Portrait by David Birri
Miikka Hast is not your average Scandi park rat. Having switched from freestyle to freeriding, the 34–year-old Finn has spent the past few years hunting out some of the most insane lines on the planet. Hiking deep powder in Japan, fighting blizzards in Northern Norway or just dropping cliffs in his back yard, he has beaten a trail for the likes of Antti Autti by showing that icy transition riders can master the backcountry, combining style with big mountain gnar and an appetite for adventure.
A stalwart member of the Protest team, we caught up with Miikka to learn more about his choice of gear when heading out in search of fresh turns.
You’re probably pretty picky about the outerwear you take into the backcountry – no rolled up jeans, right?
Yeah, when you’re riding in challenging weather conditions, clothing is very important. Basically, it comes down to two things: the shell to keep the cold, wind, and moisture outside, and layering to keep you warm and dry inside. It’s not always easy, especially when you’re hiking all day.
Layering is really the key. You have to wear as little as possible when hiking to let the sweat out. Then, when you switch into riding mode or you’re waiting around for a while, you need to have some extra layers to keep warm.
I basically take the same combination out every day I’m in the backcountry, since you never know how the conditions might change during the day. I wear a technical first layer and a micro fleece shirt, which I then cover with a jacket and pants that are tough and waterproof but lightweight. Plus, I always keep a packable down jacket in the bag for extra warmth.