f-stop user Andrea Hitzemann from Germany loves shooting landscape and people in a documentary style. She follows her passion for the outdoors and travel, running an online community .enecco and hiking and climbing while shooting herself. Andrea got in touch to share her 'Scandinavian Summits' project in this We Are f-stop story:
Can you tell us a little about yourself as a visual creative?
I would call myself as a passionate semi-professional photographer with possibilities to improve and learn forever. Since 1991 I started to photograph adventure travel all over the place. Step by step, year by year, I improved my skills in photography. Being passionate about photography, being outside and traveling made me launch the online community .enecco Outdoors in 2011. Since 2016 I have been looking after the platform and its members exclusively and working with photographers and filmmakers in a very creative, emotional and dynamic network. A tremendous pool for inspiration.
What is your 'Scandinavian Summits' project?
Last year I was asked, if I would like the idea to climb the five Scandinavian Summits and taking pictures of it. Why not I thought. I love the volunteering project anyway and if I can help to create to motivate people with my images to get out with families or friend to explore Scandinavia highest mountains, it’s surrounding, otherworldly nature and urban culture even better.
So I started to plan a trip with my husband in our VW T5 California to climb the "Scandinavian Crown" of the highest peaks in each country: Møllehøj in Denmark, Galdhøpiggen in Norway, and Kebnekaise, Sweden.
Since I climbed the Icelandic Hvannadhalsnukur in 2011 and the Finish Halti in 2017, the "Nordic High Five" of summiting the highest peaks in all five Nordic countries was only missing these three.
My aim wasn’t just to go there, climb and leave again. I wanted to make a journey with the possibility of visiting also the capitals of Norway and Sweden and get an impression of these two countries in a cultural, urban and natural aspect.
We wish to inspire and stimulate people of all ages and groups to set their goals in nature and follow us onto the magnificent northern summits. Therefor we need imges and this was my part of a wonderful volunteering team. Getting inspirational images on a trip that others inspire to follow.
We drove from home to the northern part of Denmark, climbed the highest Point of Denmark which is 173m high in nice weather and without botteled oxygen
From Fredrikshavn we took the ferry in best weather to Oslo and explored the town for two days before heading north to enjoy Rondane and Dove Nationalpark. After four amazing days out in Norways wonderful nature we met other guys from the team to climb mount Galdhøppigen together with an alphorn. This traditional Instrument from the Alps was used for hundreds of years to communicate between valleys. For us it is a way to communicate between countries and to show people: “Hey, if we can climb this mountains with an alphorn, you are able to go there easily.”
On the next day we went on a glacier together, still in best weather, before heading west to Ålesund. From here we could use the historic Hurtigruten postroute as a ferry to go up north to the Lofoten in 2,5days. Two very relaxing days with amazing food, breathtaking stops and outstanding views along the way.
We arrived Kiruna in a more typical Nordic weather after a two hour car drive in the morning. Unfortunately the weather forecast for the next days on top of mount Kebnekaise were a knockback for our plans.
We decided anyway to check out the Kebnekaise Fjellstation in case there is an unexpected weather change. Hope dies last! We couldn’t even reach that place due to a storm and snow even down in the valley. – 12°C and snowstorm with winds up to 120km/h at the top made it impossible to climb. Not this time. But we stayed in the Fjell overnight and saw a reindeer family in the morning before going south to Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Close to Kiruna we visited the Icehotel, several rooms where you can sleep in a frozen environment. Further south we explored the UNESCO heritage Gammelstad, an extraordinary Guitarmuseum in Umeå and a magnificent Outdoor Village at Höga Kusten called FriluftsByn.
Of course Stockholm was another great Highlight of the tour. We spent two days there to get an impression of this town in summer. The weather was still great after a three weeks journey in Scandinavia. A strong thunderstorm hit us 20km before we arrived home and washed away all the dust we collected on our trip.
How did you use your f-stop packs for this project?
I took the Dalston and the Loka UL with me.
The Dalston we used in the cities, visiting museums and on the ferries. In this urban situation I also used it to put my MacBook in. I used the Loka UL for the climbing and the trekking in Lappland. There I used it with the Gatekeeper strap extensions to fix a sleeping pad on the outside of the pack.
We got very used to using the Dalston on our travels, and ended up using both packs for smaller day hikes.
Why was this trip important to you?
For me it was very important to improve my skills in terms of photography, but also a great chance to understand the circumstances the photographers I work with have to face when they are taking images outdoors. Where to get electricity from, how not to loose it in the cold, what to take and how to pack the stuff in the right way. Just to name a view things.