To paraphrase Mugatu, “Scandinavian freeriding… so hot right now.” Though the mountains in the Europe’s northernmost extremities have been ridden by a few hardy mountain-loving souls for many years, it’s only more recently that the Alpine jewels the Arctic Circle holds has been exposed to – and ridden by – the wider snowboarding world.
Whereas, in years gone by, springtime would be when riders and film crews would undertake their annual pilgrimages to Alaska to burn through cash in tackling AK’s fabled heli-accessed terrain, in the last decade it’s been increasingly common to hear of snowboarders – from pro to regular Joes with a bit of budget and a sense of adventure – riding big lines on great snow (and often with insane ocean backdrops) in places found less often in the snowboarding lexicon: Björkliden, Pyhä, Tamok, Svalbard, Lofoten.
There’s no coincidence that the unveiling of such areas came at a time when splitboarding became more widespread – the riding in these parts is almost exclusively accessed by manpower alone – meaning you no longer needed to ski tour or bootpack your way up. And while the mountains up there are certainly BIG, the terrain you can access is at much lower elevation than its European counterparts, meaning the hiking and riding is easier-going.
In recent years arguably no one has done more to expose what riding awaits up there than Antti Autti. Over the course of the movies he’s produced, Antti has gradually stayed closer and closer to home, exploring more of northern Scandinavia’s big mountain terrain, to the the point where last year’s project, Arctic Lights, he travelled no further than 1500km from his home in Rovaniemi. One of these trips was to Norway’s Lyngen Alps, not too far from the town of Tromsø, and its the footage from this adventure in April 2017 that’s been cut together for this edit.
As incredible places to ride your snowboard goes, this region is almost unparalleled. After our recent trip to the nearby Lofoten islands we’d say if you have a taste for adventure, like riding to the sea, and don’t mind walking then you definitely need to get a trip up north on your bucket list.
Filmed and edited by: Kota Collective / @kota_collective / www.kotacollective.com
Riders: Antti Autti / @anttiautti, Miikka Hast / @miikkaphoto and Niklas Hollsten / @niklashollsten
Check out the Arctic Lights documentary on Vimeo On Demand