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They envisioned the towering mountain playground of northern Norway, and infinite ski sessions in Svalbard under the midnight sun surrounded by ice bears. As for their choice of transportation, Tom-Oliver says it was about more than just undertaking a fun challenge.
"We had a dream to explore the world with as little impact on climate as possible, and what transportation could be better than a sailboat?”
Of course, not all adventures go as planned. By the time all the preparations had been made they were ready to embark, the pandemic hit.
“The world closed down and we had to put our plans on ice,” recalls Tom-Oliver.
Fortunately, in 2022, they finally got away. Together with a crew of world-class skiers and close friends, Tom-Oliver and his crew dropped their boat in Swedish waters, loaded the gear, and set sail for north.
Within one month’s time, they managed to sail all the way up to Tromsø in northern Norway. According to Tom-Oliver, at that point, the trip was already turning into a dream come true.
“We mixed blue water sailing with skiing on big mountains far from civilization. We met whales, people became seasick and we got to ski powder at the end of April. It was a dream trip”
Then it was time for a small break while they waited for a clear passage window to Svalbard. In the meantime, they headed to Riksgränsen to hang out at the Haglöfs Ski Camp and make their last ski resort laps of the season.
But just a week before departure, their plans hit a snag once again.
“I was skiing in Riksgränsen and we had built a really nice jump and confidence was on top, but the weather was not,” recalls Tom-Oliver. “But I went for it anyway and my send-off was a little too huge on the flat 360, and at the landing I could hear something snap in my knee. I knew directly it was game over for the season. It was in big pain. I had to call everyone and tell them we wouldn’t be able to go to Svalbard this year.”
Now post-ACL surgery and rehab, Tom-Oliver still hasn’t given up on his dream to complete his voyage to Svalbard, and maybe even Greenland.
“This spring, we’ll go for it again. Instead of a one-year project, it’s now a two-year one—so twice the fun!”