Learning the slow pace..

Tomorrow it has been three months since my surgery. My ligaments are technically healed at about 60 percent, and the next 9 months will heal the last 40 percent. Hopefully. Meanwhile the first two months of recovery were not hard to deal with at all, the past month has been a struggle. In more ways that I thought it would be.

Enjoying the beautiful full moon along one of Norway´s fjords

I can function in the daily life, there is almost always a bit of pain, but notthing I can´t deal with. I can float down class three, and cross eddylines. Rolling however, hurts the shoulder. A lot. So, I need to wait, heal more, wait more.. and it is getting harder and harder to sit still on the sideline, while the world plays, people make plans, go on adventures.. Yet, I know I am in no position to complain.

Enjoying the flatwater..Never thought I would.

 In one year, I hope I have accomplished some new goals. I want to improve in many areas: I want to be better at paddling steep, technical and pushy rivers. I want to push to get on some new ones. Russia is on the list, as it has been for a while, but it has taken a big step up. So has the Stikine. Though, that one has to wait till 2014. I want to go to Chile for half a year. I need to dance tango in Buenos Aires. My education is coming to an end, yet I have already tasted the normal life. I am not sure if it is ever for me. At least not for long periods of time. But it serves its purpose when I anyways can not play.

Another drive by view that makes your heart start racing. Bookmark that one for 2013 someone!



The last month saw me stepping back a lot. From trips I thought I could do this fall, from TV-filming, from competitions, from slalom, from most things involving a river actually. My shoulder simply does not heal fast enough for my dreams and goals. So I need to step back, properly, and let it become 100 percent again. Or actually, more like 120 percent. That is the REAL goal.


I focus on my studies, on having a home (crazy!), make some money, teaching some kids spanish in the local senior high school, impacting their lives and study hours with hilarious stories from my travels in South America. We wrote cards to my neighbours kids on the Futaleufu, and at least now my students are excited to learn about Chile. It is amazing how important it is to be able to share your life to motivate others. Even 17 year olds that have the world in their hands.


The view of yet another fjord on the drive to my university..



Goats are my favorite animal… maybe because they are so stubborn 😉


Yet, while I taste a bit of the normal life, I keep thinking to myself: Is this it? Is this really what makes people happy? Do not get me wrong, nor feel offended. I guess I just spent too much time on the other side, maybe. I don´t know if I can ever step in 100 percent, and I doubt I can do the normal life for too long at a time. Though, I sure enjoy it at the moment, as it is filing an itching void of waiting it out. Letting it heal.

I have my eyes on some goals this fall, but I need to wait another three weeks to see if I need an MRI of the shoulder. I have pains I should not have, according to my physio. She is suspecting another injury that got covered by the major injury. We will see. Even if, the only way is forward.


See you SOOOON out there..



 Below is Kardalsfossen, on my recoverylist for MAYBE 2012.. She is beautiful.


From Hero to Zero

I almost thought I was unbreakable. Really… 

After so many years of not severly injuring myself falling off waterfalls, slides, drops, skiing etc, I really thought I might be born under the lucky star. But, my time came as well.


After an amazing winter living in Switzerland, I moved back to Voss with Ron. The season was looking great, lots of good paddlers around, including my favorite paddling partner Nouria Newman, lots of good water and a lot of fun lined up.

Me and Nouria had some great days on the whitewater, with the highlight being our runs on Moneydrop and the infamous Teigdalen Double Drop. I was starting to believe that I would have no other woman to ever run these things with, and finally I could line up a nice horizon line together with another girl, seeing the same and feeling the same about the whitewater as I do. Amazing!

Nouria cashing out her money

Two days later I entered the triatlon “Horgi ned”, and the first competition of the week during the Extremesportweek. We got flown up with helicopters, then skiied one section, changed to downhill bikes and continuted the race on a challeging trail. In the bottom half I overestimated my speed and crashed really hard on a bridge/jump.

Getting to my feet I realised I was injured, as my right shoulder hurt as f.. but I could kind of still lift my arm. So I decided I could keep going. Pain is the purifier, as Andy Phillips always says with a grin.

Mariann on the first of two runs on DD.

I made it down to the change to kayaks, and had to get some help pulling my lifejacket over my head. At this point, I remember realising that I was probably not very clever getting into my kayak, but at the same time I just could not STOP. I might be a bit mental when it comes to competitions, as I just could not make myself stop if there was still a chance to make it to the finish line. And I did.

The last rapid scared the shit out of me, as it is a class 3/4, with some potential of rolling at the bottom. And of course I did, seeing that I could not brace on my right side, and barely even take a stroke. I am not sure how I managed to roll, and I missed the eddy, forcing myself to run back up the shore to touch the finish banner, coming in third. Then I collapsed, and did not really notice that my kayak was floating away. Thank you guys and girls for picking up my gear!

