Vimeo “One Minute” Project

Leave a comment

Filed under Video

5Point Outside

A “Best of Series” from Carbondale, Colorado homegrown 5Point Film Festival. The evening included pulled pork sandwiches from local Six 89 Restaurant and special appearance by adventurer Cory Richards. To watch in full HD click on the vimeo link.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video

Gear Review: La Sportiva Raptor

The Raptor is an aggressive technical trail shoe made by La Sportiva. Designed specifically for mountain running, the shoe has an extremely grippy sole and additional support. To watch the review in HD click on the vimeo button.

2 Comments

Filed under Gear Review, Video

The AMC Posts My “Making Bread” Video

AMC's Facebook Page, with my video!

A big thanks to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) for hosting my video on their Facebook page. The AMC is an amazing company and I could not have ask for a better place to spend two summers. The White Mountains and the AMC Huts are extraordinary places. I would highly recommend a visit! To plan a trip visit the AMC at www.outdoors.org.

Thanks again to the AMC and everyone that supported the video. If you have not seen it have a look at: http://vimeo.com/28877988

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures, Uncategorized

AMC Huts: Making Bread

AMC Huts: Making Bread August 2nd 2011

Steeped in more than 100 years of tradition, the AMC’s network of mountain huts provides a unique backcountry adventure for novice and experienced hikers alike as well as convenient lodging for Appalachian Trail hiking. Each a day’s hike apart along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, AMC Huts offer mountain hospitality in spectacular locations above treeline or near mountain lakes or waterfalls.

Every day the individual Croos prepare fresh meals for the guests enjoyment. From bread to dessert the 5 course meal is created with expertise and care. Here is a the process of baking challah.

3 Comments

Filed under Video

Jumping Ship (Whitewater Kayaking Film)

Jumping ShipSeptember 24, 2010.

This is a short whitewater kayaking film I shot in September of 2010. We spend three days on the Penobscot River in upstate Maine. It is named for a rather nasty wet exit I had to do while in the cruxs of the last rapid, Crib Works. Worst swim that I have had to date. Sorry no footage of the spill. Enjoy. Visit http://vimeo.com/andersnordblom/videos to watch this video and others in HD.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video

Hut Traverse


 

The six-bed bunkhouse muffled the rain outside to an inaudible level. My excitement was instantly dashed as I stepped forth into the early morning air.  The rain had not stopped in over thirty-six hours and the evidence was pooling at my feet. These despaired-filled orbs of liquid made me question why I was standing in the middle of the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire at 4:30am on August 16th, 2011.

The rain should not have been the only deterrent for anyone who is sound of mind, as the endeavor bordered on physical and mental torture. In principle the occupational challenge was simple. Hike. However, the caveats to the statement are “how far?” and “over what terrain?”

Starting at Carter Notch Hut, the event known as a Hut Traverse, follows 52 miles of hiking trails through the heart of the White Mountains. The course’s real challenge is the elevation change of approximately 16,000ft and grueling train. The kicker is the 24-hour time limit. Successfully completing the traverse in 15 hours in 46 minutes the past year I was setting my sites for a sub 14:30 hour time.

The name Hut Traverse comes from the eight Appalachian Mountain Club Huts dispersed throughout the Whites. The 52-mile path is the product of a sadistic game of connect-the-dots between all the huts. As an employee of Greenleaf Hut—the second to last in the series—and having previously completed the challenge, I was well aware of the risks.

In all honesty I was cocky. The past year I had finished with barely a scratch and miraculously avoid sustaining the debilitating chaffing and blistering commonly inflicted. The rain and dropping temperatures that morning were negligible in my mind.

In retrospect my memory of the adventure is a more like slide show than a continuous stream of video.  My fingers found the dimpled button on my headlamp illuminating my first steps. A dense fog extended infinitely out in front of me. The only thing giving me a sense of space were the massive raindrops reflecting light. It was 5 am, and my chrono setting on my watch started counting.

I was excited to have a companion for the first leg of the trip. Ryan, a first year for Mizpah Hut, was also embarking on the same mission I was. We decided to hike the maze that was the Great Gulf wilderness together and split when fatigue hit one of us.

Climbing almost vertically, my hands and feet found little traction on the slick rocks of the Madison Gulf trail. Cascades of water careened down the trail over my already wet body. The “trail” had more features of a creek then it did a hiking path. The long and narrow indentation created from years of foot traffic was a perfect receptacle of the precipitation. As it was not conducive to a forward stride, I had to implore an awkward lateral skipping motion to avoid injuring myself on the slick rocks and roots. Ryan slowly fell behind and with a final good-bye we lost sight of each other. He would unfortunately have to cut his Hut Traverse short after a debilitating injury at Zealand Falls Hut.

