To be prepared for the South Pole I knew I had to go for a solo trip and decided on the white plains of Finnmarksvidda in Norway. I had never been to this vidda before, even if it´s not far from Tromsö where I live. I was really looking forward to this trip, but when I finally was going to leave I had so many other things that I needed to do. I was stressed about the sponsor chase, the e-mail writing and phoncalls to be made. So Finnmarksvidda felt more like a thing to tick off the list. I was not as excited as I had hoped when I started to pack some new equipment and old gear, in the end of February. A lot of stuff had not been used since my sister and I where on the icecap of Greenland two years earlier. Packed, stressed and ready I took a flight to Lakselv in the north and a friend drove me out into the middle of nowhere. When I jumped out of the car the thermometer showed minus 28 degrees.
I wrote this in my diary after my first day.
”Brr, I am in my tent and I am sure the temperature is at least minus 30. I just discovered that the thermometer only goes down to minus 20. Alright, so I am alone, exciting, or? The stars are fantastic here though! I am trying to melt my lens solution into fluid, so I can take my lenses off and go to sleep. I hope I won’t freeze tonight.”
Everything felt fresh in the start. And it felt weird to be alone. Should I spend over a million Swedish crowns (100 000 Euro) to do this?! To just walk around on skis, pulling a pulk for days? Not only a few days, I will be doing it for two months! Really? Is it too late to pull out?
After a few days I started to recognize the good old feeling about being out. I started to feel calm and I could let my thoughts wander. The sun was shining and Finnmarksvidda was so beautiful. The routines started to get settled and I enjoyed the nature and the simple life. During all my longer trips I have always experienced that I don’t enjoy the start as much as I do a few days in or maybe weeks into the trip. I think that is good to have in mind when I start my long trip in Antarctica.
After this winter week at Finnmarksvidda with strong sun, low temperature, snowfall, whiteout, hard winds and no winds I felt relaxed. I was just calm and happy. Before the trip I had so much going on and felt stressed not to be able to answer emails and call people. Now I have had time to think things through and more importantly if I really wanted to ski to the South Pole at all, and alone. Thoughts takes time like my dad always says. If someone had asked me if I wanted to ski to the South Pole one of the first days of my training trip I am not sure what the answer would have been. But after a week at Finnmarksvidda I am completly sure what I want. I want to pull a heavy pulka every day for two months, slightly uphill and with headwinds, towards 90 degrees south!