Hooked on Climbing ENGLISH

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on climbing nr 3 / 2020

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ERIK NYLANDER

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EDITOR’S NOTE

This year marks 20 years since Addnature was founded, and even way back then our focus fell on climbing. When we opened the doors of our first store, it quickly became a hub for climbers who loved being able to get their hands on equipment just around the corner. When the first office staff were recruited, the majority of them were climbers. The IT department alternated developing systems with grip training on the hangboards that hung over their desks, and customer service provided tips for equipment from a portaledge. Everything in the office smelled of climbing. Climbing is in Addnature’s DNA – and it’s still our biggest building block. It laid the foundation for how geeky we’ve become in all our interests. Because it’s very easy to become a geek when it comes to climbing; where even the smallest thing has an important role to play. This issue of Hooked is created and issued during a very special time in the world; one where we can’t move as freely as we’re used to and where plans are cancelled and rescheduled. But we hope that we can provide inspiration for future adventures – both the adventures that you have to travel for and those located at arm’s length. This summer we’re hooked on climbing.

Victor Inggårde

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CREATORS Julia Möller

· Emelie Voltaire · Victor Inggårde

PUBLISHER Martin Netinder ADDNATURE AB Uddvägen 7, 131 54 Nacka 08-403 047 03 info@addnature.com / www.addnature.com

COWORKERS ·

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Mattias Rastbäck Olof Strömbäck Emma Svensson Anna Kernell Lina Samuelsson Jenny Wikman Oscar Hentmark Robert Svanell Bramm Clitherow Rosie Hendry Ben Lubin

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THANKS TO ·

Daniel Estmark Thomas Samuelsson Hannes Backerling Kristen Ubaldi Elin Skyttedal Mika Aberra Toni Tiainen Nayton Rosales

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COVER Paul Romain

COPYRIGHT All rights reserved. Nothing in whole or in part may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. © Addnature 2020

Printed by Holmberg Svanenmärkt trycksak, 3041 0140

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CONTENTS 8

From Rock to Rookie

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Adam Ondra

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Chalk Talk

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The Involuntary Climber

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The History of Climbing

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Best Bouldering Spots in Stockholm

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Targeted Training

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Climbing With Your Kids

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Yoga for Climbers

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Camp Outside Your Comfort Zone

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Nothing Like a Cup of Joe

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Hiking on Two Wheels

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Phto: Emelie Voltaire, Best bouldering spots in Stockholm, p. 42

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FROM ROCK TO ROOKIE Text: Emma Svensson / Photo: Emma Svensson, Elin Skyttedal & Mika Aberra

When Emma Svensson found herself in a crisis after her divorce, she was faced with a choice: either crawl under her blanket and close herself off from the outside world or get out there and discover it. She chose the latter, and it opened the door to a long-time dream of hers – to climb mountains. Emma is absolute proof that “ordinary people” can also become mountaineers.

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I didn’t even know someone like me could climb mountains – I thought that was reserved for the elite. All the stories I’d read were about tough men who took great risks. One thing was clear: a rookie like me had no place in that world. I didn’t really know anything about climbing mountains. I’d seen the movie “Everest” on a plane to New Zealand and knew straight away it was something I had to do. It was like falling head over heels in love; a feeling stronger than anything else – I had to climb Everest! My experience with mountaineering at the time consisted solely of once dragging myself up Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain, a couple of years earlier. It was the worst thing I’d ever done, and I promised myself to never do it again. I was completely exhausted when I finally reached the top after 6 hours. I needed to buy a coke at the cabin to be able to even enjoy the view. The way down was pure hell. My knees hurt so badly that I didn’t even know how I’d get down. I sat on a rock and cried for 45 minutes. I called my boyfriend, who wasn’t particularly impressed: “Get yourself together and walk down!”, he said. While I ate a chocolate biscuit for some much-needed energy, I imagined wolves coming to get me if I didn’t get down before nightfall. That gave me enough adrenaline to keep going for a while! However, the adrenaline wore off, and me and my friend got lost in the dark – we’d lost track of the path and ended up in some bushes. He had to practically drag me back down the mountain. It was the most exhausting day of my life, and I wanted nothing more than for it to be over. After having that experience, it’s strange that I suddenly got the feeling out of nowhere that I had to climb mountains. I’d had that feeling once before, when I photographed my first concert, and that led me to become a photographer. Life as a rock photographer means a lot of concerts and festivals. I travelled around Europe on tour buses, and life was a never-ending party – well, not for me, as I didn’t drink alcohol – but for everyone else! After 3500 concerts, I’d had enough and started working in fashion: a new world to discover and a new lifestyle. Festivals were exchanged for events and fashion shows in Paris and New York. My wardrobe got an update, but I never felt as at home as I did in rock clubs. Somewhere inside me, a longing and fascination for uninhabited places grew. I arranged photo trips to the Highlands of Iceland long before the Instagram photographers started going there. I went to Patagonia

and the Atacama Desert. My trips became more and more adventurous, and I no longer cared about Stockholm’s fashion week. Instead, I spent Christmas in a storm under a rock in Torres Del Paine because my tent had disappeared on the flight, along with the rest of my luggage. And at exactly the right moment, I watched “Everest.” But when I got home and excitedly shared my grand plan to start climbing mountains, my boyfriend wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. Should I really do that? It’d mean I’d be away even more. Since we were about to get married, I put my mountaineering plans on hold and focused on getting my life together instead. As a bonus parent and hard-working photographer, I didn’t really have time to follow my dreams. And besides – we were about to get married. So, when my husband, a few weeks after our wedding, suddenly broke up with me, there were two options. One was to blame everything on someone else and be an angry, bitter person who couldn’t understand how life could be so unfair. The other was to work through the pain and see it as an opportunity to do everything I’d been dreaming of. Like climbing mountains. Since I had no idea of how to do it or where to start, I thought I should find a challenge that wasn’t too hard. I had a work trip to the U.S. planned in autumn, so I started reading up on Mount Whitney. At 4421 metres, it’s quite high for a rookie, but not too technical. I signed up for a guided group that would climb the mountain over three days via the Mountaineer’s Route – a route with some exposure and a whole lot of scrambling, instead of the usual route to the top. It was the perfect adventure! Our guide Ryan showed us how to use a fixed rope and taught us to filter water from a glacier lake. I shared a tent with a 50-year-old German lady who had lived a super interesting life and did my first alpine start, getting up in the middle of the night to reach the summit. My physique at that point was nothing to be proud of, as I’d turned into a couch potato during the five years with my ex. I fought my way to the top, feeling nauseous due to altitude and exhaustion. But I did it, and the feeling standing at the top was unbeatable. I was sold and knew this was something I had to continue doing. The following year I did another 4000-metre mountain: Jbel Toubkal, Morocco’s highest. I also took a course in alpine climbing to learn the basics. Crampon technique, self-arrest with an ice axe, how to walk on a glacier in a rope team and

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how to use a jumar were just some of the things I learned on the course. But it wasn’t until the following summer, after my first big expedition to Europe’s highest mountain, Elbrus in 2017, that things really started to spiral out of control. One’s first big expedition is always a very exciting and cool experience. I’d already done two shorter expeditions, but this was a two-week-long adventure. I met up with the other participants at Arlanda, along with the organiser and legendary Krister Jonsson as our guide. For the journey up the 5642-metre-high Elbrus, we’d go along the north side – the slightly less touristy of the two normal routes. From the airport at Mineralnyje Vody, we travelled in the most worn-out old military bus, on the most miserable roads ever, to base camp, at an altitude of 2500 m. There we would then spend the next few nights. Accommodation at base camp was a basic shed. I was put together with four guys from my group, who I’d never met before, and the only things in the shed were five tent beds. It felt luxurious, as I expected we’d be sleeping in a tent. At base camp, there was also a large tent where dinner and breakfast were served. You weren’t always sure what you were eating, but on an expedition, the most important thing is to get all the fuel you can. In the big tent, we also passed the time playing cards and talking to participants from other expeditions. Many, like me, were on their first big expedition. The toilet was a smelly porta-potti and showering was only possible during certain times, and not always with hot water. It was as far away from the glamour of the fashion world as you can possibly get, and I loved it. Pure simplicity. Pure minimalism. From base camp we then went up to “Mushroom Rocks” at an altitude of 2500 meters, to acclimatise. It was a pleasant hike in the sun and before we hiked back down to base camp, we ate our plastic-wrapped sandwiches we’d got from the food tent that morning. When you climb mountains, you need to acclimatise – get used to the altitude little by little – otherwise you run the risk of getting altitude sickness. Headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping and stomach cramps are common symptoms of altitude sickness that most people experience in some form. But if things go really badly, you can suffer from pulmonary and cerebral edema, which in the worst case can lead to death if you don’t come down quickly and get help. How one is affected at high altitudes is very individual and nothing you can train for.

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The next day we did a “carrying round” – we carried everything we’d need over the next few days to high camp at an altitude of 3800 meters. My backpack probably weighed 20 kg and I made all the rookie mistakes one can make: I brought too much stuff, a combination of not knowing what I’d actually use, together with the notion that “this is probably good to have in case of…”. I also walked too fast, trying to keep pace with the fast guys every day – something that would take its toll later. Once we’d left our stuff, we went back to base camp for another night before it was time to move up to high camp. It was exciting to leave base camp and its amenities for the higher-situated camp. Although we lived in another hut up there, all twelve of us were now in the same room. There was still a toilet and a food tent, but the food was, if that’s possible, even harder to identify. And you can forget about showers, functioning Wi-Fi or phone signal! In the beginning, I was restless, but you get used to it, and the silence and stillness bring harmony, even for a restless soul like me. Climbing mountains is like meditating. There’s no space to think of anything else; things that are happening at home or elsewhere in the world. It’s just you and the mountains: a magnificent landscape where you have to stay focused on every step. You have to be in the here and now. I love it. Up at high camp, we were hit with the bad weather Elbrus is famous for. The wind was so strong we could barely go to the toilet. The day after, everyone who had slept in tents that night had to pack up and go down, since their tents had been destroyed in the storm. We were supposed to have a rest day, but we learned through Krister that there was a weather gap and we’d head for the summit that same night. By that time, we’d spent a couple of nights up there, practised our crampon technique and made an acclimatisation trip to Lenz Rocks at 4500 meters. I was so excited and jittery that it was impossible to sleep. It also didn’t help that there were twelve people in the same room, and I’d forgotten to bring earplugs. Every toss and turn was audible, and the sleeping bags rustled loudly. So, when the alarm clock went off just after midnight, I hadn’t slept one bit. “How was this going to go?” I asked myself as I crammed a couple of biscuits into my mouth for breakfast. We’d already packed our bags the night before and prepared all the equipment. I’d also patched my feet to prevent chafing and adjusted the crampons to fit my boots. We were a group of twelve participants and four guides – in addition to Krister, we had three local guides. We divided ourselves into groups. Me and another girl went with a cool Russian girl, and for


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hours we hiked in the dark. Up, up and up, the only sound coming from the crampons against the snow.

I didn’t meet friends or family. I worked only to be able to afford to climb the next mountain.

We reached the Lenz Rocks by sunrise and began a traverse that seemed to continue forever. At last, we found ourselves on the pass where the north and south routes converge and turn steeply upwards. Our guide told us to look out for a line of “zombies coming from the south side”, explaining that most tourists ascend from the south. There you can take a lift to 3800 m and then ride a “piste basher” a further 1000 altitude meters. This results in many people not being sufficiently acclimatised when they try for the summit. We passed a tourist who lay vomiting. Our guide asked her how she was feeling, advising her to go down. “No! Summit!” was the response. At that very moment my stomach started go crazy because of the altitude. I had no choice but to do a number two in the middle of this highway of people, tied to a rope with my friends.

The advantage of having a project like this is that you force yourself to do something you might not otherwise have done. I probably would never have gone to Bosnia if it wasn’t for this project. Driving tiny roads where the houses in the villages are still peppered with bullet-holes, passing fields with huge monuments to the battles fought there and seeing signs with skulls warning you of landmines makes you extremely humble. It gives you an understanding of things you’ve only read about in books. To see the world and meet people while challenging yourself is one of the best things I know.

After we struggled up the hill, we could see the summit. I cried, knowing I would soon finally make it. However, there was no running to the finish line; we had to periodically stop and catch our breath, but we made it! The first half of the descent went well, then it was like my body just quit, exactly like when a car runs out of fuel. The sleepless night in combination with hardly eating for 12 hours finally took its toll. I lay down on the glacier, telling the others I couldn’t take another step. But our guide was hard on me, forcing me to get up and go down. Staggering, I reached high camp several hours later, where I promptly collapsed in my bed. Two hours later I woke up, glad to still be alive. After getting home from this adventure, I was restless. I’d climbed the highest mountain in Europe. What if climbed the highest mountain in every European country? Could an ordinary girl like me even do such a thing? I did two hours of research and decided to go for it! Even if I didn’t know that much about it, and wasn’t that fit, I’d learn and get fit enough. So, I went for it. I set a deadline of less than a year and made tremendous progress. Naturally, I started out with some easier mountains to build my experience. I went with guides for the more difficult mountains. And when I got tired of taking the easy way up, I began to challenge myself even more, teaching myself to ski and tackle mountains that way. I ascended Ben Nevis via the Ledge Route in winter and soloed the highest mountain on The Faroe Islands. I climbed craggy crests to the top instead of following the usual trails. I put my whole life on pause for a year to fully devote myself to this project.

