A Life in the Mountains

Christian Edelstam is the mountain guide with that constant smile on his face.

By MALIN EURENIUS

In search for an honest adventure right out the backdoor.

Christian Edelstam is the experienced mountain guide with that constant smile on his face. He is based in Abisko but his work takes him all over the world. He has skied for as long as he can remember and was introduced to climbing in the early 1990’s. Nowadays Christian runs his own guiding company and he loves the solitude and wilderness in northern Scandinavia.

We meet up with Christian in his hometown Abisko a cold day in March. He just got back from a few weeks of guiding in the Alps. During winter he focuses on ski touring, offpiste skiing and ice climbing. In summer he gives classes in alpine climbing, glacier and rock climbing. Work takes him to locations in Scandinavia, the Alps, Spain, Greenland and Japan. But his base remains in Abisko, there’s something about the remoteness.

– The sense of freedom when no one else is there to steal your fresh snow or climbing route. The constant change of lights, from the northern lights to the midnight sun. The late spring skiing throughout the night and the climbing season overlap. It’s the best place to share with adventurous guests, says Christian.

Christian Edelstam, comfortable in any terrain.

"The sense of freedom when no one else is there to steal your fresh snow or climbing route"

The icefall Lillpakte near Abisko.

The sky is blue and the air frosty when Christian and Karin Eknor, who’s just like Christian is part of the Tierra Test Team, prepare to climb the icefall Lillpakte near Abisko. Christian grew up in Stockholm. He spent some ski seasons in the Alps in the early 1990’s before climbing took over. Christian has ever since mixed climbing in the Alps, Scandinavia and other parts of the world with some higher peaks in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Alaska, Ecuador and Peru. Christian runs his own guiding company and he loves the solitude and wilderness in northern Scandinavia.

"I was homesick a lot but also experienced the strongest sensations of adventure happiness that I’ve ever felt"

In 1997 Christian crossed Greenland in 53 days, the distance was 920 kilometres and included to climb Greenland’s highest summit. This was his first great adventure.
– I was homesick a lot but also experienced the strongest sensations of adventure happiness that I’ve ever felt. Nothing since has come close to the same boost of self-confidence, both mentally and physically.

Right to roam.

Christian was first introduced to Tierra when he began working extra hours in the Tierra store in Stockholm in the mid 1990’s. Tierra has ever since sponsored many of Christian’s expeditions. He also used Tierra clothes as he worked at the Kebnekaise and Abisko mountain lodges and uses Tierra clothes for the Swedish Mountain Rescue. Christian has been a member of the Tierra Test Team since the start in 2006.

"I almost don’t possess any other clothes and I can’t picture myself in anything else than Tierra clothes"

The icefall Lillpakte near Abisko.

– I almost don’t possess any other clothes and I can’t picture myself in anything else than Tierra clothes. The testing feels meaningful because it’s obvious that our feedback is being listened to. We’re not just here for show. I’m a proud Test Team member and ambassador for Tierra, says Christian.

It’s impossible not to be impressed by Christian’s humbleness and experience. It’s easy to understand why he’s succeeded with his expeditions and why his guests too are always seen with a big smile on their face.

Christian’s favourite pick

Tierra Ace Pant “I wish they were available in seven different colours – one for each day of the week.”