When the winter comes; dressing the mountains in white, allowing that crisp air to enter and the landscape to sleep, my playfulness wakes up and energy emerges.

Seduced by this colder season, free skiing directs my life this time of the year and with some interruption by ice climbing, mountainguide courses and the annual Telemark skicourse for the Royal Marines Mountain leaders, so far this year I’ve been exploring the snow from the Arctics to the Alps.

Arctic forest Finland

After a quick trip to the French Alps during New Year, my January started in the very north of Scandinavia with the annual Telmark ski course that I have with the Royal Marines Mountain leader unit. This year, they skied stronger than ever and rumors said that the Marines had been intensely practising their telemark skills in Stubai, Austria just before Christmas. Well, I could tell!

We went to Saariselkä, north of Finland, and according to the tradition, the temperatures went down to -30 also this year. Some days I found myself skiing in 6 (!) layers…

Royal Marines Telemark skiers

This year´s Royal Marines skiers in Saariselkä Finland. It is my fourth year instructing the Advanced Ski Instructor course to the Mountain Leader unit and it´s a pleasure to work with such a motivated team.

Mountain guide courses

Late January and off to Sogndal, mid-Norway, where the IFMGA Nortind Avalanche and Snow awareness course took place, followed by a Nordic Ski touring guide course in Hemsedal at the start of February.

For 2 weeks I had the pleasure of spending time with my guide class, examine snow, pull pulkas, dig snow caves, fight the strong winds and refine many mountain skills. It was intense, fun, tiring and great.

Dealing with the wind force on the Nordic skiguide course in Hemsedal mountain area.

Dealing with the wind force on the Nordic skiguide course in Hemsedal mountain area.

Our Nortind guide class consists of 7 motivated, skilled and strong personalities of wonderful people. We make a good team and I am happy to be apart of the cirque. We´ve already had more than 30 course days on the IFMGA program and I am looking forward to the upcoming Ski/winter alpine touring part in March.

Stability tests of the snow pack during our guide course in Sogndal

Lunch time by a deserted cabin the 1st day of the Nordic ski course

Lunch time by a deserted cabin the 1st day of the Nordic ski course, above: stability test of the snowpack in Sogndal.

Chamonix, second home

When I arrived in Chamonix the 8th of February, the snow fell heavily and it was great to finally see these beautiful mountains covered in white.

For the first day of skiing we decided to drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel and into Italy. It was great to be free skiing for my own enjoyment after all previous work and courses. The day at Helbronner with my friend and skier Tom Grant, proved to be one of the best days I´ve had in the Alps. The snow was simply fantastic and we skied like wild kids until the legs were burning!

Helbronner, prime time skiing above Courmayeur. Tom choosing a line on the cable face.

Helbronner, prime time skiing above Courmayeur. Tom choosing a line on the cable face.

Helbronner, Italy, is where the new Skyway Monte Bianco lift takes you up to the southern aspects of the Mont Blanc Massif.

With an impressive vertical drop, the off-pist mountain skiing you get here is among the world´s best. Easily accessed by the space-like looking gondola that reaches an altitude of 3462 m, the whole Helbronner setting is pretty mindblowing. Just a step away from a serious mountain environment, big glaciers and steep spurs, you can also enjoy a coffee and admire crystals…

From the top of Punta Helbronner, there are many ways down, most of them involving an adventurous touch and delicious steeps to test your fluidity. You either go skiing here with a guide or make sure you know the name of the game.

One of the best things I know when going to Italy is the after-shred pizza and a good coffee. No other country knows how to make justice to coffee beans and the good life in Italy is just never far away!

Johanna skiing Helbronner pow

Words no needed, I still smile thinking about it!

King of Dolomites

We also got some great news last week. Together with the German photographer and film maker Johannes Strobel, we´re selected as a PRO team in the Arc´teryx King of Dolomites taking place in the Dolomites, Italy next weekend!

King of Dolomites is a Freeride Photo competion where many of the world´s best skiers and photographers have participated through out the years. It will be super fun to go there with Johannes and Tom and I think we can make a good team together.

It feels good to be back in the Alps for some time now. As I look out the window, the wind is ruling on the mountain and snow has been falling. It´s time to jump into my ski boots and take my Atris birdie for a play.

I hope you are enjoying the winter as much! Welcome to follow my Instagram for frequent mountain updates and more pictures.

Snowy wishes,

Johanna

King of the Dolomites

King of the Dolomites 2016 coming up next weekend in Italy!