Apr 27, 2014

Tranciver test - La facture sera alors allégée d’une petite centaine d’Euros - the devices are still to expensive

The CAF compared 20 models of transceiver and tested 17 of them
Considering features such as ease of use, compatibility with other models, potential interference from other devices, performance when searching for multiple signals, etc. The Mammut Pulse Barryvox scored most highly on all factors and was declared to be the best of the bunch, with Ortovox S1 not far behind although it lost points on scope.
ARVA Neo and Mammut Element were recommended for their excellent range and efficient multi-victim search mode
In the last 3 years a third antenna has now become a standard. But still a few digital device don't have  this feature: ARVA Evo3 + Tracker2 BCA, Ortovox Zoom

Their advice is to avoid cheaper models such as the BCA Tracker DTS and the Pieps Freeride as they were deemed to have too low a range, making the first detection of a signal from another beacon too slow a process in an avalanche. The CAF also voiced the opinion that prices in general are too high and restrict people from buying the best in terms of safety and reliability.
Their findings concluded that although there is a wide range of transceivers to choose from, user-capability is often the defining factor in how good your device will perform. It is vital to learn how to use your transceiver correctly and to practise often, in different conditions.

BCA & Mammut recall avalanche airbags
BCA have identified a potential issue with the trigger assembly on their Float airbags, which were distributed from 2011 to 2013, they are offering an upgraded trigger assembly unit to all owners. Their website says:
Owners of Backcountry Access (“BCA”) Float airbags shipped in 2011-12 and 2012-13 should contact BCA to receive a new trigger assembly for their Float Airbag. This Alert applies specifically to Float 30 Airbag Pack, Float 18 Airbag Pack, Float 36 Airbag Pack, Float 22 – Blue, Float 22 – Black, Float 32 – Red, Float Throttle – Black. The affected trigger assemblies have a “lot” letter on the trigger handle, and the population includes lots A through E.
BCA has received a limited number of warranty returns in which the retaining ring, or E-clip, on the trigger assembly has been removed or become dislodged from the trigger cable. The E-clip can inadvertently be removed or become dislodged in the process of connecting the trigger assembly to the compressed air cylinder. If this occurs, the airbag may not deploy properly when the trigger is pulled. While the probability of this occurring is extremely low, we believe it is best to replace the entire assembly.
Meanwhile, certain models of Mammut and Snowpulse avalanche backpacks may also have a trigger mechanism related problem. Affected models were produced during 2011-12 or 2013-14 and are equipped with the Inflation System 2.0. Owners of these systems are advised to view this page on the Mammut website and to contact customer services if necessary to arrange a free repair

/Stay on top!

Apr 15, 2014

Stállegorsa - Kebnekaise


I don't know over how many years I have been looking on this thing, but it has always been a real teaser
Like a beautiful girl that you just think that you have done well with, just before she disappears with a smile. Never to be seen again until next year. And the same thing happens all over again…
This most beautiful pillar of ice has shown its forms a couple of times, only to just to quick brake downing pieces the next day, until next year, in best case. But most often it just shows its capacity and its possibilities.
But, if you are keen, someday it will work out. Just like with your woman!

the Queen of  snowmobiles, a true madame Sarri

As always, leaving Nikkaloukta my days start to seek for this heart shape ravine on the south side of Ladtjovagge. And as I knew that the ice conditions in general was good this year, my hopes was big to see "her" again. But, since no one has said anymore I didn't give it to much. Remembering 4-5 years ago when the formation was "in", linked up with a 5-6meter upper part of the thinest icicle you can think of. And, which of course had broken down a couple of days later. Before even touched. 
One or two teams has been told tried her before, but no success…

The local name for this caracter is Stállegorsa, which means the Steel gorge. It has many explanations for its shape. One of them would be that a giant sat down for a rest at this point, giving the mountain side its shape of its "butt"
Well, to me it looks more like a giant heart. Maybe ticking for a dedicated ice climber!?

