Most people will think that a five day trip on skis pulling a pulk with all your belongings is a huge physical challenge. And it is. But more important than getting a good workout is the mental aspect of it.
Obviously an overland skiing trip requires the capacity to motivate yourself to keep going when the going gets tough. This is pure will power. But the mental game is the navigation. It is finding your way through a storm. Knowing where to go in order to avoid an avalanche. Finding the right spot to put up your tent. Keeping cool when the wind is so strong it almost pushes you over.
The mental game is crossing northern Europe’s biggest mountain plateau with a map and a compass. I love the challenge. I love the feeling of insecurity when you wonder if you are on the right track, and then realise you are. When you spend the day in fog and total whiteout,and there are huge holes built by wind and masses of snow just below the icy slope you are traversing. When your goggles freeze, and you still manage to follow your route and make it safely to a camp at night time.
It gives me a kick. My friend Kjersti told me after our recent trip that she felt like she had just done a base jump. I felt the same way. And was flying on the highs of nature, adventure, friendship, and being offline from the world. Until daily life and work hit me back in my face. Time to check into that reality. And make plans for the next adventure.