Skiing in Sweden

Photography course at Freeride campJuliette and I are back safe from Sweden and finally settled in. After a very long series of flights, we started at the pure freeride camp in Abisko. Tired and jetlagged, we joined a great group of people to ski Friday morning. Despite being well above the arctic circle, it was warm and raining lightly which turned to deep snow into deep slush. Unfortunately, on the first run, Juliette caught an edge in the bad snow and turned her knee, so we called it a day.

Juliette’s knee continued to bother her, so over the next couple of days, I skied with one of the groups in the morning and spent the afternoons with Juliette down in Abisko. The tourist center is a very nice place, but there isn’t much to do if you aren’t skiing, so by Sunday, Juliette was going a bit stir crazy and was anxious to move on to Riksgränsen for a change of scenery.

Snowed in at RiksgransenMonday, our first day at Riksgränsen, we woke to a crazy snowstorm that closed all of the roads and even the ski lifts, so we had yet another day of cabin fever. Juliette rented some snowshoes and organized an expedition to the grocery store with Jennie, but other than that, we spent the day trapped inside.

Tuesday, Jennie, Rich and I were booked to go heliskiing, so we watched the weather reports anxiously. We woke in the morning to bright sunshine and deep fresh powder, heliskiing was on!

HeliskiingWe spent the morning getting shuttled up to the peaks in the helicopter and skiing to wonderful powder down into the valleys. I had taken a ski photography course in Abisko, so I put all of my new skills to the test and came home with some great shots and even better memories.

Juliette’s knee was still sore, stiff and weak, but she spent the morning skiing at Riksgränsen and we joined her for the afternoon. Skiing on a bad knee is tough though and she twisted it again ending her day with a long painful ski down.

That evening, we drove into Norway and down into Narvik where we found a beautiful little pub with friendly staff and amazing food. It was a welcome change.

Wednesday, we drove to the Ice Hotel near Kiruna for a chance to see it, then caught the overnight train south. We had originally been heading to Salarna to ski tour, but with Juliette injured and my knee starting to act up too, we decided to cancel that part of our trip and head for Stockholm via Gävle, Jen and Rich’s home town. More on that part of the trip in the next post.

I took over a thousand pictures with my new camera while I was there and have spent the last week paring them down into a manageable number. The first half, the ski photos are up and the remaining photos will probably be uploaded tomorrow.

Off to Sweden

swedenOur bags are nearly packed and Juliette and I are getting ready to head off to Sweden to meet Jennie & Rich for a grand spring skiing tour of Sweden. We are flying into Stockholm, then flying up to Kiruna above the arctic circle to join in on the Swedish pure freeride camp in Abisko.

We are then heading to Riksgränsen, the northernmost ski resort in the world for a few off-piste adventures that includes helicopters and forays into Norway.

From there, we take a train down to Enafors to meet Jennie’s friend Thomas who is joining us for a tour at Sylarna in the Jämtlandstriangeln. We will then head back to Gävle with Jennie and Rich before hitting Stockholm again and flying home.

The new camera is packed and ready to go, so expect many pictures on our return. See you at the end of the month…

Spring is Pond Skimming Time

Holiday Valley Pond Skimming-0345Juliette and I are crazy busy preparing to leave for Sweden for ten days of skiing in the high arctic, but tonight I stole time away from the prep to upload the photos I took from the pond skimming at Holiday Valley a couple of weeks ago. This was my first day with the new camera and I must say, I am amazed by the shots I got. I can only imagine what I will capture when I learn to use it properly.

I have also uploaded a few pictures from Mardi Gras and from around the chalet, so be sure to check out the new Spring 2011 photo album for all the great photos of what we have been up to this spring.


IMG_0082Lately I have been having dreams where I am seeing such beautiful things that it makes me nearly cry with the wonder and grace of it. In those dreams, I feel a great loss as I realize that I don’t have my camera with me.

I have been missing the creative aspects in my life recently, especially photography. When I bought a point and shoot Canon camera, the idea was that I would always have it with me and be able to capture the images and the beauty that I see in the world. At times, I did that, but I found the camera limiting compared to my now dated Minolta 7D DSLR.

I have been thinking about this a great deal over the past few months and putting a bit of money aside each month to buy a new camera. Last week I pulled the trigger and bought an amazing new Nikon D7000.

I am still learning to use the new camera, but in the meantime, I have restarted my photoblog, shifted*exposure where I post my favourite photos. Family photos and snapshots will still be going up in the photo albums, the photoblog is more for the artistic shots.

Head on over and let me know what you think, criticism is welcome. In exchange, I will do my best to update regularly.

Mardi Gras Video

I just found a video of the Mardi Gras weekend at the Holiday Valley ski club, so I thought I would share,