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.

Last training, skiing in Lapland

When writing this it's 8 days to go before the trip to Everest. Instead of a training journey to the Alps I decided to take it easy and spend a week skiing in Lapland. No stress, no hurry and with access to the internet in the evenings to do some last-minute work. And there is quite a lot on the to-do list concerning my work and the family, all that will be needed to be prepared for the next two months, or forever if I never come back. But I will.

 Log cabin life suits me well

Log cabin life suits me well

With the Everest trip itself there's also still some work; interviews with a couple of newspapers, one on TV with Bettina S., some stuff to buy like extra warm mittens for the summit. I can't risk getting the gloves from Kathmandu, I have such freezing hands. Luckily V-P Mölsä from Greendoor found good ones for me, the Marmot 8000 Mitt M, I just need to find time to pick them up this week.

Here in Lapland it is cool.  I keep the cottage at 10 degrees. I don't want to get used to too convenient a temperature. Every evening after skiing I go to sauna and take a roll in the snow. The shower is as cold as I can get it from the pipeline. In the beginning of the week we had really cold nights, -30-35 degrees. During the day it got up to a nice -5 degrees.

I had some efficient training. On Wednesday I skied 55 kilometers, including climbing up to Pirunkuru. I have decided to climb Pirunkuru every evening while here. It is my favorite place, or maybe not favorite, but a place where I often end up. It's a steep climb up and then a long downhill to our cottage, so it's a good end for the day outdoors.

On Thursday I wanted to have some climbing training, so I climbed up to the fells,Kukas, Lainio and Kesänki (1700 meters of climbing on the skis said my GPS). Skiing is good here in Äkäslompolo. The season is starting to be at it's best. Maybe in 2 weeks here will be in the mornings the snowcrust hard enough for you to go where ever you want, not needing to follow the tracks. That is my best life, skiing freely around. But this year I will be in Nepal when those conditions are here.

Altogether I managed to ski maybe 250 km during the week, I'll have to check the GPS. Not too much, but I focused more on the climbing than the distance. 

 Silly car, should have stayed in the South of France… Or silly man to drive it in the Finnish winter?

Silly car, should have stayed in the South of France… Or silly man to drive it in the Finnish winter?

P.S. Coming back from Lapland my husband took the small car to get me from the airport. My skibag was really thick and didn't fit through the small hole in the backseat so we had to take the roof down. In addition to swimming in open waters we have also opened the cabriolet season, literally very cool :)

Johanna Gustafsson – the Everest project