søndag 28. mars 2010

Black Diamond Drift review – new skies for 2011

For 2011 Black Diamond will launch a whole range of new ski touring skies under the class Efficient series. The deep powder tool is called Drift.

I had the privilege during a week of magic, skiing the coast of Norway to make up my opinion about these new skies. In an earlier post I wrote that they have the measures to become bestsellers in the lightweight category.

Now I know they will be!

The Drift has the measures of 138-100-123 and weighs around 3,5 kg in 186 length (pair). The construction is Torsion Box using a lightweight wood (paulownia) reinforced with carbon fibers. In my opinion all skies should have a wood core. The tip is early rise rocker as for the Manaslu (Dynafit). The tail has a metal reinforcement for the skins. A small detail I appreciate.
Last year I skied the Dynafit Manaslu, and I have really enjoyed the float and surprisingly great grip for a ski of this weight. 

Nevertheless I was very much looking forward to 
test the new Black Diamond Drift.
In many ways the skies have similar look and feel, but the Drift are easier to handle despite being a wider ski. Going upwards the Drifts are better balanced as the mounting leaves less front ski. This might as well also be the reason for the quick handling and great feedback from the skies when you make your turn going down in speed.

During the trip we really had the opportunity to test the Drift’s powder performance, but for the sake of it we had to make some early morning turns down the south aspect to figure out if the skies also perform under more shifting and icy conditions. And they do quit well. The Drift are soft skies and thereby not the ultimate choice for ice hard skiing, but they do very well still!

Next trip I will make up my opinion about the new Dynafit Stoke. We will see who wins the battle, but right now I’m stoked by the new Black Diamond Drift!
PS! The skiing took place in Kvaløya, Lofoten and Glomfjord Norway. See www.whiteblue.no for guided trips.

mandag 22. mars 2010

Day 3 – Breaking new grounds at Mystery Island

The Hurtigruten ferry landed at 0700, and we were all looking forward to scout out some new places in the Glomfjord area. After some research, discussions, and scouting we finally agreed on the best new terrain.

And what a place this was! Herby named as “NN”. As I am a dedicated fly fisher I have learned to keep quiet when I find the good spots. We all agreed to keep this magical place for the guests of Whiteblue.

There are a lot of first descents to do around here! One thing that indicated this fact was that we were among the first skiers the locals have seen up here. They came out to chat and looked at us a bit strange, outsiders on fat “water” ski looking things, heading up the mountain for powder snow.

Breaking trail was an easy job this day. The look of what was waiting above pumped the energy levels up and moved the focus away from our tiring legs too thoughts of how good the skiing was going to be.

After a perfect lunch we moved up to the first peak. From here we got a first overview of the area on both sides of the ridge. What a beautiful place this was. Looking over the fjords, glaciers, and the Northern Arctic Ocean.

The next objective was a short climb reaching the highest point on the ridge. Reaching the top gave us another option for skiing than first planned. The northeast aspect was cold powder heaven, but a no go today as the avalanche risk was too high. But next time maybe?

After some time enjoying the views we were ready to ski all the way from the white powder summit to the blue open sea. A Whiteblue ski touring adventure in actionJ

Enjoy the pics by Ole Marius Jørgensen (Oleg)

fredag 19. mars 2010

Day 2 – Powder, sable fighting and Waffle heaven at Kabelvaag Hotel

After a good night sleep onboard Hurtigruten we arrived in Harstad. First a quick stop to get the urban coffee drinkers satisfied we were on the E-10 road for Lofoten. E-10 is a driving skiers nightmare. Luckily we survived after watching ski lines all the way to Svolvær Lofoten. After some discussions we decided to head for Blåtinden. The trail started in someone’s backyard just above Svolvær town. At first it seemed a bit strange to be walking among houses since there is plenty of options away from people.

Blåtind proved to be a great choice, both ski wise and scenery. The scenery is amazing above Svolvær. Looking over the open sea and peaks exploding out of the ocean.

After 30-40 minutes we felt like being totally away

At the first peak we skied down the north/east side to find perfect powder, the only price we had to pay was the return back from were we came.

On the way up we had already pointed out the way down. A beautiful untouched flank just waiting for the Whiteblue crew to shred it.. Oh yes!!

A lot of jiiiihhhaaas and 360 smiles we found us at the final run to Svolvær. This last part was the reason for choosing Blåtind. The sunset into the sea and skiers is a wet dream for all.

Never before did we have an argument on whom to ski first. Not this day. The sables were drawn and the fight was on….

Look out for more…. Tomorrow waits Glomfjord…

PS!! Kabelvaag hotel and Maren gave us the best welcome – warm waffles in a big stack waiting for hungery skiers! We love you Maren and Kabelvaag Hotel!!

torsdag 18. mars 2010

Day 1. - True Blue White Powder in Kvaløya Tromsø

Woke up to a sunny clear day in Tromø! The first day of our tour couldn’t get a better start, the group exited around the breakfast table – just after 0700 – all ready to go for a day of untracked fresh snow. Kvaløya is it! 20 minutes later we stopped the car. Here we go – snow - a lot of new white snow. Soon on track – Skittentind – up there – our `top´ today. 3 hours later we gaze out to the horizon – blue ocean and beautiful scenes. Down – incredible – incredible skiing.

Tro meg – ganske så deilig! (Norwegian)

The desert is now being served – waiting for the Hurtigruten to make land in Tromsø. We will soon board and head for Harstad and tomorrows adventure. Hopefully the sun will stay with us – the fresh snow is there (so we heard…). Can’t wait to see Lofoten - once more. Talk soon.

Still waiting Ole M.?

onsdag 17. mars 2010

Killer whales, sauna and couloir gazing

Imaging sailing around in the Arctic sea, gazing at steep couloirs from inside a rebuilt whaling ship turned into a mix of Finnish sauna and a Japanese zen lounge. Yes it’s surreal and very unique. Vulkana makes you wind down and relax, and we want to use this special ship as your floating base camp for ski touring exploration in the Arctic sea outside Tromsø Norway.

Vulkana is new to Whiteblue and we needed to make a test run to make sure the concept holds what you can expect.

And it does!

We believe Vulkana is the perfect base for a ski touring Adventure unlike everything else you can find in the world. Unfortunately we didn’t find time to ski this time but the opportunities around Tromsø gave us a lot of ideas for first descents. And that’s a theme for the whole Vulkana experience. This ship is one of a kind a truly unique ship.

Have a look at the pictures and make your decision for you next ski touring exploration adventure with Whiteblue.

PS! Tomorrow we are heading out to Kvaløya to find untracked snow summit to sea… This will be the first day of the 4 days Hurtigruten cruise ahead. Spirits are high and the group are eager to get out thereJ