Ultra King Milly.'s Avatar
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    "...others find their gear has got soaked overnight"
    "...disaster! ? the roof begins to drip and then collapses completely, the sodden snow melting on the surface in the warm sunshine"

    Am I alone in thinking the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia would benefit from a few days of safety schooling?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    How very dare you. Keith returned safely to the UK with only mildly singed socks to show for his epic expedition :-)

  3. #3
    Goon
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    Interesting report - it looked a fun trip. It goes to show how annoying (and potential dangerous)it can be when snow begins to thaw but you're more prepared for cold, dry conditions.

  4. #4
    Widdler Keith Ruffles's Avatar
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    In all fairness we did receive plenty of help and advice when we needed it - every group was accompanied by representatives from each of the five companies taking part and I never felt that any of us were in danger of anything more than wet feet.

    Overall I felt there was an adequate balance between supervision and letting us have the freedom to make our own mistakes! In some ways that was the whole point - learning how to use the gear and adapting to changing conditions.

    And I managed to come back with all my toes intact

  5. #5
    Goon
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    I wasn't making assumptions about the supervision - it was evident that it was well managed. Glad you had a good time!

  6. #6
    Thanks for a good article Keith! And thanks for a good trip...

    @Milly Yes it is a safety hazard to dig snow caves in wet snow, but our snow cave was the only one that was getting even close to collapsing. It was quit strongly influenced but an old hidden cornice concealed under the snow. When we noticed that it made the snow cave dangerous we evacuated and made the snow cave collapse by throwing blocks of snow on top. So the SOG/OAS guys had it under control.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Milly.'s Avatar
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    So if it had dropped to -15C, as it regularly does there in winter, the wet gear posed little or no risk? Lucky you. Glad you had fun

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch
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    These conditions are the worst you can meet when going out. Wetness lurks around in all places and moments. IMHO these arehardest weather conditions you can encounter. And I mean that isloads of snow and temp around freezing and steadywet drizzles. Bleeeeeeuuuh

  9. #9
    Initiate Nick P 10's Avatar
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    The only way to stay completely safe is by staying at home, and even there you are surrounded by tons of dangers, from slipping to slicing!

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch
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    I'm a true all weather hiker, but these conditions are not my favourite (also too much warmth). Only rain above freezing point is less worse. It doens't always rain constantly and wet slosh is there to stay for a long time when it keeps going around freezing point

  11. #11
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I agree with Zuma, wet conditions around zero are the worst to cope with. I'd far rather it was -10c or even -20c than 0 with everything slushy or wet snow falling, especially if its also wind-driven!

    There's been an unseasonally warm March across Scandinavia it seems. I was out in Norway for most of the first two weeks. It had been warm enough to rain in the mountains the week before we arrived, and there was more open, flowing water on display than is usual at this time of year. We got a good first few sub-zero days, and then a week of the same slushy, thawing stuff that hit Keith and his group. Apparently this pretty much continued for the rest of the month (one of our guys stayed out there).

    It's certainly important, for comfort and for safety, to learn to keep your kit dry in those conditions, and I've never regretted switching over from leather to plastic boots for ski-touring (and neither have my toasty warm feet )

  12. #12
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Aside from the issues of thawing, temperatures around zero and a little over make waxing one's skis a bit bleedin' awkward. Obviously not an issue with the snow shoes, but in open, rolling country skis are usually a better choice, given the very big and obvious caveat that you need to be able to ski!

    Heading south from Haukeliseter a few years back everything I tried was wrong and the skis gummed up, making it a walk on skis rather than a ski. Not much fun (though plenty of climbing grip...). Roos was most unimpressed with my "expertise", but my currency did rise a bit when everyone arriving at the hut after us was cursing the impossible waxing conditions. There aren't many occasions I regret not having fish-scales on the bases, but that was certainly one of them.

    Pete.

  13. #13
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I resorted to short skins (just under the grip zone) as the best compromise for my skis for the last 4 days of my trip this year, rather than faff around with wax around 0c.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Old snow around zero I usually find okay (in fact, since the invention of Quick Klister, usually good going). But the debacle above was fresh powder snow and above freezing temperatures. Unusual to hve the two together... which I'm quite happy about!

    Pete.

  15. #15


    Some of us that were native Scandinavians did use skies in the slush. I tested some madshus intelligrip skins... They can strongly be recommended as an alternative to wax anything around 0 degrees!

    Btw reports from all my Norwegians friends is that the winter/snow has been really weird this year...

  16. #16
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Slush is (relatively) fine (was telemarking very happily in it last week!). It's fresh, powedery snow at temperatures where you're expecting sluch that's the problem, and seems quite capable of gumming up anything

    Pete

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