(editor’s note: Our good friend, Zach Paley, has been living in the Arctic Circle of Norway for the past month. He works on a boat, camps, skis, writes, and takes stunning photographs. In this entry, Zach finds himself solo camping and skiing for 8 days in gorgeous Lyngen, Norway)
The life I had been living had to end. No more saunas. No more chocolate chip cookies. No more warm beds. Lyngen was going to get a little more in-tents.
|Setting it steep|
I’d done plenty of looking where I wanted to go. The stability was right, and it was time to go there.
This was a solo trip. I tried some interval shooting, but was only rewarded with pictures that didn’t turn out very well. I’ve always looked up to guys like Christian Pondella, but I now have a new level of respect for them. This is an incredibly tedious and difficult way to take pictures.
Rather than invest time and energy into failed photographs, I focused on going skiing, which the midnight sun allowed me to do whenever I wanted.
The rhythm I fell into when something like this:
1. Wake up
3. Check to see if boots had dried while sleeping (they hadn’t)
5. Put ski boots on
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until tired
9. Repeat steps 6 and 7 a little more
10. Return to tent, take gear off to dry
12. Write in journal
14. Start at step 1
With no watch, no phone, and nobody else, I went eight days only communicating my thoughts to my journal, skiing while awake, and sleeping after skiing. It was the most straightforward, pure living I’ve ever experienced.
|Reaping benefits from previous efforts.|
It’s amazing to wake up, not know what time it is, and for it not to matter because you can ski around the clock. Camping and skiing in Lyngen in early May is something special.
|Reindeer herding. An essential Norwegian experience.|
Lyngen and I bonded a lot during this time. It whispered secrets through the rustle of tree limbs, chattered through the babble of streams, called in the distance through rumblings of rockfall, and bawled through the wind up high. It had taken me almost a month of patience while Lyngen remained quiet. Finally seeing I was willing to take the time to listen, the mountains shared with me.