Mountain sanctuary

May 9, 2013 | 7:35 pm | No comments »

part 1 – Road  North

Tamokki (1 of 1)

Tamok valley – Feels like home

After a winter of traveling with airplanes, trains, rentals, taxis and other transports on different continents it’s so comfortable to pack my own car and my second home, caravan, and just drive north. My intention is park the caravan at bottom of Tamok valley which has started to feel like home away from home – a spiritual home, and spend the rest of the winter and little more enjoying the endless possibilities of the northern playground. Our plan was to film for Antti Autti’s new project for several weeks and play it by the conditions.

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Snowing snowing equals pow pow. Photo: Teemu Lahtinen

 

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Face shot? photo: Teemu Lahtinen

Troms commune is situated well above the arctic circle in northern Norway and it has 666 peaks reaching over 1000meters and thousands of kilometers of coast line. I wonder if devil himself will show up for shred if you ride all the peaks! Tamok is situated nicely in the middle of everything in the county, just inland from Lyngen peninsula. It has more dry climate than the coast and the snowpack is between coastal and continental. The snow is usually more stable in Tamok than elsewhere in the commune. 30 kilometer long valley has lot to offer and makes the perfect base for missions of any kind and level. Valley itself is still undeveloped and there is only about 70 inhabitants on the whole stretch. It makes a perfect getaway from crowds. Just friends and mountains, what more could you ask?

Northern Norway is a paradise when the conditions come together but can be harsh too. The arctic location and sea makes weather variable and sometimes difficult. Mountains are magnificent and lose to none in comparison but the weather and the snow can change fast. The northern climate does not produce so much snow as Alaska for example but good years come not too far. This has been one of them.

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Forest couloirs are good option when the visibility restricts alpine terrain. Photo: Aadne Olsrud

Perfect snow

I parked my caravan in Tamok in the end of March and there was tons of snow already then, the most I have ever seen here in seven years, and more was to come. We planned a helishoot with special permits for the beginning of the trip with a help from the “king of the valley”, Aadne Olsrud and Jarkko Henttonen who have basically founded freeriding in Tamok. The snow was awesome and more was falling constantly. We basically got the check out some mountains and the snowpack with the heli and then the weather would close again and bring more snow. Soon it was waist deep and the tree riding felt like I was back in Japan! It was dry, light and deep and stayed so for a long time. Clouds were protecting the perfect snow. Definitely the best snow of the season and. It was inspirational to ride such snow so close to home.

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Slasher in the tree line. Photo: Teemu Lahtinen

 

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Trees, pillows and ollie. Photo: Teemu Lahtinen

Waiting game

With the persistant low pressures circling the valley we were mostly stuck on the bottom and the bird stayed parked next to the caravans. That would have been completely ok to shred the trees and pillows with this snow but big plans and paralyzed helicopter started to create some pressure and frustration after a while. Every now and then we got brief weather windows and got to test and ride some awesome snow but as soon as the cameras came out the clouds rolled in. It started to be the story of the season for me, like the cameras and the weather didn’t make friends this year. But the riding was still awesome and the time spent with friends in the valley is priceless so I couldn’t complain at all. It’s hard to be mad at the weather and it’s better to make the best out it anyway and we did. We rode pillows and discovered new spots in the lower elevations and got creative with the heli too. And the weather has to clear sooner or later, right?

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Buttering through the trees. Photo: Aadne Olsrud

 

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If the night is clear in March the norhtern lights are almost guaranteed.

 

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Antti Autti on Blåbaerfjellet

Check sites for more info:

Tamok Friends FB site for recent events and conditions

Olsrud Adventure FB site. Accommodation, services and more

 

 

Welcome to SPLITLINES.COM — PERCEPTIONS ON BOARD – blog begins!

January 22, 2013 | 10:36 am | 3 comments »

kaamos (1 of 1)

-Kaamos moon from top of Blåbaertinden in Tamok. Kaamos is the time in the north when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon. Moon still lurks around though. Extremely dark and cold but beautiful moments.

Coming out of flat Finland means that I have always had to travel for the mountains and deep snow and for waves in the summer time. This has positive and negative sides to it. I have not grown in the mountains and have had to learn the ways and the rules of the mountain environment in the later age. This has been challenging and unnatural but at the same time an intriguing journey which has taken me around the world to places I, as a kid out of Finland, never could have imagined. It has given me a personal perception of things a long the way. The process of learning is addicting and annoying. As soon as I figure something new out I see that new knowledge just opens more doors and questions. Little frustrating and highly addictive.

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-Just around the corner hip session in Tamok. Different time of the year different orb. Sun in the method arch. Photo: Teemu Lahtinen

Through traveling with a snowboard bag I discovered and realized many things that have made me the person I am today. Experiences I got a long the way made me see the world differently and in a constantly changing way. Perceptions on board is about how I experience and perceive things through traveling with and moving on a board. It’s the indescribable feeling of sliding sideways that keeps me on the move. Looking at things little sideways is sometimes crooked but for me everything just feels little better that way. Through those experiences rises thoughts and perceptions that I want to share here. It is a scrapbook for me and hopefully some inspiration and useful knowledge to you. Welcome.

-Miikka

One of my this years projects also begins now. STORIES FROM HERE TO THERE -project starts at home and gives a good introduction.

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