A grand adventure is about to begin. (Winnie the Pooh)
What a wonderful year it has been! One full of joy and expectation! Just after our guided winter outing we found out that Katrijn was pregnant! That’s a wow for excitement! Would pregnancy be the end of adventurous lifestyle? Let’s find out.
On backcountry skies towards Kebnekaise. A flare of sun through the windy fog. #3monthspregnantinpicture
Provided you are well and your pregnancy is normal, you can continue to exercise. Staying active during pregnancy will help keep the body stronger and more flexible. Childbirth is physically demanding, requiring huge amounts of energy. This is why it’s a good idea to keep in shape.
Tired, but superhappy almost-mommy. Lofoten archipelago. Norway. #6monthspregnantinpicture #6kgbackpack
Katrijn kept on (trail)running until the 20th week of pregnancy, went swimming twice a week until a week before giving birth and continued cycling to work until the 36th week of pregnancy. In the weekend before our baby girl was born, Katrijn even biked around 100km in indian summer weather.
Ready for an adventure around Sweden’s highest mountain? Lappland. Sweden.
During pregnancy it’s normal to sweat more than usual. To replace this, it’s important to hydrate even more before, during and after any kind of exercise or sporting activity. As well as exercise, you also need more rest during pregnancy. Despite the need for rest, 2015 was a very active year, with lots of (short) outings during the weekends and on every holiday occasion we could seize.
Excercising is one thing, but setting out for a multi-day backcountry adventure? Is that even possibe? Don’t you lack a good bed and healthy food?
Patches of aurora above Singi STF hut near Kebnekaise. Lappland. Sweden. April 2015.
The first 3 months of pregnancy are sometimes characterized by food aversions, nausea, mood swing and fatigue. But in the second trimester almost-mommy gains energy and feels more confident. It’s the best pregnancy frame for trips and adventures, just before you become a waddling penguin in the 7th month of pregnancy. That’s why we set out on a 2-week backcountry nordic ski traverse in Lappland in the first 2 weeks of april 2015.
Time for skins. Uphill ski. Kebnekaise mountains. Lappland. Sweden.
The almost-daddy takes all the load for a 2 week trip in a pulka, while almost-mommy can ski with a very light pack, focussing on keeping her balance. Lappland. Narviksfjell. Norway.
It wass an extreme windy, stormy and deepsnowy spring in Lapland. So our initial plan of skiing from Kateratt in Norway to Sweden’s highest mountain Kebnekaise through the Narviksfjell was altered after 1 day for a safer option along the Kungsleden. We did not regret that choice. Bivaoucs were alternated with overnights in cosy cabins along the route.
Bivaouc in -10*C while pregnant? Yes you can! Lappland. Sweden. #3monthspregnantinpicture
To maintain Katrijn’s demand for healthy nutricients, we had dried even more fruits and vegies and even added fresh carrots and onions in the pulka. The best energy came from handfull of nuts and freshly baked pancakes along the route. The max. distance we covered in a day on the skis was 20km, so Katrijn could recover well and every odd day she had a bed and hot water for a wash.
A flare of blue near windy Abiskojaure. Abisko National Park. Kungsleden. Lappland. Sweden.
Tjäktja Pass with the Tjäktjavagge opening in a glacial U-shaped valley towards the south. Kungsleden. Lappland. Sweden.
Mushers habitat. Kungsleden. Lappland. Sweden.
Ice stalactite dripping from Alesjaure STF hut. Kungsleden. Lappland. Sweden.
Plowing through fresh snow in white-out conditions. Lappland. Sweden.
Sking toward Nikkaluokta, leaving Kebnekaise behind. Lappland. Sweden.
Where is the love? All around ya. Kebnekaise. Lappland. Sweden.
On the last night of our ski trip in Abisko, we are treated with some nice aurora above Lapporten. Lappland. Sweden. #pic16april2015
Logistical support for our Lapland backcountry ski trip was supported by the kind folks at XPlore The North.
During Ascension weekend, Katrijn was 4 months pregnant. She felt fresh and last-minute we filled our backpacks and set off for a 4 day trek into the Vosges. We covered somewhere 80km and hiked up/down some 4000 altimeters. We camped out every night. She carried around 7kg in her own backpack.
Backpacking for 4 days through Le massif des Vosges. Eastern France. #4monthspregnantinpicture #7kgbackpack
The French Vosges is the closest, real highlands area from where we live near Gent, Belgium. We come here often for short backpacking trips on long weekends.
