Part II The story of a strong unforgettable photo journey into the mountains

Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi

Day one. Sunday the 12th of February 2012

The trailer with glass, Micke and I drove from Gällivare – on the Road Westwards – to meet Carl-Johan and Tobbe Öberg at Kirjaluokta. Packing and repacking and starting the snowmobile journey to Biesnes hut in the west area of Uldevis mountains. We were speculating in that Carl-Johan probably hold the world record after this trip, of value of goods transported in one single sled towed behind his snowmobile…!?

After Tobbe and Carl Johan got rid of the rock hard wind packed snow from the door I was very curious to see the hut condition which, from my own experience, can vary. But Biesnes hut was just so spacious and with a warming new wood fired stove. A perfect basecamp. After lunch we decided to drive out and check sites for the next day, and in the end we unpacked a crate with glass onto the snow and got some good images in the late afternoon sun. I must admit I was also anxious to see if the packing of the glass had worked out, in other words…if the glass had cracked or not. But all well. Figured out glass stickers doesn’t work in the cold – the glue stop working and they take off faster than the wind…so sorry Mother Nature…a few bright orange glass stickers will be flying around in the mountains this winter. Managed to take care of most of the stickers though.

I think Carl-Johan had abstinence pain in his body and soul from very poor internet connection in the hut, but he took off now and then to a nearby peak to check his email, twitter and connect to the world.

I really hope all my helpers with making these vessels get a chance to take part of this journey in one way or the other. I couldn’t have done this project without you. Thanks Mille, Sandrine, Zoe, Yuki, Chiaki, Fumi, Annica and Simon! You are all part of it.

Photo: Micke Rutberg

 Day two. Monday the 13th of February.

We drove off with all the hundred vessels this morning and found a place around the area of Árasjávrre. It was super fast to unpack the glass and after a photo session we decided to drive back to the hut for a lunch break. That is when I realised my mobile phone was damaged and of no use. In the afternoon we returned and it was wild weather. The snow and the wind had made my vessels kind of grow into the ground. They were really part of the Uldevis mountains. It is strange how something you think and dream about, and hardly dare to verbalise even for yourself, suddenly can happen!? My vessels were behaving like rocks with snow drift around them, leaving a crate in front of the vessel on the windy side and a beautifully formed snowdrift sculpture on the other side. It was snow around the vessels, on them, in them. Some were almost covered with snow. At this moment I got tears in my eyes as I just felt so content and happy – just the feeling of seeing those vessels out there in the snow of Uldevis. I wanted to leave them out there forever…they kind of belonged there.

However, the left side of my brain took charge of the right side …or whatever happened…and we decided to pack the glass. And the packing of the glass were NOT as quick and easy as unpacking. It was very windy, it was cold and it was getting dark with no visibility. It was a testing of cold weather gear and I thank Carin in Bäcknäs who lent me her ‘skoterbyxor’ – warm pants. Several times the icy vessels just slipped out of my cold hands (this is when I got a light frostbite on two fingers), but the vessels didn’t want to break and they didn’t even crack. I amused myself with thoughts like:

– No thin fragile Italian glass would survive in this harsh weather…

On the way back I made sure I didn’t loose sight of the back light of Carl-Johan’s snowmobile as I wouldn’t find the way back to the hut by myself. More than 60 years ago my father was up on Uldevis skiing with Pava Kallok and one of his memories from that trip was the importance of not loosing sight of the rear end of Pavva´s skis as the weather was so bad he could hardly see Pava himself.

Yesterday and today.

Anyway, now and then I also looked back to check on Micke who was sitting on the sled towed by my snowmobile. It is not fun to fall off a snowmobile or a sled in speed – which can happen – but in these conditions it can be fatal as it might be hard for the rest of the team to track back where it happened. And I didn’t want a lost cold Micke to spend the night out in the dark on the Uldevis mountain. After dinner in the hut that night, Micke said he appreciated I was so responsible during the snowmobile trip to the hut because I looked back so regularly to check his camera gear was OK. I almost fell off the bed laughing when he said that… and, I certainly know his priority now!

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