Already half an hour behind my scheduled arrival I jogged into the alpine hut, Madison. 10.3 miles completed. My deflated spirits were immediately lifted by the Croo (as the caretakers are called). Hot Gatorade and chocolate cake were dispensed readily in attempt to warm me up for the exposed presidential ridge that lay ahead. Unfortunately, Mount Washington lived up to its reputation as the world largest foul weather magnet. Since the only requirement is to touch all eight huts, the selected route avoids unnecessary summits. I was extremely glad for this fact; the winds were stronger and the temperatures were lower than I had expected.

The Mount Washington Observatory collected this data for the day:

 Visibility: 200 feet                               Liquid Precipitation:  1.02”                    Maximum Temperature: 48°F  Minimum Temperature: 41°F          Average Wind Speed: 23.0 mph           Peak Wind Gust: SE 47 mph

Exposed on the 12 miles of ridge for 3 and a half hours, my body heat was slowly dissipating into my sodden clothing and then out into surrounding fog. The panoramic views would have lifted my spirits has I connected to the Crawford Path, on the backside of Mount Washington, but luck would not be on my side.

My heart dropped as I neared Lakes of the Cloud. The chaffing started. Unable to stop the incessant rubbing, I consigned myself to the horrid fate and jogged on. Lakes of the Clouds and Mizaph Hut passed without incident. At the Crawford Notch Visitor Center, the halfway point (26 miles/ 6 hours 30 mins), I had stashed dry clothes and food. Stomach cramps developed from the food and the dry clothes were expedients for the chaffing spreading over my body.

My body was broken and my mental stamina was deteriorating when I started on the Avalon Trail to Zealand Falls hut. Miles and minutes blurred together as my pace slowed with every step. Unable to jog any longer my stride lessened and I began hiking.

I wanted to quit. My inner thighs burned to the point where I started verbally harassing the nearby trees. The coupled physical stress and cold air demanded more energy than my body could supply. My muscles weakened and the stress was transferred to my joints. I was also outside the feasible mark to break 14 hours as I arrived at Zealand. 9 hours had passed and I had at least 7 more to go.

Zealand to Galehead is a blur. Literally.  The few mental snap shots I have of the 7 mile segment are indistinguishable colors through the fog and steady drizzle of rain. Galehead traveling home (Greenleaf Hut) was my redeeming leg. By no means did I increase my speed. In actuality it took me an hour and a half longer than I had hoped. Yet, the prospect of seeing my Croo and meeting my father for the last leg down to Lonesome Lake Hut lifted my spirits to the highest they had been.

As I ascended Mount Laffeyette the clouds broke momentarily, allowing me to see the sun for the first time in 15 hours of hiking. Plunging back into the cloud cover, I descended the 5,249 ft mountain towards the roaring crowd of fellow Croo, family, and guests at the hut.

Pandemonium irrupted as I entered Greenleaf, or that at least that was what it felt like as I had been hiking in quite solitude. My wonderful Croo had talked the guests into cheering for me and my spirits soared as I was shepherded into the kitchen. The second to last hut in the chain, we prided on ourselves on giving all hut traverses (14 for the season) an epic welcome and sendoff. They did not disappoint.

My father and I, both with headlights now dawned, left Greenleaf and fell with style down the mountain. We hit the Lonesome Lake Trail 16 hours after starting, 8:02 pm. We climbed together up the winding and gradual path at a comfortable pace. I was enjoying myself immensely. With completion almost a reality I was able to relish in the night with my father.

My watch now read 16 hours and 54 minutes. It was a flat 0.2 miles tracing the parameter of Lonesome Lake to the finish line. My legs forgot their fatigue and made efficient and quick work of the slick boards as my competitive nature took hold. I was going to finish in less than 17 hours. 0.1 miles 16:57. Crossing the damn, I was sprinting up the staircase to the door.

The door flung open with a force much greater than intended, but the finality in the statement was abundant. 16:59:14. An hour and fifteen later than my previous Hut Traverse, I finished a greater sense of accomplishment than I had ever felt before.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures

White Mountain Backcountry

Burt's Ravine, White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire

Mt. Washington, NH has claimed the lives of 135 people with 45 of those being between the months of January and March. Standing on the shoulder of this 6,288ft mountain, at our own (East Coast) respectable elevation of 5,200ft this thought and many others flood to the front of my brain. It was March 23th.

Visibility was no more than 150ft, or was at least 150ft if you are a glass half full kind of person. Maybe we should have been. Sporting the lowest percentage of clear days out of the year in the lower 48, Mt. Washington and the surrounding White Mountains National Forest is the convergence point for three main weather systems. This seemingly happen stance of factors allowed the summit to support the WORLD RECORD for recorded wind speed at 231 mph and an average winds speed of 40.4 for the month of March.