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So, after coming home from climbing all those mountains, it was impossible to go back to a normal life. I took my van and drove down to the Alps to learn more. I hired a guide to teach me to lead more technical climbs on my own and together with a partner. When pursuing a risky sport such as alpine climbing, there’s nothing more important than safety. I almost died in an accident this summer on the Grand Jorasses-traverse. A load of rocks fell above me and a big one hit my head, causing me to faint and fall down the mountain. Thankfully, my partner saw this, wrapped his arms around a rock and managed to stop my fall - otherwise we both would have died. I got away with concussion and internal bleeding, but it was very clear: you must be able to trust your partner with your life. And in order to do that, you both need to have experience. Accidents can always happen, and I had a guardian angel when one happened to me. But you must not push your development too quickly when the risks are so high. It’s so important to learn the basics to understand what it is that you’re doing. Climb mountains with guides until you can do it alone. Take it step by step. For me the next step was to climb Ama Dablam in Nepal, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world at 6814 meters high. I’d trained in the Alps for two months and climbed mountains like the Matterhorn alone. I was ready. Ama Dablam was an amazing experience. Although I went there on a guided expedition, it was unlike any ascents I’d done before. In Nepal you climb with fixed ropes and have Sherpas carry everything and set up your camp. It does make ascents easier, and I’m glad of the experience, but this isn’t how I like to climb; I want to carry my own things. I want to fight in a storm and set up the tent on my own. I need to feel like I’m pushing my limits.


Alpine climbing is never an adrenaline rush for me. It’s more “pain & suffering” or “Type 2 Fun”. That is, it’s not always fun while you’re doing it, but feels great afterwards. Climbing mountains makes me a better person: I’ve stronger, both mentally and physically. I’ve never felt as good as I did until after I started climbing mountains. Climbing mountains is for everyone, not just the elite, and there needs to be different levels, different ways of doing it. It’s unrealistic for a beginner to embark on an alpine-style

route. We all need to do it in a way that suits where we’re at. For some, that might be walking up the western trail of Kebnekaise. For others, it could be spending a couple of months in Patagonia to get a weather gap long enough to climb Fitz Roy. I’m looking forward to my big project of 2021 – climbing all 82 4000-metre mountains in the Alps! Just thinking about it fills me with energy, happiness and excitement. There’s nothing I long for more than to be in the mountains again.

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START CLIMBING MOUNTAINS • • • • • • • • • • •

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Take a glacier course or intro course in alpine climbing to learn the basics Start with a “technically-easy” mountain to practice on Use guides until you have enough experience to do it on your own Always have an adventure planned to look forward to and practice for Join groups like Alpine Climbing and The Mountain Community on Facebook for inspiration and to learn about other people’s experiences Read books and watch movies of real adventures for inspiration Set the bar to a reasonable level in the beginning and work your way up as you gain more experience Find a climbing partner you can grow with Practice using your equipment before you do an expedition, so you’re comfortable using it even in a storm etc. Study climbing technique through textbooks and YouTube videos in your spare time – many mountain guides have published good material Ask more experienced people if you have any questions, many are very helpful


MOUNTAIN TIPS FOR THE BEGINNER Kebnekaise – the eastern route with a guide Snowdonia in Wales Rysy in Poland Galdhøpiggen in Norway Moldavenau in Romania

FOR SOMEONE WITH A LITTLE EXPERIENCE Zugspitze in Germany Triglav in Slovenia Maglic in Bosnia Coma Pedrosa in Andorra Olympos in Greece Gran Paradiso in Italy with a guide Elbrus with a guide

FOR SOMEONE WITH MORE EXPERIENCE Grossglockner in Austria (Studlgrat if you want to take it to the next level) Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, in Switzerland Gerlachovský stít in Slovakia Aiguille du Rochefort in France Aconcagua in Argentina Dent du Géant in France Matterhorn in Switzerland – Hörnli Ridge (Lions Ridge on the Italian side if you want to take it to the next level)

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ADAM ONDRA ONWARD AND UPWARD Text: Julia Möller / Photo: Black Diamond

When Adam Ondra climbed the world’s first (and so far only) 9c-graded route, he seemed to have reached the limit of what’s humanly possible in terms of climbing. So how does one of the world’s best climbers find new challenges and the motivation to continue to push boundaries? It was in September 2017 that Adam Ondra completed Silence: the 9c route in Norway’s Hanshelleren Cave, Flatanger. It’d be easy to think that he’d reached his absolute peak in climbing then and there, but Adam is a dreamer with a great love of challenges. So, this was just the beginning. - In climbing it’s very easy to find motivation, says Adam. There are just so many challenges all over the world and I have so many in my head, I basically can’t run out of projects. There are so many routes I’d like to climb and as more routes are constantly appearing, they just keep piling up. In a way, it’s kind of sad to know that I’ll never be able to climb all of them. But at the same time, it’s also cool, because I’ll always be entertained and challenged. And now a challenge awaits that’s bigger than most. Climbing has entered the Olympic program and when Hooked meets Adam he’s in the midst of training for the games. We’re curious as to how he thinks this new development will affect the sport. - I think climbing coming to the Olympics will have positive as well as negative effects on the sport. I think more people will probably start climbing because of it, which will result in climbing gyms becoming bigger and better. But I don’t think it will change outdoor climbing that much. I don’t think the crag will suddenly become overcrowded. And that’s good. But as more people start climbing, it’s our responsibility to educate them on how to behave at crags. We have to teach them that outdoor climbing isn’t the same as going to a climbing gym and that we all have to respect the environment. But for climbing as a sport, especially competitive climbing, the Olympics will have a positive impact. We return to Scandinavia and Adam’s first ascent of Silence. At the time of writing, no one but him has managed to climb that route. It has a very specific style, which Adam says suits him very well and gave him the courage to take on the project. But is there anyone else who is capable of tackling Silence?

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- I definitely think there are people at that level with the ability to climb 9c, as long as they invest a lot of time in it. Who do you think would make it? - I definitely think Alex Megos has the highest level. But I’m not sure that Silence, in particular, fits his style, or that he has the patience to work on it. Because you’re either strong enough to do it quickly (but I don’t think even Alex is strong enough to do it in only a few sessions) or you need the mindset to try the route over and over again. If you do, you must also stay positive and believe that it can produce results. That’s perhaps the most difficult part. ARE YOU PLANNING TO RETURN TO FLATANGER ANYTIME SOON? - Absolutely! There are many more projects in the cave that could be just as difficult as Silence. WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON SCANDINAVIAN CLIMBING CULTURE? IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF EUROPE? - I’d say that it’s actually quite small. Considering how much potential the Scandinavian countries have, the crags should be more developed. And it doesn’t actually rain as much you might think. I’d say that Flatanger is one of the drier places that I know of. In terms of climbing culture, I feel that every climbing community is a little different from the next. Adam has spent so much time in Flatanger that it’s become like a second home to him, and in addition to returning there again, there are other Scandinavian places calling to him. One such spot is the Burden of Dreams problem in Finland; the world’s first 9A boulder. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN NEW PROJECTS? - It differs a lot. Before I go to a new place, I try to see a picture of the crag. A picture usually says a lot, even though aesthetics isn’t the most important thing I look for in a new project. Sometimes aesthetic routes are boring to climb. For me, the most important thing about a climb is the beauty of


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BD Athlete Babsi Zangerl | Cadarese, Italy

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FIVE QUICK ONES! Indoor or outdoor Cliff Bar or banana T-shirt or no shirt Sport climbing or bouldering Beer or wine

the movement itself. That’s actually what I enjoy the most in climbing. It doesn’t have to be a route that looks good at first glance. Sometimes the blocs are hidden in the woods and covered with moss – but provide the opportunity for really cool moves. WHEN YOU AREN’T CLIMBING, HOW DO YOU EXERCISE? - Now with the Olympics approaching my training has become very specific because of the speed discipline. And because of that I also do lots of ”dry” workouts, like lifting weights and sprinting. But for normal climbing, I’d never do that. In my opinion, training for climbing should be mostly climbing itself. What lots of people are doing wrong is that they’re just adding more and more exercises besides climbing, ignoring the fact that if you want to be a good climber you have to mostly do climbing. Other types of exercise might make you stronger, but they won’t necessarily make you a better climber. In this issue of Hooked, we write about yoga for climbers; do you practice yoga and meditate? Does it help your performance? - Yes, I do it a lot and think it’s very important. It definitely

helps me to recover better which leads to an improved performance as I’m more relaxed and have more energy. And it also helps me to focus more when I really need it. WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON SUSTAINABILITY AND TRAVELLING A LOT FOR CLIMBING AND EVENTS ABROAD? - I think here in Europe we have a strong advantage. We don’t really have to travel across the whole word to climb the world’s best routes; we have them right here on our doorsteps. I try to travel mostly by car and avoid taking planes as much as possible. I’m pretty lucky to live within quite close driving distance to some good crags, and it’s easy to find lots of interesting things for me to climb. In order to seek out the most aesthetic routes, you may have to travel further, but when you’re looking for exciting movements, you can find them right in your backyard. In a way, it’s like seeing the beauty in something you may have ignored in the past and that’s kind of a way to make our climbing more sustainable, I think. WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST ALIVE? - When I’m climbing. Or when I’m underneath a crack looking up at a route. Actually, I feel alive pretty much all of the time – I’m living the dream!

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CHALK TALK Text: Olof Strömbäck / Photo: Emelie Voltaire

Climbing chalk – isn’t it just magnesium carbonate to keep your hands dry, so you don’t lose your grip? Well, yes – but it’s not that simple. There are connoisseurs of everything these days – even the premium chalk segment has grown rapidly in recent years, and premium chalk is marketed as “artisanal”. I met climbers and store employees Daniel and Thomas over a coffee (three coffees, actually) at the Addnature store. Together we explore the Addnature store’s range of chalk, chat about which types are available and discuss what’s hipster hype and what’s true when it comes to premium chalk.

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CHALK BALL OR LOOSE CHALK? On the table in front of us lies chalk in various forms: loose chalk (from Chalk Cartel and Metolius Super Chalk), a chalk ball (from Rock Technologies) and liquid chalk (Black Diamond’s Liquid White Gold). Which one is best is very individual and depends mainly on how much you sweat and your preferences. Many beginners tend to reach for the chalk ball first. Daniel picks up the white ball from the table and inspects it.

more and more aggressive shoes as you improve. The chalk ball is easier to use, but after a while, you’ll notice that it’s easier to dose loose chalk and work out exactly how much you want. Daniel agrees. – A chalk ball may be practical, but it’s not something you use your entire climbing career. With loose chalk, you take, or rather you get, a lot of chalk on your hands and then remove the excess until you have as much as you want.

LIQUID CHALK

– So, this is loose chalk in a ball-shaped bag. You’ll get less chalk on your hands; however, it lasts longer, making it an economical alternative. Many beginners buy chalk balls and use them when they’re starting out.

Let’s drop the chalk ball and move on to liquid chalk. Neither Thomas nor Daniel use liquid chalk on its own; instead, Thomas says that it’s not uncommon to mix liquid chalk and loose chalk.

Thomas says: – I can understand that line of thinking: you put your hand in the bag, squeeze the ball, and you have the right amount of chalk on your hands. Or pretty much the right amount, anyway.

– Many combine liquid chalk with other types of chalk, where the liquid chalk becomes a base layer. The bottle usually contains chalk mixed with alcohol that dries the skin. So, you rub your hands in it and let the alcohol dry. Then you have a good layer of chalk which you can then apply another type chalk on top of.

– With loose chalk you get thick layers of chalk on your hands, which I think is nice because I like to climb with a lot of chalk, says Daniel. You get used to it, but not everyone likes the feeling of the chalk in the beginning. My girlfriend, for example, doesn’t want her hands to become completely dehydrated, and so a chalk ball may be preferable to loose chalk. For Thomas, chalk balls are popular for beginner climbers during the initial learning period. – Everyone I know uses loose chalk; you’ll get there eventually. I don’t know anyone who’s been climbing more than a year and still uses a chalk ball. As with most new hobbies, it takes a while before you know what you need. It’s a bit like buying

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and is sometimes an ingredient in liquid chalk. Chalk without alcohol isn’t quite so dehydrating and thus more gentle on the skin. – Not all liquid chalks have alcohol in them, but this one does, Daniel continues, reading the information on Black Diamond’s Liquid White Gold. It also smells like roses, he says with a hint of irony in his voice. It will dry out your hands, but if you’re doing a lot of rope climbing, for example, you can use this as a base and then top-up with loose chalk on top as you go. I would never use liquid chalk by itself; when you need to climb a problem, unlike loose chalk, you have to wait for it to dry first.

