Last week I was in Norway competing in the Roldal Freeride 4*.
It was a pretty outrageous comp, we spent most of the week waiting around for the weather to clear enough for us to run with 4 venue changes by the time we finished.
On Saturday they decided to bite the bullet and run the comp despite the weather.
It rained all day and was coming down hard a lot of the time.
The venue was moved to a new face just below the level of the ski field on the premise that it was better to run in the rain in small terrain than not at all.
We were all asked to hike up at the same time which meant people at the end of the field like me, 78, were hanging around for 4 or 5 hours.
Luckily there was a little old shack to keep us out of the rain, it had no front door or glass in the windows so it was still pretty draughty. It sounds like we were lucky not to fall through the rotten floor, plus they didn't even have Wifi.
I was well prepared for the wait with ample food supplies and my vintage Hemingway for some light pre comp reading in the attic.
A bunch of the French/Swiss guys spent a good hour or so attempting to build a fire in the old hearth out of assorted scraps of chip board and other pieces of wood that had fallen off the ol' shack. They managed to get it going for 5 or 10 minutes, but in the process they totally smoked the place out and I think we probably all have lung cancer now.
I still got bored and went walking in the rain on multiple occasions. So I didn't stay dry for long.
The snow was as sticky as anything I have ever skied, so even just riding took a fair amount of concentration.
I kind of planned my top section badly and the double I was expecting to roll off was more of a 4 meter gap to a boulder, so I stopped and had to basically walk around the top of the rock I was on and drop in from a more manageable location, I was docked heavily for that.
The rest of the run went well, although still pretty conservative, mostly due to me being nervous about getting twisted up in the heavy snow.
I did hit a couple of drops though and finished in 20th.
At the bottom I was fully soaked, my jacket and pants were wet through to my Icebreaker base layers. I could have probably survived a month off the water in my gloves alone.
Aside from the waiting around for hours I thought it was a fun day due to the silliness of the situation. I will have fond memories of my time in Norway.
On one of our down days a bunch of us drove half an hour to Odda for some sight seeing.
We came across an abandoned factory and some amazing waterfalls along the way, and in the spirit of adventure we set off on a mission to get up on one of the falls. We found a dirt road which passed just above the top and bushwhacked down to the edge to throw stones off.
It was a great trip and I hope I will be able to return to Norway one day.
I am heading back to New Zealand today after what I would consider to be about as successful a post knee injury season as I could have hoped for. My knee is still hurting but far less than day one and I can't wait to return to Europe next year buff as heck and ready to send it properly!