• BLOG
  • ONCE UPON A TIME IN VERBIER

    Tiina Kivelä

    There are these places which just have to be visited; places like Verbier. For me, it all started years ago, when getting really into freeskiing and learning of these legendary places like Chamonix, Verbier, St. Anton etc. Where mountains are big, where extreme is the real extreme, and where the after ski is really deserved.

    I still haven’t done any proper ski bum season in the Alps, as I planned some years ago, and for which I tried to learn French and German without much luck (but someday, baby, someday). There came other dreams and other plans, but still, the places were always there, especially in my dreams. And then I moved to Switzerland. Not for bumming really, but at some point I ended up bumming in Verbier, for a while at least.

    It was, or well should have been, the FWT finals on that weekend in the end of March; Swatch Xtreme Verbier 2017. Unfortunately, for the lack of snow and for the strong winds, they could only run the junior race during that weekend, and we had only the weekend free to stay there. Nevertheless, it was a good trip. Drinking very good wine, eating very good burgers, and meeting the legends, the world champions and other weekend warriors, and dancing the night away. It was lovely and krhm. very Scandinavian, as Verbier is, and I sure need to get back there for some more of the good vibes.

    Below you may see Bec Des Rosses, which you should know if you know anything about the hardcore freeskiing. I don’t think I’ll never ski it myself, but en place it really impresses, and scares, even the mere spectator, giving that funny feeling in the stomach, just by watching it from distance… And I can only imagine how it feels to really ski it down; huge respect for the ones who can do it. Nevertheless, the other slopes and off piste areas of Verbier offer nice moderate challenges for us who are more for the comfortable kind of skiing.

    Verbier is about high-level extreme, but it’s also about high-level life quality. So if you are like me, or even less interested in the skiing, the wine and food and party scene are also more than nice to keep you entertained. Just remember to save some money first.


    Eat & Drink Verbier:

    Le Shed, Rue de Medran 5

    Pub Mont Fort, Chemin de la Tinte 10

    Offshore Café, 27 Rue de Medran,

    Sleep & Relax:

    W Verbier

    Wine: Renaissance


     FI: Muutama päivä Verbierissä maaliskuun lopulla. Hyvää viiniä ja ruokaa, legendoja ja skandimeininkiä. Menisin uudelleenkin.

  • BLOG
  • STRANGE DAYS & MY MAPS

    Tiina Kivelä

    Postcard from the Swiss Alps, April 2017.

    The last resort skiing day of the season looked like this last Saturday. And when I say last, please do note that I’ve already said it two times before, so either third time’s a charm, or then the Alps provide as long (but luckily not as dark) winter season as Lapland. I’ll keep you posted about that…

    It was a damn good day. Powder snow and clear blue skies, the clearest I’ve seen this year, and it still amazes me every time that on a clear day like this, I can even see Mont Blanc from here. These mountains; I just can’t help loving them.

    And now it’s the first week of May. Planning mode on, for the future adventures both in travel and life in general. The days are strange, nothing is sure and corporate world has shown it’s cons big time lately. Nevertheless, I try to keep in mind that when nothing is sure everything is possible. And take the moments as they come, and enjoy fully when they are as awesome as the past weekend was. Or well, I still like to plan a bit, and I’ve especially realised this very deep love for custom maps; it’s apparently something which just happens when your brother is a cartographer and you’re the explorer… Now working on a map for a little roadtrip to Finale Ligure, Italy, and my personal Best of Switzerland guide. They’re still drafts but definitely more of these coming later, when I finally have time to concentrate 100% on my personal projects, which I hope will also help others, whenever possible.

    Talk to you later and until that, take care, and travel as much as possible.

    To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and best of all I had learnt to laugh.

    © Robyn Davidson

    Location: Schilthorn Piz Gloria 29/04/2017


    FI: Postikortti Alpeilta, mitä luultavimmin viimeiseltä laskupäivältä. Oli puuteria, ja oli kirkasta; koskaan aiemmin Mont Blanc ei ole kurkistanut paikallisten vuorten takaa näin selvästi.

    Mahtavan viikonlopun jälkeen toukokuu on alkanut hieman oudoissa merkeissä. Yritysmaailma ja kvartaalitalous on rypistänyt kulmia hieman liikaa, ja sima ja munkit piti korvata “vain” haaleanpinkillä rosélla. Yritän kuitenkin pitää mielessä, että niin kauan kuin mikään ei ole varmaa, kaikki on mahdollista. Otan eteen tulevat tilanteet sellaisina kuin ne tulevat, ja nautin hemmetisti kun ne ovat yhtä erinomaisia kuin mennyt viikonloppu.

    Tai no, yritän kyllä myös suunnitella tätä elämää edes hieman, ja olenkin jo varannut tulevaisuuteen muutaman viikon jolloin aion keskittyä 100% omiin projekteihini. Olen myls aloittanut puuhailemaan omia opaskarttoja ja roadtripehdotuksia (autollisille kavereille siis) ja miettinyt missä asioissa haluan olla parempi viikon, kuukauden, ja jopa vuoden päästä.  Kaikki tämä koska ympärillä on niin paljon inspiroivia ihmisiä, jotka saavat tavoittelemaan lähes kuuta taivaalta, tai noh ainakin ns. parempaa elämää. Koska jos hekin, niin miksen minäkin. Tai sinä.

  • BLOG
  • FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY

    Tiina Kivelä

    This Swiss life. It’s soon been almost a year already. And still going strong.