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PREMIUM CLIMBING CHALK Finally, it’s time to talk about Chalk Cartel’s ‘The quarter - Guerilla Grind’, which represents the highend segment of what we have on the table today. A 250 g packet costs €23. Both Daniel and Thomas admit that’s quite expensive but agree it’s worth it. – It lasts well on your hands and offers excellent grip. Sometimes, when you climb a problem, you can’t stop halfway and chalk up more. You want the chalk to hold all the way, and this one does just that. When I use cheaper chalk, I notice that it often wears off after a problem. If you, like me, get very sweaty hands when you climb, I’d choose this one over the others, says Thomas. Daniel agrees. – I think it’s like this: people sweat different amounts from their hands. I sweat a lot, so I need a chalk that dries properly. But if you already have dry skin, there’s no point in having very dry chalk that further dries out your hands. In this case, maybe it’s better to have something that’s not as strong and doesn’t dry out. - At least with this, I can’t blame the chalk if I climb poorly, says Thomas. It’s more expensive, but as it dries out a little more, you may not need to use as much as with other brands. I wouldn’t go so far as to think that you’re saving money for that reason, but I think it’s better chalk.

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Natural hues sourced from sustainable plants add depth and authenticity for a lived-in aesthetic.

Soft. Biodegradable. Renewable.

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THE INVOLUNTARY CLIMBER FROM FEAR OF HEIGHTS TO HOOKED Text: Julia Mรถller / Photo: Emelie Voltaire

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“I think all of us humans have some ape genes inside, and that we just want to climb up” – Adam Ondra

Climbing is a big part of Addnature’s identity, but not everyone identifies with the sport. Robert Tusseus from our Customer Service is very hesitant about climbing. And heights. And climbers. But we think it’s possible – in just four months – to not only get him over his fears, but even get him hooked on climbing. Reluctantly, he’s accepted the challenge. ”My general attitude is to stay away from heights at all costs” - Robert Robert is 31 years old, lives in Stockholm and is a seasoned downhill cyclist and skier. The sports Robert engages in fulfil most of the criteria for extreme sports. High speeds: check. Advanced gear: check. Physical exertion: check. Nowadays, he’s totally comfortable doing these sports and after many years of practice can no longer call himself a beginner. So, what would happen if he was a complete beginner at a sport, which also contained elements that he not only found uncomfortable but also embodied his greatest fear? Can we get him to stop worrying and learn to love climbing? That Robert is perfect for this experiment is in large part thanks to his unwavering honesty. If he doesn’t say it, his facial expressions reveal exactly what he’s feeling. We gave him a call and explained our idea. The answer came quickly and spontaneously: - I’m already sweating from both face and ass. To understand why Robert reacts as he does, we need to explore his feelings a bit. To help us do this, we’ve brought in Jens Driessen, a psychologist who focuses on cognitive behavioural therapy. We’ve asked Jens to analyse the project from a cognitive perspective, as well as to give Robert tips on

how to best face his fears. According to Jens, Robert’s brain already sees this as something that could be dangerous and risky for him. - That Robert starts sweating is due to a process that begins when you get scared. The respiratory rate increases to provide the muscles with oxygen and the heart pumps blood out to large muscle groups. The brain changes its priorities, becomes problem-oriented and sharpens focuses on potential dangers and threats. Fear is supposed to help us in a situation that could be potentially harmful for us. For the brain to learn what’s an actual danger and what’s a perceived danger, we need to train it: training that Robert’s about to undertake. But first, we ask Jens the crucial question: ”why should Robert start climbing?” - From a psychological point of view, it’s always rewarding to challenge oneself and one’s fears. Climbing is an activity that, in addition to physical exercise, helps us focus on the here and now. Many climbers describe how while climbing, they have to stay so focused that they let go of any anxiety and worry. Climbing forces us to be in the here and now, or consciously present, if you wish.

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TIGHT-FITTING SHOES AND BAGGY PANTS

BOULDERING, STAGE FRIGHT AND SOCIAL ANXIETY

”When I think of climbers, I think of baggy Prana pants, handwoven slippers and tofu.” - Robert

”What should I do to not look like an idiot?” - Robert

We meet with Robert at the Addnature store early one morning before opening to test his equipment. He gets to try out the harness that will keep him alive and sees how it will sit above his hips to keep him safe. Trying on the harness reminds him of his fear of heights. Then he tries on the shoes, which should fit snugly but not hurt. He thinks they do. In addition, he identifies another sore point: - I think being a beginner is what really sucks. I hate being a beginner and climbing seems like a sport where you’re not allowed to be a beginner. My feeling is that climbers are difficult people who don’t like to spend time with others outside their own group. This will make it even more difficult to get into the sport. The time has come for Robert to face his fears and prejudices at Klätterverket in Stockholm.

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All of us have once been a beginner at a new sport. And many of us have experienced the feeling of getting in the way of the pros or that we don’t really deserve to be there as beginners. What should the others in the group think? There’s a concept within cognitive behavioural therapy called ”mind reading”. You show up on the first day with climbing shoes in hand and go to put on your harness – convinced that your new-found climbing buddies will judge you mercilessly. You get nervous that you’re going to put your foot through the wrong strap, take too much time to figure out what’s back and front. ”How is this fella going to survive”, you imagine them whispering behind your back. This is exactly how Robert felt entering the climbing gym for the first time. - I’m worried that the other climbers will think I’m a loser. The last time I was in a climbing gym, it was so overcrowded that I sat down by the wall and just watched. Then I went home. Now I don’t dare take up space, I get stage fright and don’t want to go up to the wall.


Jens Driessen says it is common to have this type of social anxiety. But it’s also something we create in our own heads, and reality usually looks completely different.

with others. He wants to have people to high five at the end of the trail. Therefore, sport is pretty social for him. So, what differentiates climbing from skiing and cycling?

- Most people who doing sport are more focused on what they’re doing, not on judging others. On the contrary, seeing someone getting into a sport can reinforce them how far they’ve come in their own development. In this situation, Robert should be open about being a beginner, because most people recognise and remember that feeling. See it from the other climbers’ perspective, because the experienced climbers probably don’t react as he thinks they do. How does Robert interact with beginners within his own sports?

- It’s mainly bouldering I have difficulties with because it feels like I’m walking onto a stage with everyone’s eyes focused on my back. But it’s probably just my own insecurity because this isn’t something I experience with my other sports.

It’s been many years since Robert himself felt like a beginner at a sport. With a father who worked as a ski instructor, he grew up skiing. He started cycling with friends who were at the same level.

- I haven’t encountered any of my prejudices. What I’d previously seen as douchey behaviour is really just people being passionate, just as I am when I’m having fun. And let’s be honest, it’s not just in climbing that you see such behaviour. If you’ve been at après-ski at Timmerstugan in Åre when the champagne starts flowing, you’ll know what I mean.

- With cycling, I see myself as an inclusive person. But I probably act differently with skiing and can unfortunately be somewhat exclusionary. It’s not uncommon for people to consider themselves experienced skiers, but in truth they go skiing one week a year and don’t have the experience required to ski where I want to ski. Then I feel that this person is holding me back. But it’s also difficult to compare it to climbing, because a beginner at skiing must be able to get down safely, whereas a climber is going up and can choose to stop. Off-piste, it’s harder for beginners and those with experience to ski together. Robert always does sport in groups. Not just for safety reasons, but also because he wants to share his experience

- What I have noticed is how in the beginning climbing differs completely when it comes to the opportunities for beginners and experienced to be in the same arena. If you have a green card you can belay someone who’s much better than you. Robert’s preconceptions were quickly put to rest.

Instead, Robert only encountered support and encouragement from the climbing community – most people want to share what makes them happy. - At Klätterverket, I got held up (not robbed! – ed’s note) at the cash register when I was on my way in, because they were interested in the project and thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. They wanted to share their experiences and encourage me to get started. I’ve never had so much support as a beginner as I have with climbing.

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TIPS FROM THE COACH Claudia’s best tips on getting started climbing

• Practise with people who are better than you – you’ll progress faster than if you practise with people at same level as you. • Take it easy and do the problem or route to the best of your abilities. Overthinking it will take the fun out of it. • Focus on your goal and how to get there – instead of looking down! • Breathe – it’s the key to everything.

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TOP ROPE CLIMBING AND VERTIGO ”I’d forgotten I’m scared of heights.” - Robert ”Being afraid of heights makes perfect sense. A height is in itself perilous, so a fear of them has been and continues to be an evolutionary advantage”, says Jens Driessen. But when your fear of heights turns your legs to jelly on the mountainside, it’s not so helpful anymore. Jens says that through practice we should build enough experience to help our brain make a more realistic assessment of the situation. - When we engage in a novel activity, our brain creates new synaptic connections. Therefore, what starts as an overgrown path increasingly turns into a broad trail of synapses. This eventually leads to motor memory and enough accumulated experience to realise that the situation at hand is under control and not so dangerous. For Robert to get the best possible climbing coaching he can, various experienced colleagues have been helping him out. One of them is Claudia Adamo. Claudia started climbing six years ago, when a handsome bartender at her work took her on a date to a climbing gym. Nothing developed between the two, but she did fall in love with climbing. Since then, she’s attended the Lofotens Adult Education Program (Folkhögskola) for climbing and ski touring. She was initially afraid of both heights and getting hurt, meaning it took a while for her to get herself outside of her comfort zone. - What helped me was focusing on my goals and how to get there. My climbing instructor said that if climbing is something I was serious about, I’d have to work hard to challenge myself. This is how it went the first time Claudia and Robert went top rope climbing together: Robert: - Shouldn’t we bring someone along to belay for us? Claudia: - I can belay. I have green and red cards. Robert: - Red card? Doesn’t that mean you’re NOT allowed to belay? Robert finally managed to summit, but says he was scared to death: - I got up to the top but felt sick and just wanted to get down again.

But there’s more to it than that, Jens explains: - A person afraid of heights walking across a bridge walks warily and tenses up, like it’s dangerous to cross. The trick in this situation is to alter your behaviour, because if you continue to act cautiously you also retain your fear of heights. To solve this, go out onto the bridge and act as if you are free from fear. Jump up and down, swing your arms, spin around, fall towards the railing - everything to the contrary of your intuitive fear. This breaks the loop. Regarding Robert’s predicament, his goal should be to rescale the height but at the same time rethink his behaviour. - Robert should let his feet dangle or try only keeping one foot and hand on the grips. Varying your behaviour is more important than climbing far up the wall. Only focusing on summiting will not help you improve your climbing, says Jens. Varying his approach to climbing comes naturally to Robert while challenging himself on increasingly harder routes. - I focus on my footwork, aiming to climb the route as smoothly as possible, focusing my breathing and not choosing paths that put me in a compromising situation. This approach makes me feel relaxed and less afraid. Changing your behaviour in a scary situation is one part of the solution; the other is rethinking your attitude. Jens engages Robert in a game to help him adopt another mindset: - Robert should climb with real purpose, aiming at being the driving force by playing ”climbing catch” (see below). This way, he transforms himself into the lion on the savannah and goes into hunt mode. Robert recalls how the times he’s felt afraid while mountain biking were when he wasn’t sure of the terrain, how to tackle a line with a big drop or just being close to the precipice. In these situations, his own trick is to relax and plan the route, then either slowly roll through it to scope it out or ask someone who’s more familiar with it. All of these are easily applicable to climbing. After four months of climbing, Robert’s fear of heights is still there, but his approach to it is slowly changing. - The height is a secondary consideration now. My primary focus is to complete the route and prove to myself that I can do it. Nowadays I don’t want to get off the wall to escape the height, but to get back down and give my climbing buddy a high five!

The common advice for dealing with most phobias is to expose yourself to your fear.

