• BLOG
  • The Most Persistent Loser

    Trübsee Langlaufloipe

    I don’t hate you for failing.  I  love you for trying.

     I had this “quote” (somewhere credited to Marge Simpson, no knowledge of the original idea) on my wall for years. And it’s no wonder then that the “Mont Blanc’s most persistent loser” -description (of Marc-Théodore Bourrit in Fergus Fleming’s “Killing Dragons – The Conquest of the Alps” book I am currently reading ) hit my nerve as well.

    (Btw that^ book again is full or annoying arrogant or simply just rude dudes, and I am still looking for more mountain books of good men and especially of and by the brave women. Feel free to drop them to me by email or in the comments.)

    Of course it would be way nicer to be the winner always. To succeed, reach goals and just do amazingly all the time. But while that’s not the case, it’s better to try and try. To do and just go for it. Even with the possibility of failing, it’s better to dream and try than waste life by dreaming but not reaching. Not even failure.

    Persistence and sisu. Stubborness and perseverance. Very good qualifications in sports, work and life in general.

    Eh and yes, this semi deep talk just randomly accompanies these cross-country skiing pics from February. Which basically don’t have anything to do with the persistence and reaching goals. I mainly ski just for fun and exercise, don’t aim for much, and it’s also been many years from my last race.

    I am not even sure if I really dreamed of one day skiing nordic in the Alps above 1000m where it really helps to have the good technique and endurance I have as a result of skiing nordic since 90´s. Also, very hard to think how one could really fail badly in this sport (as long as one doesn’t aim for Olympic gold).

    Falling may hurt, yes. Muscles most likely hurt after tens of kilometres, no matter how well trained previously. Or you may not reach the planned 20km because just can’t do it. (Or don’t have enough extra energy. Until now I have carried with me on my adventures these honey shots by Arctic Warriors – funnily named with the Finnish versions of perseverance, persistence and strength – and boosted my morning/lunch/dinner porridges with their berry powders * which now unfortunately are finished. And so I have made more restaurant stops in between skiing and suffer now of slight flu – hopefully not corona – symptoms.)

    In Lapland, frost may also bite. And skis and poles may break, for various reasons, which comes expensive.

    In general though, nordic skiing is pretty funny, especially on places like Trübsee in Engelberg where one can simultaneously watch the freeskiers come down from the higher glaciers, past and over snow covered crevasses and cliffs. Nordic skiing is not really risky sport, yet the sessions like in these pics are pretty rewarding and the ultimate experience amazing.

    And yes, if you fail it will not be as bad as a failure on the glacier or big scene in front of huge audience. And when you succeed, it just strengthens your confidence and endurance.

    Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.

    ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

    Tiina Kivelä Langlauf

    Trübsee Langlaufloipe


    Where: Trübsee, Engelberg/Titlis, Switzerland

     

  • BLOG
  • Basic Helvetia

    Tiina Kivelä

    It takes a Finnish to appreciate this Swiss end of the year sun like no one else.

    And take the most out of days like these.

    Literally out, skiing alpine, free or nordic. Or simply walking from the gondola to the nearest stübli or hütte for a healthy portion of älplermagronen, followed by älpler -kaffee.

    And talking of the current skiing conditions in central Switzerland and the Alps, for nordic and free there’s not much for a good base yet. At least not in the lower elevations.

    But above 1500m it’s enough for some good rounds of nordic and alpine skiing, and a bit for a piste side powder too. And on a lazy sunny day there’s more than enough good views for some walking tours too. And those patio hangs with good food and drinks.

    It’s also just enough snow that one isn’t too sad to spent many days a week working. Epic “sick” days are for late season anyway.

    Although this Tuesday already was pretty epic.

    Trübsee Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

    Trübsee Engelberg Switzerland

     

    Trübsee Alpstübli Engelberg Switzerland

    Trübsee Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

    Trübsee Engelberg Switzerland Skiing

    Ps. Helvetia (/hɛlˈviːʃə/)[1] is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation.

    The allegory is typically pictured in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag, and commonly with braided hair, commonly with a wreath as a symbol of confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest.


    Where: Trübsee, Engelberg 6390 Switzerland