    Spring has arrived, but as sometimes it snows in April, the cold winds and snow came back during Easter, and this weekend warrior doesn’t put the skis away yet. Or maybe I did last weekend, after a sunny day skiing down Schilthorn with the best people. Nevertheless, the running shoes and bike are already out for the spring, and evenings are spent running along rivers and to the lakes, and biking to nearby villages like Lauterbrunnen (have I already said how awesome it’s that this fairy village is less than an hour bike ride away?).

    At this point, it’quite pointless to point out (not many posts the past months…) that the official winter season (it’s called spring skiing now) was an intensive rollercoaster of feelings and work and weekend adventures. Eat, drink, sleep, work, ski, repeat. Days, weeks and months passed, and mostly it was the simple survival mode which kept me going. And even though many stories were born, only a few of them were written down, and some never realised; because I always thought (wrongly) that I’d have time later on…

    DREAM TOUR OF THE SEASON

    I’ve even forgotten to publish these pics from an awesome trip in February; from a tour which I thought was just the beginning. But then the life and incredibly warm spring happened and this might have been the last big tour of the season. Nevertheless, it was awesome and something to tell to the future grandchildren (disclaimer: these winter trips weren’t “how I met your father”, but quite close still...)

    That day, we stayed up until the lifts closed, and boot packed the extra meters to get the best seats for sunset. After some tea and chocolate and hesitation, we skied down in the dark, only light coming from our headlamps and stars. Then down in the valley, we were the last customers at Busstop, and had the most chilled after ski ever, just two skiers, a beer, a silhouette of the magnificent Eiger, a fire and the stars above. A dream tour, definitely.

    And yes I know how romantic this sounds. I don’t normally do cute, but oh boy Switzerland, mountains and some people have made me quite a romantic this past year.

    Tiina Kivelä

    LIFE IS LIKE A ROLLERCOASTER

    After that weekend, weeks went like a roller coaster ride though. But finally the storm has calmed and there’s even time for free writing and reflecting on what has really happened and what have I learned. In an example, I’ve realised that it’s better to feel the fear and do it anyway, rather than settle on something which does not feel good enough.

    The days like this have felt good. I’ve been scared. My heart has been beating. But I’ve felt good, especially afterwards. It’s like with travelling and running; you think you can’t make it until you make it, and many times you even realise that you can go even further. Maybe one day I climb that Eiger even. Or Mönch. Or at least Jungfrau, which I see from my window (lucky girl). After all, I’ve also been to Verbier (about which and other trips some other time).

    You may fall, but you may also fly. As you never know what would have really happened, if you’d chosen differently.

    2017 Tiina Kivelä

    * Where: semi-secret spot above the Oberjoch lift, Skigebiet Grindelwald-First 


     FI:

    SANANEN SIIRTYMÄKAUDESTA

    Sveitsin talvi. Lyhyt mutta vähäluminen. Kuin Lapin kesä siis.

    Viime viikonloppuna saattoi olla viimeinen laskettelupäivä tälle kaudelle. Sen kunniaksi ja 50+ suojakertoimesta huolimatta poltin kasvoilleni aika huvittavat pandarajat ja join illalla yhden Sambuca – shotin liikaa. Mutta niin, se talvi, se oli sen shotin arvoinen. Ja hyvin lyhyt näin lappilaisiin talviin tottuneelle; nyt elämme jo aikaa jolloin eteisessä huomiosta taistelevat sukset, juoksukengät ja maastopyörä. Kotilaaksokin näyttää taas viidakolta, joka sijaitsee vain muutaman tunnin ajomatkan päässä välimereltä.

    Talven aikana olen valitettavasti unohtanut, enkä oikeastaan edes ehtinyt, kertoa monta tarinaa. Mutta nyt onneksi aikaa on taas enemmän ja voisin kertoa vaikkapa tästä illasta kuvissa; eräs ilta helmikuulta Grindelwalding yläpuolelta. Kun odotimme hissien sulkeutumista ja haikkasimme ylimääräiset metrit ylös parhaille auringonlaskun katselupaikoille. Aurinko laski, seuralainen uskalsi haikata hieman korkeammalle kuin minä, ja tee oli kuumaa. Lopulta laskimme alas otsalamppujen ja tähtien valossa ja saimme viimeisellä minuutilla oluen alueen parhaasta afrerski “baarista” Busstopista, jonka sitten nautimme kaksin nuotion ääressä tähdet ja massiivinen Eigerin siluetti kulissinamme. Oli aika romanttista, pakko myöntää.

    YLÄMÄKIÄ JA ALAMÄKIÄ

    Tämän illan jälkeen elämä kuitenkin tuntui sitten lipsahtavan vähän liiankin hurjaan vuoristorataan. Oli paljon liikaa töitä, väsymystä ja sekasotkua, mutta kuitenkin hyviä viikonloppuja, pikku reissuja ja erinomaisia keskusteluja. Simpukkaillalisia, racletteillallisia, ystävien uusia ihania asuntoja. Uusia alkuja ja umpikujia.

    Ja vihdoin elämä on taas hieman rauhoittunut. On aikaa kirjoittaa, istua järven rannalla ja pyöräillä iltaisin vaikkapa Lauterbrunneniin. On tuntunut kotoisalta ja aurinkoinen parveke on paljastanut sisältäni kehittyvän viherpeukalon. Ja kalenteriin on merkitty ensimmäiset pidemmät vuosilomat ja jopa lentoliput Espanjaan on buukattu.

    Ei kaikki silti täydellistä ole eikä lähelläkään helppoa, mutta ehkä juuri siksi parasta ikinä. Tämä elämä saa sydämen lyömään ja mielen keskittymään oikeisiin asioihin. Niihin joilla on oikeasti väliä. Kuten nämä mahtavat vuoret ja ihmiset.