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BUDDY CHECKS AND TRUST ”The ropes are making cracking noises, how often are they inspected?” With a fear of heights, the focus is often on how high a particular climb takes you. But that fear can extend to the things designed to stop you falling, like your harness or the person belaying the rope. - You have to adjust your climbing according to what scares you. It can be frightening handing over control to another person or placing your trust in a piece of equipment. In this instance Robert can practice falling until he builds up enough trust for the equipment, and until he feels his climbing buddy is in control. He can start out close to the ground and gradually increase the height. Climb up a bit and let go. According to Jens, to become a confident climber, you must first dare to fall. Since Robert’s main worry was falling due to equipment failure, we put him through fall practice. - My new-found ability to check my climbing equipment helped me stay calm. It feels good taking responsibility for it

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yourself, regardless of the sport. I used to blindly trust anyone belaying me. We did our equipment checks and off I’d go. It’s been great climbing here with someone who has a lot of experience. If I was climbing with another beginner like me, I’d have been nervous with them belaying me. Robert’s breakthrough came during his third visit to the climbing hall. It was the first time he made it to 14 metres – and it scared him to death. But down on the ground there was someone he trusted and getting back down to the ground, his sense of accomplishment outweighed his fear. - It’s hard to put into words the feeling I get from climbing; other than it feels freakin’ great! Every time I leave, I feel like I’ve accomplished something new together with motivating people – that feeling has me coming back for more. What’s the next step for you? - I’m going to continue practising my technique, get a green card and start climbing outdoors with my colleagues. What’s your attitude now towards being a beginner at a sport? - I’m much more open to the idea now. I think that when I realise something is more fun than I expected it to be, the beginner’s anxiety dissipates. And that if you want a steep learning curve, try a new sport.


THE PSYCHOLOGIST’S GAME OF “CLIMBING CATCH” GOOD FOR: Activating your hunting instinct (to distract from fear) and endurance RULES: Like a regular game of ”It”, but instead of running away, everyone starts on the climbing wall. Spread out on the wall, close to the ground, and choose who’s ”it”. That person then has to climb to and tag another player. That person, in turn, becomes It and has to tag another player. Whoever is It and gets a tag, gets off the wall and takes a breather until the new It tags someone. Only climb horizontally, for safety.

ROBERT’S TAKE-AWAY GOOD FOR: Problem-solving, dynamic movements and creative thinking RULES: Create a route on the bouldering wall with at least 20 grips or enough to create a problematic route. Mark these grips with chalk. Let everyone in the group climb the route once. The last person to climb the route gets to remove one of the grips – just remove the chalk mark from it. Now everyone can climb once more, but without using the removed grip. Those who can’t climb the new route are out of the game. Continue removing grips, until only one climber remains.

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THE HISTORY OF CLIMBING Text: Lina Samuelsson / Photo: Greg Epperson

FROM ADVENTURE FOR THE FEW TO A SPORT FOR THE MASSES It was almost 50 years ago that the mountain mules of the Swedish Alpine Association morphed into the climbing enthusiasts of the Climbing Association. And today there's a climbing gym within a stone's throw almost wherever you are in the country. Hooked fills us in on how it went down. The year is 1974. Mike Graham, 18, has just set up camp in the Yosemite Valley. He's found his people – a group of long-haired and unwashed hippies, men and women, who have unscrupulously turned the magnificent national park into their own backyard, through sheer willpower, muscle, white knuckles and a whole rucksack full of epic bandanas. "All of us were aware of what was going on in surfing and we all thought that those guys were bitchin', you know. They had style; they had the style, and that's what we started bringing to climbing – a certain style. It started with the clothes – the white painter pants and the chalk bag and then the headband. And then you wouldn't use a whole lot of protection to show how big your balls were", Dean Fidelman, one of Mike Graham's peers, told GQ Style. Climbing was dangerous and challenging. It was an expression of a new generation and a cultural revolution that grabbed hold of the US and refused to let go. The year is 1974. Svenska Alpinistförbundet (Swedish Alpine Association), a small break-away group from the Svenska Fjällklubben (Swedish Mountain Club), has just changed its name to Svenska Klätterförbundet (Swedish Climbing Association) and released the third stencilled edition of its Bergsport magazine. Sweden's climbing community is small and consists mainly of outdoor types with an infectious enthusiasm and passion not only for rugged crags but also for the Swedish mountains, forest wildlife and skiing. In early stencilled editions of Bergsport, they share routes and mountains, and in June 1977, Lasse Svadängs

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recommends the mountain Hellingen near Lysekil with the addition: "Ask the farmer if you can camp in the meadow below the mountain (...) the same farmer has horses in the aforementioned meadow during the summer." While American hippies with bandanas were conquering rock walls in the Yosemite National Park, Sweden's climbers were into everything from hiking to hot chocolate. Yes, in many ways Sweden was probably something of its own microcosm in the climbing world. An oasis where ideas and thoughts about the meaning and practice of climbing could be tossed around, uninfluenced by the outside world. And conversely, Yosemite's long-haired hippies were their own tribe, isolated in time and space. These microcosms of climbing have left indelible marks in the development of the sport. Add Czechoslovakia and East Germany to that list, with their special relationship with bolts and belays (that is, until the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 80s meant bolted routes became scarcer and more difficult). Another example is Sheffield in the UK, with its fearless relationship with sandstone. A third might be that sense of belonging so prevalent in the Swedish Bohuslän climbing club. These tiny universes have been invaluable to climbing culture. It's typically within these small enclaves that new routes are discovered, new norms established and new ambitions and dreams – each year a little bigger and bolder – are formulated.


PROFILES Erik Massih has been climbing since the beginning of the 90s – spending a large part of his adult life living out of a suitcase with climbing as his only interest. He's climbed over 300 routes – including multiple grade 8s – and has taken on big walls all over the world. Today, Erik lives in Bagarmossen in Stockholm with his two children and wife; climber Sofia Sandgren Massih. He also runs the company Aurora Outdoor which acts as an agency for the brands Five Ten and Walltopia. Erik's next dreams are to go to the Cirque of the Unclimbables in north-western Canada, Tsaranoro in Madagascar, and the awe-inspiring Cerro Torre in Chaltén, Patagonia. Per Calleberg has been climbing since the late 70s, when he discovered the sport as an exchange student in West Virginia, USA. Per spent almost all his free time from the 70s to the early 00s climbing and has published the books Klippklättring (1986), Stora Klippklättringsboken (2001) and Klättrarens själ (2005). Per lives in Bromma with his partner Lisa, who's a psychotherapist, and their two cats Totte and Tingeling. He works as a psychologist with a focus on crisis management .Per prefers medium-hard and long routes in the wild. His dream destinations are Salbitschijen Westgrat in Switzerland and Espolón Central at Puig Campana in Spain.

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THE SPIRIT OF CLIMBING Despite their superficial cultural differences, these scenes have much in common – which Per Calleberg and Erik Massih are both keen to emphasise. Both are experienced climbers and have been climbing a long time: Per since 1978, and Erik since the early 90s. Even though I spoke to them on different occasions, they both emphasise how rock climbers have historically been characterised as rulebreakers who aspire to move beyond societal norms. - "For sure, there's something about that lack of rules that's attractive. It's about getting outside and conquering new goals, new heights, without having to be on time or conform," says Erik Massih. He started climbing alone on a ten-metre high boulder behind his school, without any equipment or knowledge that a sport called climbing existed. Or as Per Calleberg puts it: - I mean, climbing was looked upon with great scepticism, and for us climbers, that was something to be proud of. - It was sort of an anti-mode, almost like a political thing to climb. People thought we were weird; they didn't really understand what we were doing. Is it still like that? - No, it's changed completely.

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Or as Erik Massih comments: - Today, everyone has seen The Dawn Wall, or Free Solo – people who don't even climb. The Swedish climbing community was small for a long time. It was a group that knew each other well and kept to themselves, and until the mid '80s, climbing was viewed with some scepticism. If you climbed, you lead climbed, outdoors – alternatives didn't exist – and the dedication and equipment required for rock climbing meant only a small and highly-dedicated crowd of enthusiasts did it. - They had a climbing wall in the basement of Mariaskolan, which they put up sometime around '83, '84, after painting students used it to practice wallpapering, says Per Calleberg. The grips were made of wooden blocks, and I had a friend, Daniel Bidner, who got completely into that – he climbed for hours and said it was like climbing a multi-pitched route down in the Alps, but without ropes. Much of the local climbing community centred around the publication of the Bergsport magazine, which featured everything from new routes to debates and information about local climbing meetings. The magazine, which still exists today, recalls in a series of articles how the focal points have shifted during the five decades since it came into being.


THE 80s The 80s were characterised not only by Paolo Roberto's crazy part in Stockholmsnatt or singer Carola's yellow jumpsuit, but also by an enthusiasm for climbing which grew, albeit slowly, as the climbers' Lycra tights got even more colourful. In Bergsport, the 1980s was an era of fierce debates. The climbing world was, perhaps because of its origins as the Alpine Association, sensitive to all matters concerning environmental impact on forest and land. In addition to chipping (using a hammer and chisel to create artificial holds in natural rock) – which is today unanimously condemned by most climbing societies – bolted routes and even the use of chalk were also hot topics. The former may seem immoral, while bolting and chalk are today normal parts of the sport. However, in the 80s, climbing culture was still in its infancy and new technology demanded new norms – norms that were often negotiated through heated quarrels within climbing societies. - A motion in 1981 at the Climbing Association's annual meeting suggested banning – or at least distancing from – climbers that focused on performance-oriented climbing. The view was that these performance climbers didn't have the same respect for nature, and wanted the association to unanimously condemn performance climbing. It may seem strange today, but in 1981, many shared this opinion, says Per Calleberg. In 1987, Berg published Arne Nordin's telling "Borrboltsvisan" song. Drill bolted routes were somewhat controversial in the climbing world at the time, and an extremely divisive topic.

BORRBULTSVISAN

(Arne Nordin. Song: Josefin med Symaskin) We climb much better with our dear drill drilledill-dill-dill, drille’-drille’-drille drain and even better it gets with pot and cocaine cocaine-aine-aine, coca-coca-cocaine!

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THE 90s Erik Massih has been climbing long enough to be considered a veteran. He has experienced almost all types of climbing since his teenage years, when he boarded the train from Västerås to Stockholm to buy his first climbing shoes. He has also climbed over three hundred 8-graded routes around the world. When I ask him how his generation of climbers – who primarily did outdoor lead climbing, (because indoor climbing was still a small niche in the 90s) – differed from previous generations, he thinks for a moment before responding. - I guess all generations want to stand out from the ones before them in some way, and we were no different. But we were a pretty small crowd who all knew each other, and we wanted to outshine previous generations. We wanted to climb harder routes, and become better than the previous generation of sports climbers, but without being told how to climb. Although climbing had got a bit grittier, and while the performance-oriented sports climbing of the 80's suddenly seemed a bit ridiculous, it certainly hadn't died out. Hungry

new climbers wanted to get back to basics. They yearned for real adventures on the rock walls that, as early as the 70s, the Swedish Climbing Association had carved into with such frenzy. In 1994, the first major establishment of indoor climbing was inaugurated, Klätterverket in Sickla, which became a turning point for climbing. Suddenly, climbing was available as a leisure activity for everyone, rather than being a special pastime for the inveterate madman. After all, rock climbing requires not only in-depth knowledge of routes and equipment – but also time-consuming excursions and expeditions to remote places. Indoor walls, on the other hand, made it possible to climb in a completely different way than before. Now people (or at least for those who lived in the capital) had climbing facilities a bus ride away and could climb difficult routes repeatedly, without bad weather hindering progress. More women also got into climbing in the 90s: Renata Chlumska was the first Swedish woman to climb Everest, and Ingela Nilsson made a name for herself in sports climbing. Bouldering also started to gain popularity.

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THE 00s Interest in climbing of all types exploded in the 00s, probably because climbing gyms popped up not just all over Stockholm, but also around the country. This increased accessibility led to increased demand, meaning more people could try climbing – unlike previous generations' climbing kids, who often got into climbing only by knowing seasoned older climbers. The climbing community grew rapidly, and as Per Calleberg puts it: - Up until the end of the 90s, you usually knew the people out there climbing. Now it's a pleasant surprise if you know anyone at all! Documentaries such as Free Solo and The Dawn Wall helped make climbing even more popular. Its norms and forms of expression have become more standardised – largely because of the internet, which has mostly taken over from Bergsport as the voice of Swedish climbing.

many people with the patience to get good at outdoor climbing. However, the sport is more accessible in general, which gives more people the opportunity to discover its charms. - When I started, it was "all of nothing", in a way. Now it's so easy – I mean, I'm super grateful that there are indoor walls, because I have a family and have abandoned that life where there was only climbing. Now I have so much else to be grateful for. And you can climb more in a few hours today [on indoor walls, ed. note] than you could during a whole day in the past. Per Calleberg, is somewhat sceptical of today's climbers, who seem like eager puppies compared to previous generations' alpinists. - They come from a different culture," he says. "It's like they want to climb everything so fast. Before, it took you a few years before you could climb a 6-graded route. But now it's like people want to climb 6 routes almost the first season they climb, so there's no patience. And there's a lot of bolting where bolting isn't necessary."