Getting the equipment off me I realised I was actually quite badly injured, as if the pain hadn´t told me that already. I had cried the whole way down the river, but only thinking “I am going to make it” for every stroke I pulled. A glance on my shoulder made me feel a bit sick, as the collar bone was standing up in a very sharp angle.

The ambulance took me to the hospital, where x-rays revealed an AC 3 joint seperation, classified as a category 5. This is a more severe form of a type III injury, with the trapezial and deltoid muscles destroyed, and ligaments torn. The classification system goes to 6, funnily enough. Of course I had to get a class 5 injury when I first hurt myself!

Funny looking bone

The surgery was fine, and I have felt great the past two weeks. Until last night. I simply partially fell out of bed, and could feel a bone move inside. Yeah, that was the clavicale, which has moved 2 cms. I am on my way to the hospital for a check tomorrow to see how badly the repair is destroyed, and decide whether I need another surgery or not.

Many people think it has been very hard for me to sit on the sideline, watching people compete at the Extremesportweek and now Sjoafestival. But it hasn´t. There is no doubt in my mind I will come back just as good as ever from this injury, and it puts a new perspective on the world

I still found time and meaning in organizing little happenings, like the Intro day for local kids to kayaking. It is a cooperation between my company Soria Moria Adventures and the paddle clubs of Lollehammer and Kongsberg. Simen, 8 years old, rocked the show!

There are so many around me that have had severe injuries, and that have come back into kayaking with full recoveries, I am surrounded by inspirational stories and people that will make my way back into kayaking a lot easier.

Thank you guys and girls, for not giving up, and for leading the way!


From one season to the next..

As the leaves were dropping to the ground it was time to leave Chile behind for another summer season in Norway. It was a spectacular trip to Patagonia this year, with the leaves turning red and yellow in time with the summer´s passing. There was tranquility and quiet as the fall was descending, and I was very much at peace paddling my favorite river in the world for many weeks with the best man in the world. Ron and I got to hang out at Soria Moria, (my cabin on the shores of the Futaleufu) and paddle its waters as much as we wanted, along with long coffe hours in the mornings, studying and work around the property and house.




I simply love the Futaleufu, the valley, the river, the people and its magic that seems to touch everybody that travels through. Many of us simply stopped, picked up a piece of property and keep returning. Amazingness.





Heading north to catch the plane I stopped in Pucon for a little visit to my good friends Eva Luna and Kurt Casey. For once the town at the foot of the volcanoe Villarrica was sleepy and empty, and I enjoyed the off-season Pucon a lot more than the normal tourist trap it turns into in the summer. Rodrigo Tuschner from Kayak Pucon and Ian Garcia from Rivers and Lakes suggested we should go and paddle the middle Fuy, a beautiful river to the south of Pucon. The middle section contains some tight rapids and a highligt of a clean 13-15 meter waterfall. I was excited to get on this section, as I had never done it before, but heard lots of stories.

A sunny Saturday with 25 degrees we were in our kayaks and an hour after put-in I was faced with the seal launch on top of the waterfall. Somehow, I had failed to grasp that there was a 6 meter fall required, into the pool below, before we even got to paddle off the lip of the waterfall… I was smiling all the way down the freefall, and rolled up in the pool with a big woop-woop! Ian styled the line, so did of course Rodrigo, while Federico had to bail and go for a little swim upon impact.Then, the real fun started. Amazing rapids, tailing Ian and lots of white fluffiness took us all the way down to take-out. I left Chile with lots of happiness inside.. 



Back in Norway I have been studying hard for my pshycology exams. I am currently majoring in history, but decided to make a little break from the medieval books and plunge into the exciting world of physycology on the side. Finishing up my last exam last monday, I was excited to finally get back on the rivers. The classic Myrkdalselvi was running at full speed, and I met up with Mark Basso only hours after my exam to get a run in, with the descent of the drop Holy Diver as the big highlight.

I have moved back to Voss, to finish up my degrees, and will stay for about two years. Tomorrow I move into a little house at the take-out of one of the best stretches to paddle on the beautiful Raundalselvi, and Ron arrives in the middle of june with the car full of belongings from Switzerland. Although travelling and kayaking like before, we are getting a base for ourselves in Voss for a little while, to be in a beautiful place, paraglide, ski and kayak year long. I work as a teacher once in a while in Voss, both in the junior high school and senior high school. Quite funny to be in the real world once in a while…

Soria Moria Adventures is running small and steady, with some courses here and there and a great trip with clients to Switzerland two weeks back. In July the lodge will be open for Bed and Breakfast, so make sure you check out www.soriamoriadventures.com







Project Impossible- Patagonia edition

Last year I spent the majority of my 3 months stay in Chile in Patagonia, and a considerable amount of that south of the Futaleufu. This river is for most regarded as “south”, and we do not see a lot of the hucksters of the north making the trip. And if so, the Futaleufu is normally just the training ground for groups taking on the famous Rio Baker, another day or two of driving on the Carretera Austral.


