On a mission to take the most impressive free-riding photos ever made, Sven Kueenle kept a diary of his team's journey to Lofoten...
"only elk have ever tread these grounds"
On a mission to take the most incredible freeriding photos ever made, pro skier Sven Kueenle and a team of three other guys took to the Arctic Circle, to the Norwegian Archipelago of Lofoten for twenty days. Excerpts from Sven’s diary offer illuminating insight into the story behind the photos.
DAY 1 + 2
Our arrival here in Svolvær was bumpy – we actually missed a flight. Though there were upsides: After landing late at night, our first view of Lofoten was a streaming panorama – just wow! And I’ve got a plane! Almost… I never thought it would be so difficult, but I guess we’re not in Alaska anymore. There are few private planes here, but now we’ve found someone who might have one for us. Hopefully, I can still fly the thing – it might be our only option. What we can see from here looks, you know, steep!
Saw a lot from the air the last few days – we were able to inspect the islands, mountains and slopes. The landscape’s fantastic, with steep, ancient mountain ranges rising right out of the sea. It’s impossible to describe just how beautiful it is here. The plane is a huge help – this trip would be impossible without it. We saw the most amazing place from the air: A secluded bay adjoining the wild valley. We’ve already decided we must go there- just have to find a way! That will be our first adventure!
Back from the initial trip into the wilderness – man, where do I begin? To start: What luck do I have to even be here? A fisherman brought us to the secluded cove we saw from the plane, and from there we carried on by foot, just the four of us with our backpacks, which were as heavy as we were. Camping equipment, skis, cameras, provisions, we had to carry everything – it was brutal! The hardest part was the ascent to the snow line, marching uphill for hours through thickets and shrubs. Before us, only elk were ever there!
"it\\\\\'s majestically calm..."
Once we reached the snow, we continued on with our skis – much better! It still took almost the entire day to get to Biwak, leaving little time to explore. The days are long now, which definitely helps us. It’s indescribable, the overwhelming calm at night here, in the tents, so far from civilization. Filming was awesome the next day, despite the snow being a bit slippy. We also have to respect the fact that if anything happens out here, we’re all alone. Safety in numbers, as they say. We got a few great shots and a gorgeous sunset! The nature is incredible, though the way back the next day totally floored us!
To read the rest of the story, stay tuned!