“... there are still small enclaves, small universes left, where an almost fanatical type of climbing and outlaw mentality still prevail”

These days, it's difficult to ascertain which climbing microcosm influences the sport the most, and new routes and destinations are popularised just as much by famous climbers as by prominent blogs and word of mouth. But despite this increase in the number of climbers, it seems outdoor climbing hasn't had quite the same upswing in popularity as indoor climbing. One reason for this is because outdoor climbing requires more investment when it comes to time, money and equipment. Erik Massih believes there are no more people today who can climb super-tough routes; less, in fact, percentagewise. One reason is that indoor walls don't prepare you for the challenges of a tricky rock wall – and because indoor climbing is so accessible and comfortable, there aren't so

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But even though climbing walls have undeniably and inevitably changed the climbing landscape – both in terms of who climbs and how to climb – there are still small enclaves, small universes left, where an almost fanatical type of climbing and outlaw mentality still prevail. Erik Massih, who's spent much of his adult life as a nomad with climbing for breakfast, lunch and dinner, lightens up when he talks about the climbing environment in Bohuslän: - "So, in Bohuslän, there's a bunch of young climbers who live in a clubhouse together and climb around the clock. They have their own thing going on. So, the spirit lives on – it makes me feel warm inside when I see it."


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THE BEST BOULDERING SPOTS IN STOCKHOLM Text: Olof Strömbäck / Photo: Emelie Voltaire

Do you spend a little too much time on 27 Crags? Then you’re in good company, alongside many of us at Addnature. To help sift through the enormous range, we got some help from Thomas and Daniel; climbers and co-workers in the Addnature store. These guys climb as much as they can and were happy to highlight some bouldering spots that they think are worth a visit. They also focused on places in the Stockholm area that can be reached by public transport.

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MÖRBY After a short approach from Mörby Centrum, you’ll arrive at Mirage. This hard boulder offers cool moves and is located right beneath the water. The location itself makes it well worth a visit for climbers in the Stockholm area. The section consists of a large stone with several problems and a clear focus on seven and upwards in grading. The Mirage 7B + has some overhangs and a knee lock that allows you to hold on to very small grips because the knee relieves so much of your body weight. The stone quality is superb with smooth and ergonomic grips. The quality is a bit different and it has a red tone to it which gives it a special character. Daniel comments on how the stone quality stands out: ”It’s good stone quality throughout. It differs a little from other places we’ve talked about so far. It’s smoother and perhaps a bit more ergonomic. And a great swimming spot.” Mirage has a pretty obstructed landing area, so this is probably not a place you want to climb on your own. It’s mainly when you are to top the stone that there is a risk of falling. Bring an extra crashpad and an attentive spotter. If you’re looking for a harder boulder with a visually pleasing location, then Mirage won’t disappoint.

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LÅNGHOLMEN At Långholmen, centrally located near Hornstull, lies Houdini; one of Stockholm’s hardest boulder problems. The boulder appears to be submerged between a gap in the cliff; with the outer edges of the stone resting against the surrounding rock. It almost looks like the cliff is holding it under its arms. This unique position creates free space under the stone and gives the problem a bit of a floating illusion. What Daniel and Thomas like about Houdini is that it offers very cool moves and is in a great location. You can easily take the metro to Hornstull and then it’s only a short distance to walk out to Långholmen. Houdini is an excellent choice for those who’ve been climbing for a long time and are looking for a tough new challenge. Although there are some easier problems at Houdini, there’s a clear focus on harder ones. The sitting start is notoriously hard, but you can also start a little more in the middle, which makes the problem easier. ”If you do the whole problem from the bottom up, it’s definitely one of Stockholm’s most difficult,” says Daniel and Thomas. Houdini has a clear landing zone. The only thing that’s worth keeping in mind is that there’s a small risk of falling into a rock on the side of the problem. So, it might make sense to put an extra crashpad there if you feel it’s needed. And bring a spotter. Långholmen is a bit of an oasis in the city and there’s a fantastic selection of restaurants and cafes nearby for when you need to replenish your energy. Being close to water makes it a perfect place to hang in the summer. Bring swimwear!

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NOCKEBY On each side of Drottningsolmsvägen are the sections Nockeby and Nockeby 2. You can easily get there via the Nockeby track and the area is aesthetically pleasing, with several grades. The problem that stands out a little extra is the Moonlander; with variants of difficulty levels up to 8B. This is a really cool block that’s full of moves that make it fun to climb. ”Nockeby 2 is a nice block with many cool moves.” says Daniel. ”Nockeby 1 also has some cool problems in very varying degrees of difficulty.” Thomas adds. Nockeby is an excellent location if you want loads of problems to choose from – since it’s walking distance between Nockeby, which is a wall and Nockeby 2, which is a single block.

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FARSTA STRAND If you’re short on time and just want to head to one spot, Farsta Strand is a great choice. Take the subway or commuter train to Farsta Strand and it’s just a short walk to Farsta Boulder. Since it’s so easy to get there, it’s the perfect place to make sure a bouldering session actually happens. Many of the problems are nearly the same however (as people have done their best to milk out as many as possible) but it’s still very nice there. That’s just something to keep in mind before you go. Daniel explains: ”Farsta has problems that on another block might just have been one problem, but since it’s so central and easy to get to, there are maybe four versions of it. They’ve tried to get as much climbing out of it as possible.” Farsta Boulder emphasises hard lines, but there are also easier degrees too. A fun classic at the section is the amusingly named Jimpan’s Butt Start which can also be made a little easier if you try the 6C version. Farsta Boulder

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has an urban feel and the texture of the rock is quite rough and porous so the stone quality isn’t the best. However, Daniel and Thomas agree that overcoming this is part of the charm of climbing the block. Even though Farsta Boulder has a lot of tougher problems, there is still a satisfying spread of difficulties. This is a prime place for experienced climbers and those who’ve practised for a while climbing gyms but are now want to climb outdoors. ”If you haven’t climbed outside before then it’s a great place to start as a beginner because there’s such a range of difficulty. Compared to going to a block where there are only really harder problems, and then maybe you can only make like one move or so. ” The landing is nice enough to make Farsta a commendable destination for solo climbing and several of the problems don’t reach very high. In many cases, you traverse at a lower altitude. The cliff is right next to a playground, so it’s perfect for parents that climb together.


ORHEM For those looking for a more natural experience, Daniel and Thomas recommend Orhem. It’s a bit more of a trek to get there than the other places, but it’s definitely worth it. Orhem is the perfect place for a group of friends made up of climbers on slightly different levels because it’s so mixed in difficulty. Simply put, there’s something for everyone: options for beginners who’ve come straight from the climbing hall but also harder boulders for those who’ve been climbing for a long time. Orhem is right on the Flaten and you can easily get there by bus from Gullmarsplan or from Skarpnäck. After a short approach, you’re there. There’s so many options it’d take more than a day to climb everything that’s available. So, what does Orhem have to offer? There are several sections, but we can start with Christers Väggar: a long wall with many problems varying in difficulty from 4 up to 7C. What’s fun about Christers Väggar is that even the easier problems are enjoyable to climb. ”If you’re a beginner, Orhem is probably the best choice of all the places we’ve mentioned. Just because there is so much there, in all kinds of grades. ” Says Thomas. One of these problems is Jonnas Klätterträd; a problem graded up to 6b but which, thanks to its nice grip and fun

moves, can still be appreciated by the more experienced climber. For mid-level climbers, it’s absolutely perfect as it feels very rewarding. The grips are reminiscent of indoor grips so it’s also suitable for those who’ve just started climbing outdoors. Daniel tells us: ”Jonnas Klätterträd is so much fun. If you haven’t climbed for a long time but want to try outdoor climbing, it’s absolutely perfect. Nice grip and fairly low height.” The stone quality in Orhem is generally favourable, although it’s quite rough in its places. The landing is good as the ground at Christer’s walls is smooth with only a couple of roots in the ground. Thomas describes how favourable landing conditions can actually impact a climber’s performance: ”It’s easier to get in and focus on just the climbing itself”. Daniel agrees, ”The landing is part of what makes a problem good.” So, if you’ve got a group of friends who’ve set aside a day for climbing (and want to escape the city and see some trees) Orhem is the perfect place. When it’s time for a break, we can also recommend Torpet in Orhem. The café is open during the summer and has everything you could possibly want to top up your energy levels – including vegan and gluten-free options.

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TARGETED TRAINING Text: Olof Strömbäck / Photo: Nayton Rosales

The learning curve at the beginning of your climbing career can feel as steep as the wall itself. Each visit to the climbing hall brings new personal records, and you’re soon flashing reds and getting ever closer to mastering that tricky 6C. But then something happens – you hang there with both hands on the top grip, weeks go by and you can barely manage to do harder problems. You’ve reached your first plateau. But don’t worry! A little hangboard training might be just what you need.

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Many of us have been (or still are) where you are now. That’s why we’ll be going through some functional exercises you can do at home with your fingerboard. We’ll focus on grip strength but also present a few other effective exercises that strengthen the entire upper body. Let’s start by going through some simple basics for hangboard training.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND Exercising with a board is relatively straightforward, but some things are good to know if you’re just starting out. WARM-UP PROPERLY Start by warming up your shoulders and arms by making large circles with your arms. Get your heart rate up a bit by jogging on the spot or doing a few jumping jacks. Then move your fingers. Open and close your hands and maybe squeeze a stress ball to get them warmed up. Then start on the hangboard’s easiest grips and do a few warm-up sets before starting the workout itself. ENGAGE YOUR BACK & SHOULDERS Just like when you climb, you want to use the entire upper body musculature. The same applies for when you exercise on your fingerboard. By using your back and shoulders, you also get the opportunity to strengthen muscles in these areas while training your grip strength. REST BETWEEN SETS It’s important to let your fingers recover between sets so that you don’t put too much stress on them. Resting also allows you to do all the sets you wanted to and thus benefit more from your training. DON’T USE A FULL CRIMP Don’t use a full crimp grip as it puts a heavy load on your fingers and increases the risk of injury significantly. When exercising with a grip board, you should instead use half crimp or open-handed grips so as not to put unnecessary strain on your fingers.

GRIP TRAINING WORKOUT Start with the simplest grips and move to more difficult ones if you find them too easy. When exercising grip strength with a hangboard, understand that it takes longer to strengthen tendons and ligaments than it does to increase muscle strength – this is why you want to start out easy and advance slowly. Fingerboards often feature larger grips on the top of the board and smaller ledges that you can progress to as you get stronger. Use grips that you can hang on for anywhere from 7-10 seconds before you advance to smaller grips. As with all training, it’s wise to progress slowly at the beginning. This way, your fingers get used to the load. An example of a good training program is three sets where you hang for about 7-10 seconds on each set.

OTHER GOOD EXERCISES There are lots of great exercises you can benefit from whether you’re a climber or not. A hangboard is an excellent training tool to strengthen the entire upper body. Here we present two exercises that you can do at home with your board. PULL-UPS Grab the board’s biggest grip and pull yourself up. Pull-ups are a very useful exercise that strengthen both back and arms. Many find it tough, so if it gets too hard you can put a chair behind you to rest one foot on, which will relieve your upper body and make the exercise a little easier. HANGING LEG LIFT Hang on the fingerboard and keep your legs straight as you lift them up. Go as high as you can and repeat as many times as possible. This is a fairly heavy bodyweight exercise that will have a good effect even if you already have strong abs.

DON’T WEAR YOURSELF OUT You don’t have to exhaust yourself to get good results from training. Stop a few seconds before you reach the point of grip failure. This reduces the risk of injury.

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CLIMBING WITH YOUR KIDS Text: Olof Strömbäck / Photo: Robert Svanell

Most children love to climb, so if you’re a climber, chances are your kids will want to join you at the wall. They already climb trees, climbing frames and kitchen drawers, so why not introduce them to your favourite activity and take the opportunity to spend more quality time together? In this article, we discuss some things that are important when climbing with children. If you already have solid climbing skills and have been trained to top rope climb and belay, you have the required knowledge to climb with children. The big difference compared to climbing with adults is that you need to be even safer. BASIC RULES IN THE CLIMBING GYM It’s essential to reinforce basic climbing rules when you’re with your children. They’re not allowed to run or walk between the wall and someone belaying another climber. You must make it clear to your child that it’s dangerous to put fingers in bolts or stand on them, and that they shouldn’t touch any anchor points. WHICH CLIMBING DISCIPLINE IS BEST TO START WITH? We recommend starting with indoor top rope climbing. As an experienced climber, you can decide for yourself whether it’s appropriate to climb with your child outdoors. Keep in mind that when you’re climbing outside, help may be further away should something happen. Indoors, you don’t have to worry about falling stones, and there’s almost always an instructor nearby who can answer questions or intervene if needed. Of course, you still need to be in full control of the situation if you’re climbing indoors, but at least you have the opportunity to ask someone for help. It’s best to wait before introducing your child to bouldering as it involves more risks than top-rope climbing. Bouldering mats are designed to cushion adult climbers, and children

risk getting hurt if they fall from the top of the wall. When a child falls while top rope climbing, they’ll just hang in their harness. Another risk of bouldering is that other climbers can accidentally fall on them. You can boulder with children, but you must recognise the risks and make sure you have full control over the environment. AT WHAT AGE CAN CHILDREN GET INTO CLIMBING? There are full-body harnesses for children available between the ages of three and four. There won’t be much climbing done at that age, but many children love to just hang and play around in the ropes. WHAT EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED? The most important thing is to get a harness that fits well. Younger children, whose hips haven’t fully developed yet, must wear a full-body harness. When the child gets older, a hip harness works well. However, using a full-body harness is also excellent for older children. The advantage of a full-body harness is that the attachment point sits higher up, which prevents the child from falling upside down. Hanging upside down isn’t necessarily dangerous in itself but can feel scary, and before the child has developed their motor skills, it can be tricky to turn themselves the right way up again. If you use assisted belaying devices like the Grigri, it can be slow to move the rope through as you lower the climber, so for children, it may be preferable to use a standard belaying device. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK! Always ask an instructor if you’re unsure of any steps. No one will kick you out of the gym just for asking a question, so we advise you to always ask for guidance just to be sure. And lastly, have fun! Forget grades and performance and look at climbing as a fun activity to do together.

