"Where there is will there is a way..."
The last few weeks have been frustrating, to say the least. After a week of great pain, dosed on morfin, with neck collar and mostly laying dead flat on my back, I got to take the collar off. What a relief! In a few days the worst neck pain slowly subsided. I could sit up for longer than 15 minutes without gritting my teeth. And partake in the dinners at Senja with Mammut Pro Team and actually smile a little. "You are like a new person now" Deni Burdet said the last day. The shoulder cuff had to stay on for a while longer tough...
When the Mammut boys went back to Switzerland, we decided to drive to Lofoten to set up camp at Sildpollneset and find a good physio for me in Svolvær. Now it was time to start the rehab process. The first week in Lofoten it poured rain almost 24/7. We managed to sneak a free one-week training ticket at Stamina, and spent the time doing rehab exercises and administrating our new business. Boy there is lots to learn regarding how to run a business in Norway, alias "bureaucracy heaven"... Quickly I was at least becoming able to dress myself, to Signars happiness :) But the physio did an ultra sound, and concluded that in addition to the AC-luxation, there was also a muscle rupture in the rotator cuff, and an impression fracture in the acromion (a fracture that is not all the way through the bone, in the bone that sticks out forward from the shoulder blade). Bad news...
After a week of rehab the weather changed. It was time to get outside! Day one we went for a "walk" on skis on flat ground. It went pretty well. So the next day I decided it was time to try going uphill. Signar's friend Kristian Vindvik joined us, and eventually we found ourselves almost at the top of Torskmannen! Arm still of no use, but two good legs :) Unfortunately it became total white-out as we were getting ready to go down. It was a battle getting down in one piece, and I felt like the worst skier in the world, as I dared nothing due to risk of falling on my shoulder or neck.
On the way up to Torskmannen with Rulten in the background
Rulten - maybe the most beautiful mountain in Lofoten?
Next day we joined up with Fredrik Sträng as well, and drove off to Juviktind. Kristian and Fredrik took another route to the top, and me and Signar started off on the normal, and easiest route. Short approach over rocks and trees on skis, then switched to crampons and axes for the long and arduous battle up the snow filled couloir. Signar had to be the snow plow :) Suddenly it started snowing and visibility was down to zero. Oh no! Would we have to turn around? We bundled up in all our down and huddled together for a while. Suddenly it cleared a little, and we continued. After some AI2 ice and a short mixed pitch of M2-M3 we stood on the top! Whoho! A little victory dance of joy to celebrate the occasion :)
The snow plow Signar Alpinklatring :)
The one-armed climber...
Celebration dance! :)
The third day we headed for the Geitgaljen, after my physio appointment ("I don't want to know what you are up to" said the physio, who thought I would be climbing again at the end of March at the earliest) Lots of new powder covered the mountain, and the five of us were the only ones out (now Fredrik's friend Kevin had joined as well). The weather was changing a lot, but the higher we got the more wind and clouds where drifting in and making the visibility far from ideal. We held a little hope for being able to ski the south couloir, full of fresh powder. As we got to the top of it, visibility was bad. Kristian, Fredrik and Kevin decided to turn around and ski the same way back. Me and Signar lingered a little longer, and after testing the snow and deciding that we were comfortable with the avalanche risk, the sky suddenly cleared. Holy moly!! This amazing light and view over all of Austnesfjorden and the opposite mountains and the open sea. Champagne powder in a perfectly steep couloir, and all to ourselves. We had the run of our lives, screaming with joy, all the way down to the sea. Absolutely freaking amazing!! High on life and the mountains, we skinned back to the car.
Several super-frustrating weeks, with lots of tears and sadness, ended with a unusual high! And for a moment I almost forgot about the accident. But I know there will be many more frustrating moments, and my shoulder is far from good. So any real climbing will be a while in to the future. And yes, I know, it could have been a lot worse. I could still be forced to wear the neck collar, or I could still have a paralyzed left arm, or something even worse. But I have a really hard time being happy for that. Cause even tough I have been injured many times before, and missed races and trips, there is no injury that has come at a more unfortunate time than this. For so long have we looked forward to this three month tour, so many cool climbs have we planned on doing, and so much fun in the mountains have we hoped to have. I hope we can live on the high above for a while....