This week at AVSC
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – Sailing the fjords of Norway is a great offseason trip. When combined with ski mountaineering, this sea-to-summit journey is more like a scene out of Warren Miller than a real-life, father-daughter adventure.
AVSC alpine coach Lindsay Mann, her father Robert Mann, Aspenites Pete and Katie Vandeventer and a Norwegian couple this week are sailing and ski touring on a self-guided trip in the Lofoten Islands, located north of the Arctic Circle.
Their plan is to tour hut to hut then return to the boat and sail to a different area through inlets of the Norwegian Sea.
One of the group’s first scheduled stops was the Troll Fjord.
Lindsey, a mountain guide during the summer, said the idea for the skiing/sailing trip came from her dad after they climbed Mount Rainier in 2012.
She recalled him saying, “Now that I’ve seen you guide, seen you ski, would you think about getting a trip together” where they would charter a boat and guide themselves independently.
“My dad wanted to combine his two passions, skiing and sailing, into one trip,” said Mann. “I am very lucky to have a father who is so passionate about being in the mountains and willing to go on adventures. He has definitely passed along this mentality to me.”
Robert Mann, current president of the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers, also passed along a love of ski racing to his daughter, a Dartmouth graduate who is in her fourth year with AVSC.
The quality of snow conditions along the fjords of northern Norway impressed Dick Jackson, owner of Aspen Expeditions, when he traveled to the Lyngen Alps, which is north of the Lofoten Islands.
Jackson guided a group of locals a few years back to an area abutting the fjords; instead of basing out of a boat, Jackson’s group headquartered out of a full-service lodge. The skiing experience, though, was likely similar.
“You are so far north there that’s it’s deceiving. We had dry snow even two feet from the water,” he said. “It’s incredibly aesthetic. The fjords don’t freeze, and they’re the color of the Mediterranean.”
Jackson called the wide variety of ski terrain “amazingly impressive” and said it offers glaciers, steeps and mellow inclines alike.
At about 1,200 feet in elevation, there’s fun tree skiing in birch groves, he said.
Whether the Northern Lights can be viewed depends upon the amount of daylight, which increases by about 10 minutes each day in late April
After returning the boat April 27, Mann, who works part-time for Aspen Expeditions, will start preparing for her summer job based out of Washington state, guiding trips on Mount Rainier and Mount McKinley, Alaska.
Registration is open for AVSC summer programming.
Camps utilize the club’s backyard features including the new super tramp, a fly-bed tramp, mini tramp and inline skate ramps.
By July 1, the air hill training site at Highlands is expected to be available.
Adults may take part in the club’s new nordic fitness training programs.
Mountain biking is open to athletes ages 8 and up and promotes a philosophy of lifelong love for the sport.
Older athletes may opt for coaching at select Aspen Cycling Club competitions.
The alpine team begins its summer training May 4-5 at Buttermilk; visit teamavsc.org for the full schedule of programming, which continues to evolve.
AVSC’s summer options will be discussed on GrassRoots TV’s “Weekly with Walt,” beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Robert, Doug and Ben Throm are featured guests in a program about a local family’s ski racing legacy. The show, which repeats throughout the week, airs on channel 12 upvalley and channel 82 below Catherine’s Store.