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TAKE CLIMBING TO NEW HEIGHTS – ON THE MAT Text: Anna Kernell / Photo: Emelie Voltaire

Have you ever wondered why so many of the elite stars of the climbing world practice yoga? So have we. We decided to examine the link between the two and find out how you can push your climbing to new heights – without advancing a single metre of altitude. We asked Shay Peretz – trad climbing devotee, former mountain guide and yoga teacher – to guide us towards enlightenment. What do we need to work on to improve as climbers? The standard answer would be strength plus technique. Okay, strength we understand, at least in part. A common mistake is to exaggerate the importance of strength in one muscle group and forget about another. Or to think that the more strength you gain, the better you’ll climb. If we just improve pure strength, it can improve your climbing, but unfortunately, you risk putting unnecessary stress on one or another part of your body; which can increase the risk of injury. To become a well-rounded climber you need at least an equal amount of technique to fall back on. The most obvious way to improve your technique is to embark upon other routes than you’re used to, as this will automatically expand your memory bank of movements, balance and coordination. But you can also supplement your technique with different forms of training, like yoga, where you’ll gain all of the above benefits, plus a whole host of other skills that you didn’t even realise you needed on the wall. Shay Peretz, who has been climbing and practising yoga for over 20 years, thinks the connection between the two is obvious. - For extreme athletes, the idea of practising yoga, especially in a yoga studio, can seem tremendously boring and dull. But the fact is, yoga takes the skills you use every time you climb and develops them.

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He describes yoga as a system of movement within a philosophy, where everything is linked. Body, breath and mind are not separate entities – they’re connected and affect each other. Shay argues that through the holistic teachings of yoga, you can learn everything from finding inner calmness and becoming comfortable in troublesome situations, to becoming a master of static endurance. You practice breathing, focus, balance, body awareness and coordination – all at the same time. You build core strength and become more flexible, which automatically leads to a reduced risk of injury – exactly the things that are so valuable in precarious situations high above the ground. - No matter what school of yoga you try, there is always a component of moving meditation. And what is climbing? A moving meditation. You are aware; attentive to the environment, the texture of the rock, what your body is capable of, what happens if you move your centre of gravity a few inches to your right. When you’re climbing outdoors there are no plastic handholds that say “grab here and here, and you’ll get here”. There are many ways to reach the top. Your job is to read the route, the weather conditions, your own abilities and your partner’s. And then you need to keep that focus – you need to master your fear. - This is about experience; putting ourselves in extraordinary situations and measuring ourselves against who we are when we’re in that environment.


Choose a type of yoga that targets what you and your body need more of – there are plenty to choose from. If you need to build general strength, consider Ashtanga Yoga, which is a powerful dynamic type of yoga that requires a lot of practice. Hatha Yoga is a slightly gentler type, where you focus more on static endurance and get a little more time to land in the pose. To loosen and soften the body, Yin Yoga is a good choice. It’s a calmer style of yoga that focuses on connective tissue, joints and ligaments, and where you hold relaxing poses for longer. If you need to practice breathing technique, you’ll do this best in a Pranayama class.

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SOFTEN UP AND RELAX After a physically demanding day on the rock wall, maybe with a few scary or tense moments, your body can become inundated with hormones and sensations. This can create tension and blockages in your body that make it much more prone to injury. It’s therefore important to soften your body, to make the muscles more flexible and relaxed. As your body becomes more flexible you’ll also notice that you can get closer to the wall and are suddenly able to make movements you previously couldn’t dream of.

GENTLE SPINE TWIST A gentle and relaxing pose that stretches the muscles in the hip area and lower back while opening up the area around the chest and shoulders. METHOD: Start by lying flat on the mat with your arms stretched out to the sides so that your body forms a large T. The palms face the ceiling, and the back of your hands are in full contact with the floor. Raise your knees to your chest and then gently tip them over in one direction, while at the same time turning your head and gazing in the opposite direction. Make sure your shoulders don’t lift off the floor. Stay here for a minute or two, so your body has time to release deep-seated tension.

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HOLISTIC STRENGTH No body is stronger than its weakest link. Strength in the upper body without control over the lower body is worthless. Especially when it comes to dynamic sports like climbing. In yoga, it’s important to engage your entire body. Even if you’re just standing straight up on the mat in Mountain Pose, it’s essential that all your muscles are activated in your feet, torso, legs and shoulders.

ASYMMETRICAL CHATURANGA Chaturanga is a physically demanding pose that strengthens wrists, arms, abdomen and lower back. When the weight is distributed asymmetrically, it starts to resemble situations we find ourselves while climbing. Instead of putting the weight on the palm, you can use your fingertips to work up their strength. If you lack finger strength, remember not to overexert yourself. Listen to your body. METHOD: Imagine the plank with one leg in the air. The hands are placed in line with the chest and the entire palm is in contact with the mat. The elbows point straight back towards the toes. To extend fully, visualise the feeling of someone pulling your crown forward and your tailbone in the opposite direction. With the foot on the floor, imagine that you’re pressing your heel against an imaginary wall behind you while keeping the other leg stretched in the air. Don’t just rely on your upper body strength, but make sure you tighten your stomach, engage your feet, thighs, and calves. Repeat with the opposite leg in the air.

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CENTRE OF GRAVITY IN MOTION When practising yoga, you often practice something fundamental to climbing. Namely, understanding balance, how the centre of gravity shifts when you make subtle changes in details, and how it’s affected by hip and foot placement.

WARRIOR 1 A pose to sharpen your balancing skills. In Warrior 1 you open up both chest and hips, while legs, shoulders and ankles get to work. Feel free to experiment with the direction of your toes and you’ll notice how just a few degrees of adjustment can open up new possibilities for other parts of the body; how your hip opens and gives you greater freedom of movement in the upper body. Explore this and pay attention to how your body is positioned when you lose balance versus when you feel steady. METHOD: Place your heels shoulder-width apart in a straight line with the mat so that your hips and shoulders are parallel. Take a step forward with your right foot. The distance between your feet depends on how deep you want to bend your knee, but the centre of gravity should be evenly placed on both feet. The right toe points forward and when you find a balanced position, turn your left foot so that it points outwards at a 45-degree angle. When you adjust the direction of your toe, the hip automatically rotates and opens up. Tighten your core and bend your knee as deep as feels good. Stretch your arms and hands up into the air. Pay attention to every part of the body that gets to work. Repeat on the other side.

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CONSCIOUSLY FOCUSED How do muscles grow? Through tension. It’s the same with the mind. Our understanding of our fear grows through exposure, and to practice yoga is to practice sitting with pain, to face fear, doubt, and discomfort. This focus is to your advantage, especially while rock climbing, where there is almost always an element of fear. The question is, what do you do when it appears, how do you handle it? Your state of mind affects your body, and your body affects your state of mind. One example is the phenomenon within climbing called sewing-machine legs or Elvis leg, where one or both of your legs start to shake uncontrollably. This can be a result of lactic acid build-up due to prolonged muscle contraction, fatigue, or a sudden increase in sympathetic activity in your autonomic nervous system (due to fear). Obviously, it isn’t fun when this happens high above your last belay seemingly beyond your control. When you become scared, your breathing is affected. You take shorter and shallower breaths which causes a shortage of oxygen in your body – and then you risk becoming even more stressed and scared because of this lack of oxygen! This can trap you in a negative spiral, but an effective way to break this spiral is to build up a solid breathing technique to fall back on when fear strikes. When you can enter a focused state, where emotions and sensations don’t affect you as easily, you’ll notice that you

become aware of things that can be very beneficial. Hearing, vision and tactility sharpen. The subtle texture of the cliff under your fingertips tells you what will happen when you place your foot there. Spend some time each day focusing on your breathing, letting thoughts and feelings come and go without engaging with them, and it’ll become easier to find this state of mind when things get tricky on the rock face.

BREATHE METHOD: Keep it simple in the beginning so that practising breathing techniques becomes part of your daily routine. Sit with your legs crossed or lie down on your back. Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Pay attention to how your body moves and what sensations arise. Let the thoughts come and go. Try to bring focus back to your breathing if your mind wanders. Then start breathing through your nose. As you breathe in, try to make your stomach and chest as large as possible. As you exhale, try to contract your stomach and chest until you’ve squeezed out all the air. Start with 10 deep breaths a day. The next day you might try 20, and then 30. • Breathing is one of the cornerstones of yoga. Breaths are linked together with movements; where movements upwards and forwards (such as stretching your arms above your head) are matched with inhalation, while exhalation is combined with movements downwards and inwards (such as bending towards your toes). When you’re trying the following yoga poses, try to maintain calm, controlled breathing.

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CAMP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE Text: Jenny Wikman / Illustration: Emelie Voltaire

Tunnel tents and dome tents are all well and good, but sometimes extreme conditions or a desire for new experiences in nature demand other types of shelter. In this article, we’ll discuss a few unconventional ways to spend the night. If 2019 was about “glamping”, maybe 2020 will inspire a new term for a more extreme form of camping. How about…“xamping”?

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packed in your backpack.

“What fascinates me so much with colleague Jonas Westbom wears many different hats. tents is that they’re such a big part of Our When he’s not working in the Addnature store, he takes being outdoors. The tent is the whole on projects for organisations like the Swedish Outdoor Association or The Guides and Scouts of Sweden. He’s a embodiment of going camping – you gram-saving ultra-runner, father of a camping-mad family carry your house on your back. You and notorious clear-sky sleeper: trade in your apartment for a little “When the weather’s nice, I just want textile pouch!” to be completely outdoors, and I – Mårten Persson only crawl into the tent because of SLEEPING UNDER THE OPEN SKY mosquitos or wind. I want to fall Sleeping under the stars has become very popular lately. In the Norwegian town of Lyngen and Finnish resort of asleep looking up at the stars, get Kakslauttanen, hotels rent out glass igloos offering full views of the starry sky and Northern Lights – from the woken up by the barks of a roe deer comfort of a cosy queen-size bed. However, for those or the gentle breeze and then go back searching for a more natural experience, this can be achieved in more straightforward and cheaper ways. to sleep. It’s a little odd to me that we go outdoors to be closer to nature One easy method is to simply sleep outside of your tent the next time you go trekking. All you need is your sleeping and then shut ourselves in as much mat and sleeping bag, and this is how many experienced wild sleepers operate – however, they do always bring a as possible. You may as well just pitch reliable backup shelter. So, next time there’s no wind and your tent on your living room floor!” a clear sky, simply move your bed a metre sideways, and you’ll be sleeping outside.

For a lot of people, sleeping under the open sky is a way to get rid of the extra weight of a tent. Tarps and bivvy sacks are light, and putting your sleeping bag inside one is maybe the easiest was to camp without a tent. It’s a great survival item to bring to the mountains: when emergencies or sudden changes in weather force you to dig a bivouac hole for shelter, a bivvy sack keeps the damp out. Unfortunately, they also keep moisture in. Bivvy sacks, even ones equipped with Gore-Tex, have trouble expelling water vapour. If you sweat roughly a litre per night, that sweat inevitably ends up in your sleeping bag. In winter, that moisture can freeze inside your bag. In other words, a bivvy bag might not mean the most comfortable of nights. This is especially true if you have a down sleeping bag, as its insulating abilities are severely compromised when wet.

