Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Summary of the second test in grövelsjön for the Greenland Team

“This is harder than climbing Everest!” , James shouted after two hours of skiing.
Second Greenland training camp just ended!
From Siberia to Grövelsjön. It was snowing in huge amounts when I arrived in Lima the 14th. Milka from Poland and James from the UK arrived midnight, both of them have climbed Mount Everest. They slid of the road on route up the house. I went to help them, slid of the road. We went to sleep at 1.30, got up at 7 and I called Ingemar Eriksson. I have never met him, but he came in a hurry and helped us. We left in heavy snow and bad roads for Grövelsjön. Arrived at 14.00, start skiing at 15.00.
1½ hour later James screamed his classic line, sweated profusely and we put up our first camp. Great view over Lake Grövelsjön. It was snowing. -10 degrees C. Three tents. This was the second outingwith the Greenland team. Well, Peter and Mikael missing. Brexit is not making it easier for the Brits.
This time Milka came with much better skis and climbed easily up to camp. This was James first time on skis and not used to skins, had a hard time, but fought hard.
Next day was an easy climb around Sjöhögda and Salsfjellt on the Norwegian side. I realized it would be easier if I broke a path for them to follow. I took four hours for them to catch up. I spent that time chillaxing in a windsack just on top of the lake.
When they turned up,we had an hour to ski down before the darkness to pt camp. We made it. Milka didn´t want to spend another night in her tent, so she joined James. Some issues how to use the stove. Next day, we split up, I had to pick up the girls who came with a bus. James and Milka joined me in Lima at 16.00 for an evaluation and this is what we noted down plus my own:

1. James need to come back and train how to ski.

2. Milka has to work much harder on testing tents, stoves etcetera.

3. I need longer, better tent poles, like the MSR ones.
4. My new pee bottle is leaking, but otherwise perfect. From Apoteket.
5. Bring different sizes of toothpicks.
6. Way more relaxed being solo in a tent.
7. I think everyone in the team not used to skiing, pulling a sled or used to the huge discomforts with camplife in the Arctic need to go to Kangerlussuaq a week before we set off. Important! Otherwise it will be a very difficult trip.
8. I am a little bit worried with 2½ months to go how unprepared the team is on the whole. But since I know everyone is porfessional they will do what it takes.
9. A windsack is a must!
10. The team must know every single aspect of camplife, skiing, pulling a sled into detail before we set off.
11. We have to spend a day at the ice training crevasse rescue. Everyone has to be very comfortable with their gear.
12. 2 smaller pots instead of one for cooking, saving gas.
13. Snowbrush essential to keep moisture level down.
These are the notes of the second test.
2½ month to go and I think we have a great team coming up! James and Milka showed great attitude!

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