Sunset from above Drumont. Le massif des Vosges. Eastern France.
Baby belly times? Backpacking le massif des Vosges. Eastern France. #4monthspregnantinpicture
Danger, danger! High voltage! Le massif des Vosges. Eastern France.
Bivaouc on top of les Ballons. Le massif des Vosges. Eastern France.
By the time summer arrived, the baby belly was protruding well, but there were no big pregnancy complaints. We longed for fresh air, so we flew back to Lapland, for the second time in only 3 months. We entered the last trimester of pregnancy so we opted not to force things. We hired a car for 3 weeks in Kiruna and drove to the mind-blowing beautiful Norwegian coast. We hiked, biked and slept under the midnightsun. We did overnight treks in the Narviksfjell, Lofoten, Vesteralen, Senja, Lyngen and around Treriksröset. A selection of pictures tell more than words…
Summer in Lapland! Let’s get out!
Exploring the Rohkunborri National Park. Lappland. Troms. Norway.
Exploring the Rohkunborri National Park. Lappland. Troms. Norway.
High above Lossivatnet. Narviksfjell. Lappland. Norway
Crossing the Loasejokkha. Narviksfjell. Lappland. Norway. #6monthspregnantinpicture
Climbing towards a pass in the Fagerådalen. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Rest after a 400m steep climb up. Solbjornvatnet down below. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Aproaching the wild beach of Horseidvika after a 6-hour hike. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Reaching the midnightsun bivaouc spot on an Arctic Beach 68°N. Never ending summer. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Ready for a night under the stars. Euhm, we mean… arctic sun. Lofoten archipelago. Norway. #midnightsun #68degreesnorth
A never setting sun at Horseid Beach. 68°N. Midnightsun. Lofoten archipelago. Norway. #midnattsol
A never setting sun at Horseid Beach. 68°N. Midnightsun. Lofoten archipelago. Norway. #midnattsol #6monthspregnantinpicture
Descending into Fagervatnet. Selfjorden. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Midnightsun at Ramberg. Lofoten archipelago. Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Keep hydrated at all time while pregnant! Lofoten archipelago. Norway.
Cloudy and windy over Møysalen National Park. Vesterålen. Norway.
Mountain biking on Andøya. Vesterålen. Norway.
Okshornan. Postcard perfect on Senja Island. Troms. Norway.
Well deserved rest after steep climb up Steinsethogda (473m). Senja Island. Troms. Norway. #7monthspregnantinpicture
Almost-mommy did it! Climbing up Steinsethogda (473m). Senja Island. Troms. Norway. #7monthspregnantinpicture
Almost -daddy going for a midnightsun float on Jaegervatnet . 69°N. Lyngen Alps. Troms. Norway.
Enjoying the arctic summer sun over Jiehkkevárri (1834m) in the cabin at the end of Lyngsdalen. Troms. Norway.
Exploring the glaciers of Lyngsdalen. Troms. Norway. #7monthspregnantinpicture
Bivaouc near the Three-Country Cairn (Treriksröset (in Swedish), Treriksrøysa (in Norwegian), Kolmen valtakunnan rajapyykki (in Finnish)) is the point at which the international borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet. Lapland.
Bivaouc while pregnant can be as comfy as home. Lappland. Midnightsun.
Traversing high above Goldajávvri lake. Lappland. Troms. Norway.
Happy when it rains? You bet! Patagonia Alpine Houdini Jacket. 180grams of rain protection. Lappland. Troms. Norway. #7monthspregnantinpicture
Leaving the DNT Gappohytte. Lappland. Troms. Norway.
Midsummer. Lappland. Troms. Norway.
And then it happened! Our beautiful little girl came around…
Dreaming of her first adventures. #LOTTA #2weeks
Baby hiking over Belgian’s High Fens. #LOTTA #7weeks
Baby hiking through the dark woods of the High Fens. #LOTTA #7weeks
Scrub off the hiking sweat.. #LOTTA #11weeks
You guessed it well. 2016 will be briliant! We hope the same for you!
Fantastic blog post. Well done!
Congratulations to you all!
What a lovely inspirational post! Congrats!
I got goosebumps from reading this magnificent post Steve. Upto an adventurous 2016 buddy !!!
Volg jullie al even.. Ben zelf papa van al een grote Lotte. Via deze weg mijn felicitaties voor jullie blog, maar vooral voor jullie gezinnetje.. Niet het doorsnee – we zitten vanavond voor de buis – gezinnetje.. Nog veel plezier.