– Jonas Westbom

JUST A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD Troops once used tarps for hidden camps and observation posts. Nowadays, they’re wildly popular among bearded men in the outdoor community, who’ve become obsessed with them thanks to iconic adventurers/climbers/ authors such as Ray Jardine and Harvey Manning. And indeed, tarps are undeniably practical. They’re incredibly lightweight compared to even the lightest tents; making them popular with ultra-runners looking to stay outdoors for several days with just a 20-litre backpack. Because a tarp lacks an inner tent and floor, it broadens the range of possible campsites. While tents require flat ground, a tarp only needs a flat spot the size of your mat. You can pitch it using trees, sticks, tent poles or hiking poles, wherever you see fit. You can quickly set up camp right next to the trail when darkness falls, far from established campsites and other hikers.

It’s for this reason that a tarp is a popular alternative. These lightweight and versatile shelters are easy to pitch right next to your clear-sky bed just in case – or even leave

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The lack of condensation can make your tarp setup warmer than a tent – tents trap more moisture on the inside, creating a cooling effect. When it’s stormy, a lowpitched tarp in the correct wind direction holds up very well against strong gusts. Unlike a tent, you don’t risk breaking any poles, thus rendering your portable home useless for further trekking. However, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive – a tarp can be a great addition to a tent. Pitch it as an extra room for gear storage and cooking or as a roof between two separate tents. You can also pitch it as a wind or rain cover during your trek so you can comfortably wait out bad weather with a cup of coffee while other hikers struggle on in their soaking-wet shell clothing. Our love for tarps is mostly because of the closeness to nature they allow: fall asleep with the sweet scent of pine needles, sleep right on the ground and then wake up to rays of sunshine on your face and birds singing next to you. These experiences offer a greater connection with nature compared to blocking out the elements and staying inside your tent. TREE-HUGGING SHELTERS During WWII, the American army slept in hammocks hung between trees. On jungle missions, there’s usually a lack of flat ground for tents. Additionally, sleeping in a hammock keeps you above any groundwater or poisonous snakes, and doesn’t leave any visible traces. In 1955, young Tom Hennessy was given one of those army hammocks as a present. Years later, after he lost it, he decided to design a more refined version. In 1999, the first Hennessy Hammock saw the light of day, and today the brand’s products are frequently used by the military. This includes soldiers who spend their days clearing IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and who have understandably developed an aversion to sleeping on the ground. The are many perks to sleeping in a hammock. Besides avoiding mud, uneven ground and wildlife, it also offers a way of getting closer to nature and a sense of wilderness, far beyond established campsites. Pitch it above moors, cliffs or water – or why not on steep hillsides with magnificent views? The hammock’s lack of poles generally makes it lighter and cheaper than any ultra-light tent. But it does require some extras: a tarp for rain cover, a ridge for the tarp and

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something to isolate you from the cold air beneath. Even a summer night can feel chilly since your sleeping bag compresses under your body weight and loses some of its thermal abilities. It is possible to squeeze a sleeping mat into your hammock, but a lot of people use an isolating under quilt or ultralight down sleeping bag directly under the hammock floor instead. Sleeping in a hammock requires some knowledge – but once you’re set up, there’s no steep slope or uneven hillside in the world that can keep you from a good night’s sleep.

“I use my hammock in very specific places where it feels good to get off the ground. To lie there with a full view over a great moor or the view from Norway’s insanely-steep birch hillsides, looking out over gnarly pine trees, lakes and with black grouses cackling – that’s unbeatable!” – Jonas Westbom

A more robust version of the hammock is the Tentsile. This is a cross between a hammock and a tent, invented by British architect Alex Shirley-Smith. Traditionally, Tentsiles have prioritised comfort and adventure above weight, offering heavier products for campsite camping. But in 2020, the company took steps towards the lightweight market; offering an updated version of the one-person UNA tent, which has been trimmed down to 1.73kg and can be carried in a backpack. This hybrid of hammock and tent has its advantages: the floor offers more stability than a hammock and it’s easier to use together with a sleeping mat to isolate cold air from beneath. The Tentsile feels old-school, adding a treehouse vibe and some adventure to your stay outdoors. During the day, it can be used as a comfortable hammock, and at night as a tent. If you don’t pitch the outer shell, you’ll get a 360-degree view from your hanging campsite; a campsite you’re free to place wherever you like – the ground surface doesn’t limit your options, all you need is trees.


“At Göran Kropp’s presentation about the infamous disaster that took place in 1996 on Mount Everest, there was a picture showing tent canvases strewn all across the ground. There was one single tent still standing – a Trango 3 from Mountain Hardware. I remember thinking: Wow, that tent can survive anything!” – Mårten Persson

RELIABLE AND RUGGED The history of single-wall expedition tents also tells the tale of how Gore-Tex became a popular material for the outdoor industry. It was originally invented for medical use and used for sutures, vascular grafts and other surgeries. But during the 1970s, outdoor company Early Winters was given a sample by the Gore-Tex sales team while looking for a waterproof membrane designed for

extreme weather. As an experiment, the material was placed over a cup of hot water. Hot water vapour could be seen coming through the fabric, but when the cup was turned upside down, it didn’t leak a drop – evidence indeed of the material’s efficient waterproofness and breathability. Shortly after this, Early Winters introduced Gore-Tex to the outdoor market in parkas and The Light Dimension, a single-wall tent. The rest is history. Today, several companies sell durable expedition tents made from Gore-Tex or similar membranes. They offer higher strength-to-weight and volume ratios since they don’t need separate outer and inner tents. Technical single-wall tents excel at high altitudes where there’s a significant temperature difference outside and inside the tent. Here, the single-wall fabric acts just like a shell jacket with the outside protecting against rain, wind and snow and the inside wicking moisture to the outside. Some tent makers also add an inner mesh layer that absorbs moisture and evenly distributes it throughout the tent. These tents are also useful for warmer climates.

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L . I . M JACKET 2 30 GR A M S WAT E R P R O O F DURABLE PAC K A B L E

PERFORMANCE FACTS A truly packable jacket needs to be both lightweight and durable just like the new L.I.M Jacket. Made from GORE-TEX PACLITE® PLUS, it’s waterproof, windproof and highly breathable. The ultimate jacket for unexpected adventures. 62 haglofs.com


Fabric on expedition tents is as tight and hard as a drum skin, with the poles crossed several times to create the strongest possible structure. These tents are dome-shaped and can withstand changes in wind direction much better than a tunnel tent. This makes them extremely resilient in harsh environments: in May 1999, Babu Chiri Sherpa spent almost 24 hours in Mount Everest’s death zone in a specially-designed Mountain Hardware expedition tent. Mårten Persson is a buyer at Addnature, and perhaps the company’s most dedicated camper – tents are an obsession that he’s spent more money on than anything else in his life. He’s even survived a night with 35 m/s winds on a Sarek glacier in a single wall tent. “My most expensive tent is a Mountain Hardwear Satellite. It’s the little brother of the Space Station, a base camp tent for expeditions. It’s one of my mostused tents – because it’s unrivalled for festival use! You can build a whole camp with flag poles, flower beds and everything. If I could tell my younger self that in seven years I’d be sitting in a comfy chair and listening to music while camping, I would’ve just laughed at myself.” Perhaps the single-expedition tent is where camping comes full circle: where extreme resilience offers a comfortable night’s sleep in the most inhospitable environments. These tents allow you to camp anywhere, at any time and in great comfort, despite facing hurricane-force winds or extreme cold. Glamourous, easy “glamping” and wild, “xamping” in unholy alliance? Maybe you can have it all!

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NOTHING LIKE A CUP OF JOE Text: Mattias Rastbäck / Photo: Emelie Voltaire

For some, a trip without coffee is barely worth the effort. Half the pleasure of hiking is taking a break, grabbing a cup and soaking up your surroundings. But which coffee should it be? Some choose instant every time, while others won't leave civilisation without Grandpa's well-burnt coffee pan and a leather pouch full of pot-boiling coffee. Are any of them right? Is anyone wrong? Is there even such a thing as 'the best outdoor coffee'? Hooked put a bunch of outdoor coffee types to the test and called in our qualified crowd of coffee drinkers for jury service: Anna Kernell, Product Writer at Addnature, skier, hiker and former barista. Robert Tusseus, Customer Service Manager at Addnature and Bikester, cyclist, skier, hiker and certified sommelier. Mattias Rastbäck, Product Writer at Addnature, skier and hiker who drinks "up to ten cups a day".

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INSTANT COFFEE

THERMOS

We tested a dark-roasted version from one of the major food chains' own brands. The water was freshly boiled.

We drank an Arvid Nordquist Svea which at the time of testing had splashed around in the thermos for 9 hours. Brewed in a Moccamaster.

PRICE: A 200 g bag costs about 50 kronor and is enough for 100 cups. METHOD: Pop a spoonful of coffee in your favourite outdoors mug, add hot water, stir and drink. TIME: If you boil water onsite it takes about 5 minutes, but if already you have hot water in your thermos it's ready in a jiffy. TEMPERATURE: If the water is freshly boiled, you can serve your coffee at 95 degrees. If you bring a thermos of hot water with you, the temperature will depend on how long you've been carrying it around. THE JURY’S OPINION: Robert is, if not enthusiastic, still fairly positive: "I'm quite fond of instant coffee. It tastes good anyway." Everybody agrees that it's unbeatably practical when you're out for a long time: easy to carry, quick to prepare, easy to wash. And all the equipment you need – stove, cup and spork – you'll already have packed for such a tour. But however practical it is, it does have an "inevitable... burnt flavour," says Mattias. Even though it isn't the very best tasting coffee, it does stand the test of time. The entire jury agree that "it’s good outdoors".

PRICE: Thermoses come in many price ranges: from the complimentary, branded thermos you get from your energy supplier to sophisticated versions that can cost upwards of 1000 SEK. For this test, we used a 470 ml Stanley Classic in Hammertone Green, which costs around 449 SEK on Addnature.com. METHOD: Brew the coffee in your coffee maker at home, carry it with you in your thermos and pour a cup when the cravings kick in. The cup is included. TIME: About 5-10 minutes, depending on what coffee maker you have. Serves in an instant. TEMPERATURE: After 9 hours in the thermos, the coffee measures about 60 degrees and is drinkable enough. When it was freshly brewed, it was a fine 81 degrees. WEIGHT: When full of tasty coffee, the Stanley thermos weighs in at 831 grams. THE JURY’S OPINION: "Flowery, a hint of citrus. Zesty. And I really like that," says Anna. Even after nine long hours, the coffee retains its good taste and tickles the connoisseurs' fancy. "Really good," Robert concurs. However, we do have to remember that the thermos had

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been full the whole time. As soon as you start drinking its contents the temperature drops faster, and with it, the taste also goes downhill. The thermos is a winner on day trips, it's easy to carry, zero fuss to prepare and you get to enjoy your homemade coffee out in the field. For best results, preheat the thermos: While the coffee is brewing, fill it with hot water and let it rest until it's time to pour the coffee. This way, the thermos won't steal any of the coffee's heat. To enjoy pleasant-tasting coffee on every hike, you need to keep your thermos fresh. Wash it after every use, take apart whatever can be disassembled and clean. If it starts to give off an unpleasant smell, fill the thermos with two-thirds of hot water and add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda. Leave it for half an hour and then wash it thoroughly – that usually does the trick.

POT-BOILED COFFEE We boiled Lemmelkaffe's dark roasted boiled coffee, KRAVlabelled. PRICE: At Addnature.com, a 450-gram pack costs 129 SEK. METHOD: The methods of boiling coffee are as numerous as there are coffee makers. We use a simple version: bring water to a boil, add coffee and let it brew for a few minutes, stir and then let it rest until the coffee has settled. TIME: Since there are so many preparation methods, it's difficult to give a fair figure. In this test it took about 10 minutes. TEMPERATURE: When it's time to drink the coffee, it's about 66 degrees. Nice.

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WEIGHT: Depends on how much coffee you bring and how you make it. Bringing a kettle? That'll add some hectograms. If you're bringing a stove with a pot anyway, then it makes no difference. For example, a Trangia 27-4UL - 775 SEK at Addnature.com – weighs 860 grams. One weight-shaving colleague's advice is to boil the coffee directly in titanium mugs on a smouldering campfire. THE JURY’S OPINION: Even though the coffee chef measures like an amateur and brews a weak coffee, it still hits the spot. Robert tastes soft and appealing hints of caramel. "I sense... butterscotch," says Anna. We also agree that boiled coffee is at its best when you make its preparation and enjoyment an experience in itself: sitting by the fire – on a hillside, curled under mossy fir trees or sheltered by the lake – staring into eternity and laid back with your pot over the flames. With plenty of time and a warming fire, boiled coffee is an absolute winner..

MOKA We used the same Arvid Nordquist Reko in an unbranded aluminium Moka coffee pot, one-cup size, on a Trangia stove. PRICE: The Moka pot cost about 150 SEK, but if you use it with a Trangia stove you'll also need to buy a pot support (99 SEK at Addnature.com). METHOD: Pour water into the lower container, put coffee in the filter cup, screw the top on and place the Moka over the flame. TIME: It takes about 5 minutes before the coffee is boiled and ready to be poured into the cup.