The drive down to Villa O´higgins is spectacular, with the northen Icefield descending into view as on the other side of the now meandering rio Baker. Upon arriving to Puerto Yungay, the ferry crossing of Fiordo Mitchell signals the return of the wilderness. In this area, one does not see kayakers. Since last year, when we used Villa O´higgins as a base for two weeks, only one more group of kayakers came down to run the Rio Bravo. And the rivers are endless, but they require a lot more work. As good as park and hucks are, to me, the exploration of wild rivers is where the essence of kayaking lies.


The idea of 2012 was to cross Lago Christie and Lago Allegre, from a newly built road into the first. This would put us back at the first descent put-in of 2006, and allow for 5 days on the water, and a possibility to hike up to the headwaters to check out the remains of the gradient. It requires a paddle of about 25-30 kilometers, and a short hike in between the lakes. To our dismay, we were one day too late. Ahead of us by one day, a crew had successfully crossed the lake and found their personal heaven in the deep canyons of the Bravo. Upon arriving at Lago Christie, we were facing a wind that had turned to headwind, and was blowing up to 40 kms/hour steadily, with ghasts up to 80 km/hour. It did not turn or back down for the next week.


Defeated by the “Escoba del Dios”, the “Broom of God”, which sweeps away all sins and sorrows according to the Patagonians, we were looking for another option. The rivers were low, lower than last year, but not quite low enough it would turn out.

Ron Fischer (SUI) has been peering onto maps of a border area to the south of Lago Christie for the past year, tracing a blue line flowing from Lago Nansen in Argentina. In a flurry of first descents one year ago, we also tried to hike in to scout the Rio Carrera, but got turned around by unfriendly border patrollers that allowed nobody into the area due to two recent deaths. A car had tried to cross the river, with fatal consequences, and the last thing the red-haired capitan wanted was gringos out on an adventure.



Late in the afternoon, after our failed visit to Lago Christie, we arrived without much hope for passage, at the same border station. To our surprise the patrollers were friendly and helpful, even allowing our motorcycle friend, soon to be “Sherpa Nata”, to enter the no-man land between the borders without a passport. Some hours later we returned to Villa O´higgins, with some glimpses of the river, and an agreement with the local farmer to rent horses for next day. What we had been able to see from the brim of the canyon, was swift flowing current without many eddies, but with a mesmerizing turquoise color surrounded by flashes of autumn yellow and red. Stunning. The river drops 350 meters in 14 kilometers from Lago Nansen, flowing through three box canyons and in general being tucked away in a deep, v-shaped river valley. Simply wanting it, I ignored Ron´s worried looks as he was trying to obtain some secret information about the box canyons by staring at the maps that evening with local hostal owner Jorge. Surely we would be able to see more of the river on our way up to the lake, allowing us to turn around if deemed to steep. I was wrong.



The following day we started hiking without horses. The campesino claimed he could not find them on his 200 hectar big backyard, and without much hesitation we rigged our kayaks onto our backs. The first major mistake of the trip came when we decided to try for a shortcut over the hills, instead of following the river. The second mistake came when we assumed we could still get down to the river to scout from this alternative hiking route. And of course, I should have known better after having battled the Patagonia bush before. Two days later we had still not reached the lake, and an unexpected deep sidecreek had forced us down to river level, only 2 kilometers short of Lago Nansen. The hike had been tough, with rugged terrain and at times, dense bush. Other times we found ourselves hiking through a dreamlike forest lit on fire by the fall colors, and fresh snow was capping the peaks all around us. After looking at our limited food supply, we decided to put-on.

Our friend, Nathaniel Thorpe, had decided to join us for a hike. Being “Sherpa Nata”, we had been spared the weight of sleeping bags and tent on the hike, now it all got placed into our Watershed drybags and good byes were being said. He would backtrack out to civilization while we were on the river. Except that we only made it about 500 meters before the door slammed shut in our faces. The first box canyon was wild. To big ledges led into a Baker-style rapid with no way of escape or even scouting the coming blind corner. It was quite simple, there was too much water in the river. Defeated, we tied the kayaks to a tree, marked the GPS location and shouldered our bags. From the riverbed, the climb back out to our previous hiking route would take days with the kayaks in the steep, bushy terrain.

It took us one day to hike out without the kayaks, and we arrived at the border control somewhat defeated. I expected trouble upon entering back into Chile, seeing that we had not entered Argentina, due to the location of their border station. However, the chilenos

only took a look at our rugged appearance and wondered if we had had a good hiking trip, and welcomes us back for next year, as they stamped our arrival stamps back to Chile in our passports. With two kayaks tied to a tree in the middle of the nowhere, I guess we no choice. The river carries the least water in may, and provides the only chance it seems to get through its canyons. At least, we do not have to hike our kayaks back in there the next time…

Thanx to Teva, Sweet, Kober Paddles, NR

S, Five Ten and Vertikal AS for supporting our adventures!