Monday, February 27, 2006

Heading Home

Spent the last two days teaching and being taught at the Rjukan ice festival, clinics and a slideshow. Thanks to Adam and both Peters from the Swedish Club, and the many people from the Rjukan ice festival who have become friends over the last three years. One great thing about my "job" is that I get to meet good people all over the world at these ice events year after year, it makes travel less of an alien experience for sure. I'm even starting to learn some really basic Norwegian words, the language is starting to sound less like a malfunctioning blender when I hear it.

I always find it inspiring and motivational to teach ice and mixed clinics--the "students" always have the fire, and that lights me up too. On the first day I was teaching a mixed clinic--several of the students asked me to put a top rope up on a local M8+ that my bud Robert Jasper had opened a few years back, so straight out of the car it was onto a rather blind and testy piece, but I managed to send it and keep my reputation intact, grin. By the end of the day at least three of the students were also leading it, awesome! Slideshow Saturday night, a packed house for two shows. I went last and did my show in English, amazingly everyone understood. I can never get over the level of English education in Norway, a guy picked me up as I hitchiked down to town to get ready from my show. He had a job fixing beer kegs and cranes, not sure exactly how that worked, but he had excellent English, most of Norway is like that. We really need to do a better job on language education in North America, French for Canada and Spanish for the US, no excuses when you see how the Norwegians and Swedes deal. Sunday was ice clinic day, and I had a hard time devising suitable tortures for the crew, they were good. I finally had to load a backpack up with about 20K of ice blocks to make the route hard enough, an old training trick that forces you to climb with straight arms as much as possible, it's just too hard to get up using the old lock-off style.

Now it's on the train/bus/plan dance, but it's been a great trip! Thanks to Andreas for the last week in Norway, we barely scratched the surface of the place as usual, there's LOTS left to do. It's almost like being at a huge buffet with all your fav foods--after stuffing yourself you need a rest...

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