TEMPERATURE: When we pour the coffee it's 61 degrees: drinkable-warm. WEIGHT: The coffee maker weighs 202 grams, while the pot support adds 49 grams to the overall load (but can be used for all smaller cookware on the stove). THE JURY’S OPINION: It requires a bit of faff, but no more than you can handle. The taste divides the jury. Mattias loves the Moka coffee; the other two aren't as convinced. "The taste is kind of blunt," says Anna, who doesn't appreciate the saturated taste and the tang of the grounds. Robert is indifferent.

CAFFLANO KOMPACT We also brewed the pre-ground Arvid Nordquist Reko in the Kompact. PRICE: Costs 599 SEK at Addnature.com. METHOD: A silicone bellows chamber sits in plastic housing. Put coffee in the bellows, top up with water, pop on the filter and let it brew. Place the gadget over your cup and press. And voilà - coffee in your cup! TIME: From cold water to coffee cup in about 7 minutes. TEMPERATURE: 69 adequate degrees. WEIGHT: The Cafflano Kompact is delivered in a case – and the whole package weighs in at 316 grams. The device itself takes up 242 of those grams. The jury's opinion: The petite format is appealing and the brewing itself is relatively simple. The taste is okay but doesn't make much of an impression. "Insipid", is all Anna has to say.

CAFFLANO KLASSIC We used the Arvid Nordquist Reko yet again, but the whole bean version this time. PRICE: At Addnature.com, this goes for 999 SEK. METHOD: While the water boils, measure beans in the grinder and grind them down into the filter. Then remove the grinder, fill the drip kettle with hot water and pour the water slowly over the coffee – allowing it to drain into the cup. TIME: The entire procedure takes 7-8 minutes. TEMPERATURE: When all the water has run through, the coffee is hot at 72 degrees. WEIGHT: The whole package weighs 465 g; the mug included.

THE JURY’S OPINION: Best in test! The jury enjoyed the sound of the coffee grinder and the slow, meditative experience of grinding the coffee. It's a bit of an effort, but in a way, that's relaxing while surrounded by nature. "I wouldn't mind waking up to that sound. Lingering in my sleeping bag, listening to my campmate preparing the morning coffee." The taste also receives high scores all-round; "Rich" the jury agrees, and flavourful. The grinder can be adjusted to the exact grind size you prefer. The downside is that on a longer trip it may be a bit too much to carry for a thing that only has one function. It'll work best on shorter trips – or maybe even inside a cabin.

HANDPRESSO With the Handpresso, you can brew either pods or ground coffee to your liking. We used Covim Orocrema-pods, which are "corposo e cremoso". PRICE: Addnature charges 1295 SEK for a Wild Hybrid Hanpresso, whilst a selection box of 25 coffee pods will set you back 99 SEK. METHOD: Pour hot water in the container, in with a pod. Pump up 16 bars of pressure and then press the coffee into the cup. TIME: Including boiling water, about 5 minutes. TEMPERATURE: 63 degrees and ready to drink. WEIGHT: The apparatus weighs 480 grams, each single packaged pod weighs 9 grams (including the plastic packaging). THE JURY'S OPINION: "If I'm craving an espresso, I want a real espresso – from a real espresso machine by a proper barista", Anna says. Robert adds: "This one is for the espresso lover who can't imagine being outside without his espresso." Although the taste is good, the jury didn't feel that it's worth bringing the Handpresso out in the field, as it's not "a real espresso". It's a bit of a finicky job with all the pods and parts, and the pumping turns into something of a gym session if you want to brew for your friends as well. The more environmentally minded amongst us will have to go for ground coffee; the pods themselves are biodegradable but the plastic packaging they come in isn't. But, as our jury said; if you can't do without your espresso, go for it. In any case, the Handpresso manages without electricity, unlike a real espresso from a real espresso machine.

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THE VERDICT Unsurprisingly, it isn't possible to unanimously elect one single coffee as the best outdoor coffee; there's no accounting for taste, and this is, after all, a matter of taste. We did however draw some conclusions: • If you're going on a longer trip, it's hard to beat instant coffee. Even if the taste isn't 100% perfect, it's prepared in a jiffy and doesn't add any real weight to your backpack. • For a day trip you're best off with a good thermos. You can enjoy your favourite coffee from home and the effort required in the field is minimal. The cup's included too. • If you don't mind working a little for your coffee, you'll enjoy a really delicious cup, and some relaxing grinding, with the Cafflano Klassic. Although on longer trips, it might be a bit much to carry with you. • If you've got a fire on the go, the coffee pot is a welcome addition. The warmth and crackle of the fire teamed with the aroma of the coffee is a combo that's hard to beat. • Last but not least: it's all about the whereabouts – coffee drank outdoors is the best coffee!

BONUS SNACK Sometimes you just want to up your game and nibble something freshly cooked alongside your coffee. So, heat up that frying pan and make some Yankee pancakes. You'll need: 132 g wheat flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 1/2 ml milk 50 g butter, melted 1 egg

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For extra flavour, these pancakes taste even better with 2 tsp of ground cinnamon, or 1 tsp of pounded cardamom and the grated peel of a lemon. HOW TO: Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk the milk, butter and finally the egg, just so it comes together. If you whisk too much, the pancakes will become gluey. Pour the batter into a bottle – or a thermos if it's cold – and then cook over the camping stove or in a frying pan over the fire. The recipe is adapted to non-stick pans, if you use a cast iron pan, you'll need grease for it as well. And don't forget to bring a bottle of maple syrup as 'the icing on the cake'!


BIKESTER.SE / UDDVÄGEN 5,SICKLA 69


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HIKING ON TWO WHEELS Text: Oscar Hentmark / Photo: Toni Tiainen

“..THE BEST PART ABOUT BIKEPACKING IS THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION.”

bike: touring bikes are mostly for paved roads, so they’re generally equipped with the same components as regular city or road bikes but with more gears and most importantly, racks and mounting points for panniers over the wheels. Bikepacking is more akin to hiking, and you’ll likely ride through woods, over mountain passes and explore gravel roads.

Bikepacking – no, that’s not a misspelling of backpacking, even though the two things have a lot in common. Bikepacking is about exploring amazing places and nature, just like backpacking, but with the bonus of a faithful twowheeled companion that helps you carry your gear. Yes, we’re of course referring to the one essential thing for bikepacking – the bike!

A typical bikepacking bike is set up without racks for panniers. Instead, you’ll attach bags onto and inside the frame and at the handlebars. Fatter, mountain bike-style tyres are common on bikepacking bikes, which enable you to cope with rougher surfaces.

Anyone who loves nature, who’s climbed a mountain or explored a new idyll knows the powerful feeling that only this mixture of hard work and beautiful scenery provides. Bikepacking is like having your cake and eating it: you get to cover the same terrain as when hiking but go so much further. You also don’t have to worry too much about having light gear, since your bike does a lot of the work. We hooked up with (excuse the pun) Janne Touruen, a.k.a. “bikepacking.com’s most famous ass”, to learn more about bikepacking and what you need to get the most out of your first adventure. Janne enjoys the good life. He rides slowly with his packed bike, exuding an aura of calm, finding his way with an everpresent lust to explore. Janne started his bikepacking career with a giant sleeping bag and his faithful old bike. Even though he’s now upgraded most of his equipment, he’s no gear junky: - My best backpacking investment was a poncho. Sure, I’ve also bought a lot of the necessary useful stuff since then, like a tent and camp kitchen, but the poncho is so versatile: it’s warm, covers your legs when you’re sitting down pedalling and retains heat well. BIKE TOURING, BIKEPACKING OR JUST A BIKE HOLIDAY? The difference between bike touring and bikepacking can be tricky to define, but to keep it simple, both involve bringing gear on a “bike holiday”. The main difference is the actual

JANNE EXPLAINS HOW HE FIRST GOT INTO BIKEPACKING: - I’ve always loved biking and exploring new places, so I figured I’d combine the two and start bike touring. Unfortunately, my bike had no rack, so I had to find another way of carrying my gear. I decided on a bikepacking-style rig. It quickly became my thing, and when I started working at Addnature, I discovered that there were all kinds of ultralight equipment that I had to try out. - I tried an ultra-light tent on one trip, but since it was made of such “light” material, it didn’t take long to break it. It turned into a wet trip and wasn’t so fun. Since then, I’ve kept my priorities straight: comfort over weight. It’s much more fun that way. BIKEPACKING ABROAD OR IN SWEDEN? Janne explains the differences between bikepacking in Sweden and abroad. - When I do it (bikepacking) in Sweden, it’s mostly to get away, to be alone or with friends or just to enjoy nature. Therefore my favourite routes in Sweden are kind of my own little secrets, places that I keep to myself. Bikepacking abroad is a whole other thing. I’m originally from Finland and my favourite route there is in the Repovesi national park: you take the train to a small village and from there head towards the park. The trail starts just by the train station, and halfway to Repovesi there’s the most beautiful shelter I’ve ever seen! There are solar panels, firewood, a great place to barbeque, a sauna and a lake with great drinking water where you can swim.

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- When I go to new countries or areas, I’m super social and happily go the extra mile to have a beer or whisky with the locals. - I’ve been, among other places, to Scotland and Spain and can recommend going to both. I think Scotland was the best one since we didn’t have to bike 2000 vertical metres every day like we did in Spain. Furthermore, we were there for twelve days instead of 7, so we weren’t so rushed and had more time to stay and chat with people. - On that occasion, it was only me and my close friend Andrei. We know each other very well, and we’re both experienced cyclists who like to keep a chill tempo and enjoy the ride. We both agree that the best part about bikepacking is the journey, not the destination. Believe it or not, you can compete in bikepacking. Among other challenges, you can race to be the fastest to cross a whole continent or ride with minimal gear through an entire Mexican desert. But Janne’s dreams are more about exploring the world, rather than competing. - The dream is to bike around the world, to China or some other really long trip. I would also like to do the “Baja Divide” in Mexico or if nothing else, bike somewhere in the US. But my next trip will be to Poland; its close and I hear they have beautiful roads. H2-OH YES! Janne recommends that you go for light gear that doesn’t take up too much space, although what you’ll need most is fresh water, especially if you go abroad. - When you bike in Sweden or Finland, you don’t have to carry so much water because it’s pretty easy to get fresh water wherever you are. Bring a water filter and a couple of bottles, and you’ll be fine. If you bike in warmer climates you can end up in the desert - then you have to prioritise water over everything else. COMFORTABLE IS GOOD Janne laughs a bit when asked what’s essential, gear-wise: - It’s not the cheapest of hobbies, but it’s less expensive than hockey! You don’t need the latest, lightest and most expensive gear, but some things are good to have. - I usually bring a little too much with me, but something

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I recommend is bringing a good, spacious one-person-tent with space within to store your shoes and bag. A bivvy is good, albeit a bit cramped, and when you’re tired, you need all the comfort you can get. You can share a tent and divide the gear between your bikes, but I recommend a one-person tent you can also store a bit of gear in. SAFETY FIRST! Where to start? Janne is very clear that the most important thing is safety. It might seem fun to get out there and just take your chances, but being unprepared can cost you your life. - I like to plan before I go and that’s almost half the fun with bikepacking: to try a route that you’ve heard is good, or to explore following a plan. There’s a lot of inspiration to be found on the bikepacking.com forum, but they are a bit materialistic at times. Having proper camping gear is great, but more important are the tools and spare parts for your bike, and the skills to fix it if something breaks! You’re unlikely to be near a bike shop when something goes wrong on your bike, so it’s good to know how to do it yourself. And even if you do find a shop, they probably don’t have the exact part(s) you need. WHAT ELSE TO THINK ABOUT? - Make sure you’re visible when riding in the early morning and at night, think about what weather to expect and adapt your clothing and kit accordingly. If conditions are so bad that drivers won’t be able to see you, wait a bit before heading out. It’s a good idea to pack your stuff in a drybag and attach it to your bike with straps. There’s nothing wrong with using a backpack, especially if you’re new to bikepacking, but you’ll notice it will quickly become sweaty and uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to attach as much as possible to your bike. SO WHAT’S WITH THIS BIKEPACKING.COM’S “MOST FAMOUS ASS” THING? - Haha, it started after a friend, who posts a lot on bikepacking. com, realised I was in many pictures, but only from behind, so he coined the nickname bikepacking.com’s “ most famous ass”. Maybe it stuck because it’s true, I don’t know. Everybody who likes nature and wants to explore further in less time should consider doing their next adventure on a bike. If you’re an experienced backpacker, you probably already own most of the gear. All you need is some straps and drybags – and a bike, of course!


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What does your commute look like?

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HOOKED BY ADDNATURE

NR 3 / 2020

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