Exposed on the westerly side of the range, my friend Peter and I were enjoying non-existent winds and relatively moderate temperatures, 10 mph and 3 degrees Fahrenheit (- 12 with wind chill) respectively. Standing on the Jewel Trail, or at least what we thought was it, we looked up into the mist above straining to catch a glimpse of the ridge ahead. The goal was to link up with the Gulf Side Trail and traverse East over to the Cog Rail Way. The Cog is a train service that takes tourist to the summit of the mountain, and doubles for an unadvertised backcountry ski trail in the winter.

We were hoping to use it for the latter. With our skis A-framed to our pack we continued further into the alpine zone up towards… well we were not quite sure where exactly. With each step additional graphic scene of your demise flashed into my thoughts. The rare and elusive Eastern Yeti made an appearance in an elaborate daydream, which ended with him bullying us out of our gear and skis. Bastard.

My parents generation would have describe the decision as admirable and correct, my generation would have described it as they would a young cat or the Viola tricolor hybridized. Tails between our legs we succumb to our nervous and solemnly walked down past the rime covered cairns that seemed to be taunting us as we pasted. Then came Burt. Not long after pivoting our snowshoes in the backwards direction, the S-shaped path took us to an overlook of a steep ravine to our left, Burt Ravine.

I have a have a theory that irrational decisions come on the heels of making a rational one, and that brainless choice makes the better story of the two. Rarely indulging the illogical side of my mind and never heading my own advice, I came to one of the seldom “F**K It” movements of my life.

Swearing in the most positive of ways, I was immediately enthralled by the 4 inches of untouched new snow and 30 plus degree grade. As we descended in bliss, the mist continually designated leaving us with stunning views of the cliffs and ravine walls boxing us in. Our skis danced around the sparse spruce tops that would normally be head high, and guided us down rockslides covered by an unusually high snowfall. As the slope diminished it became a game of ducking and weaving through the riparian banks of Clay Brook.

The linked turns of the upper ravine had left a strong impression as we looked back up at the Presidential Range. Burt Ravine looked surprising terrifying from the angle at which we stood now, especially within view of the seemingly placid swath of cleared land that the Cog occupied. The normally magnificent feeling of taking off my ski boots was bitter sweat. Both of our minds lingered on the heading back for round two, but our frost nipped feet said otherwise. The gear piled in the car we could now see the majority of the snow-capped range, with the tinge of fading light spreading over the summits.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures

Where Did It Come From

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

How do I put this lightly…? I despised running, and to be honest with myself many other athletic endeavors as a child and young adult. Well again in full disclosure it was not until less than a year ago I began to enjoy any endurance oriented sports. Soccer was my jam as a kid and continued to be through college. Activities such as skiing, hiking, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing and others slowly accumulated over the years into my repertoire of athletic vices.

One might think that this is inherent in all children, especially these days. My family is an exception to that rule, and I would have counted myself in the masses rather than with my two brothers and parents. When going to the doctor when we lived in Massachusetts, a population of 6.5 million at the time, he said that my father was the fittest client that he had ever had. That was until he met my older brother.

Both my parents downhill ski raced in college, and my mother raced in the women’s alpine nationals. Though she would say she was not one of the top racers, I am still impressed. My father is a power house with what ever he does. From skiing to cycling to ping pong this man has a natural knack for anything that requires body movement. In his early to mid twenties he biked across the country. BIKED! I am currently driving across the country and I get to average 70 mph on the Nebraska highway. To this day he still can keep up with everything his three sons do, and we have a sneaking suspicion that he is just toying with us.

Those brothers I mentioned before are cycling fiends. I am smack dab in the middle with a two year margin above and bellow. Apparently the cycling gene skips children. My older brother came in 3rd at the National Road Championships in 2007 and the little one placed first for his age group and 22 overall at the Mount Washington Hill Climb. The race is only 7.6 miles yet climbs 4,618 ft and reaches slope of 20%!

Me…I am a trail runner. There is no line of best fit to this epiphany. No slow progression or transition period to define this growing passion of mine. My family and friends still fumble with words when I say I am going to go for a run. I have no training schedules or events to prepare for, there is just a carnal desire that has seemingly materialized overnight. Though I am sure I could find the route cause, I am just as happy to not take away the mystery and run.

Over this past summer I immediately embraced this seemingly impossible transformation and it has taken me to interesting places and on exciting adventures. I cant wait to see where else this euphoric outlet will take me, and I hope that I will not scare it away.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures