Everest

Adventures of a mother of 7 – Johanna Gustafsson

Because it's there!

When 8 years old I learned about Mount Everest, and ever since I have dreamed about climbing up there. When I became middle-aged and sensible I thought that it's impossible.

2012 when I turned 50 I suddenly got this crazy idea to fulfill my childhood dream. Now, almost 2 years later, after studying, training, researching & finding solutions, it seems possible!

If things go well I will summit in May 2014, if things don't go well I will hopefully do it another year. If you want to follow me vie e-mail updates you can subscribe to them.

Traditional Boxing Day "Pirunkuru climbing"

Every Boxing Day we climb up the Kesänki Fell via Pirunkuru (Devil's pass), a very steep pass with the whole family. Nowadays it is a little bit easier when all the kids climb and ski themselves. Some of the skis must be carried for others, but that's easy compared to carrying all the babies.

This year we were well equipped, two pairs of snowshoes and an extra pair of skis with skins on the bottom, you know the telemark style of climbing up with animal skins fixed to the bottoms of skis. Nowadays the skins are certainly artificial.

 Climbing equipment for 3 persons out of 9, the rest of us needed to manage somehow, crawling in the snow. You can barely see the blue skin on the bottom of the skis.

Climbing equipment for 3 persons out of 9, the rest of us needed to manage somehow, crawling in the snow. You can barely see the blue skin on the bottom of the skis.

We skied some kilometres to the bottom of the fell, changed to snowshoes, skins or just skiboots and started climbing up. In spring time there is a path or almost like stairs and you can run up if you are fit enough. Now it looked like we were the first people going up this season. No marks in the snow. Every step we dropped like half a meter, even with snowshoes. From the picture you can see that the weather wasn't the best either.

 At the top of Kesänki fell,  wind 20 m/s 

At the top of Kesänki fell,  wind 20 m/s 

Finally at the top we changed back to crosscountry skis and started going downhill. Not so easy either. The snow was hard on the surface, but soft underneath, so you never knew when you dropped 30 centimeters trough the thin hard icy crust. If you didn't drop through the ice the heavy wind took you with full speed down. The small kids didn't drop through the icy surface as often as us adults. Interesting downhill. 

 First reindeers of this season, Rudolph the white-eyed ones!

First reindeers of this season, Rudolph the white-eyed ones!

When at last we reached our cottage, I rushed to the Sauna, to get my  fingers and toes to melt. Not the wisest thing to do, I should not freeze them this winter and thawing them in the sauna is probably a too quick method.

Johanna Gustafsson – the Everest project