 As we came closer with the snowmobile, and a rising heart rate, I could by my most stunning conviction realise that my time has come to give her a try. A point of no return, its now or never. Her shapes was the most perfect ever seen trough my eyes, what a beauty! But,  as before, would she fool me again…

the lappish queen of icicles

The first day went of with mountain work, preparing a ski alpinism course, ski du alpinism. For the classic ski race in Kebnekasie. Which has the similar name of "Kebnekasie Classic". Which has been running since 1992 with a couple of years brake at the start of the new millennium. 
So, since I was chief of security the first focus had to go to the race, an other individual race was to be quick enough to brake off for a big climb. A race up the icicle.
And with a bit of planning and a bunch of luck I got a work and weather spell. And with a bit of sophisticated convincing as well, I had a partner!

One part of the prepared race track, Halspasset

With an idea of that "this should go fast", he packed his things after a late lunch. In which I packed the gear for the trip, trying to lend togheter best as possible. Which actually sent me a bunch of new gear, from axes to ropes, thank you Johan and Patrik!
With a modern approach we stood at the base after an hour of modernisize. Looking up at the most stunning pillar ever. 
A perfect body covered under a most brilljant layer of snow, like angel dust. But would she let me up!?
Maybe her legs would give a sign of what to come.?

la madame it self

Racking up was easy, 6 ice screws for the lead and 2 for the belay would cover its calculated 50m. If I could sneak up her legs to her breast, maybe I could force the shoulders and up on its head. The biggest issue though, the roof. A biiig roof!
And of course, nothing comes easy here. The first meters of climbing shows exactly what to come, I am more digging with my axes then actually climbing. Trying to hook behind frozen snow and icicles deep behind the snow curtain. And if that would not be enough, the angel dust of snow turns to a "gaine en verre" known as the famous verglas
As usual, I just need someone to ask me to come down, normally works fine to send me up… So after almost giving up on her. Realising she belongs to an other class, I keep on struggling upwards moving from one bad placement to an other. Doing my best to keep the feet trigged in as deep as possible for balance. And finally I have to take the decision of leaving the security of placing ice screws, trying to lurk my way up the covered thin ice layer up to, what I can see, good ice 6-7 meters up…goes well!

Just digging and hoping

One good ice screw and I have to down climb to retrieve a couple of screws for the upper part, which look hard, kind off.
But, now with solid hard ice under my tools I feel confident to give the last bit the best go, placing first one and then a second screw under the roof with a screamer as well. Then suddenly I hear this noise. A new sound from the ice that wasn't there before…oopps. Should I go or should I stay?! Like a bad song with worse lyrics. Is it going to collapse or just wants me to know who is in charge here?!
A minutes intensive listening during the time nothing changes, either the noise or … or what? 
Time to go and make it quick 


A high as possible placed axe giving the other a long reach up to a some kind of formation low down on the edge of the tapp. No other chance, if it holds it holds. Feet as high a it can, considering a figure of 4 but keep it simple and a dyno placement sinks the next axe in, looking off and replace the first. From which I under desperation am able to place an ices crew. 
Jeess, I will take this beauty home!
As long as she dosnt brake off below, means rips me of from this point
The final 5-6 vertical meters is pure pleasure but of course there is one more fight before the belay is put up and I can pull up the last 5 meters of our 60m twinn ropes
What a journey. Our quick "ballad" took me over an hour to lead and most of my physical physics
But a loong gentlemen-in-waiting has paid off!!

long way to go still, Tobias following

Getting closer...

"le coeur de géant" WI7, 55mts FA Krister Jonsson/Tobias Granath 2014-04-02

Done, happy senders!

2x60m rope. 6-12 ice screws, 1-2 screamers
Stállegorsa. 4km west south/west of Nikkaloukta on the south side of Láddjuvagge below Guodekcohkka (1300m)

 //Slåss inte med Monster, du kan bli med ett!