Arctic Lines | Antti Autti’s Freeride Film Series In The Far North

Antti Autti and crew attempt to complete 30 freeride lines in the Arctic Circle within the next two years

This is the kind of snowboarding that makes you want to cover your face with your hands, not sure if you dare to look when Antti Autti is about to drop in to some of the gnarliest couloirs we’ve ever laid eyes on. But of course we look. Simply because it’s too good not to.

“Arctic Lines is a web-series that follows Finnish world-class snowboarder Antti Autti around while he sets out to tackle 30 different lines in the North of Finland, Sweden and Norway”

Arctic Lines is a web-series follwing Finnish snowboarder Antti Autti while he sets out to tackle 30 different lines in the North of Finland, Sweden and Norway. The series aims to showcase the diverse opportunities there are for freeriding in the Arctic Circle, while also giving us a peek into what has shaped Antti into the snowboarder he is today.

Pic: Jaakko Posti.

Growing up in Rovaniemi, the ‘capital’ of Finnish Lapland, Antti grew up riding in the beautiful but challenging climates of the North. After dedicating a big part of his life to chasing the snow around the globe, he decided it was time to take a break from all the travelling and find out what the Arctic Circle has to offer freeriders.

We caught up with Antti to find out more about his new project:

Hey Antti. Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. First of all, we’re all super stoked on the Arctic Lines project, it’s nice to see something different. Tell us a bit about the idea behind the project. How did it come about?
Well, the original idea behind the project is actually very simple. It was based on the feeling after seeing so many potentially great lines in the Arctic and many possible close to home adventures that I haven’t had time to do, due to the fact that I’ve always been chasing the snow around the world and been so focused on creating these films that really don’t show the actual real side of freeriding. You know, ups and downs, the challenges and, of course, the great moments too.

“Chasing the snow is something that I’ve invested so much time in my career to and I’ve left a huge carbon footprint because of that”

Most importantly for myself, I wanted to see how it really feels to spend time in an area where the snow is definitely not guaranteed and how I would feel about that. Chasing the snow is something that I’ve invested so much time in my career to and left a huge carbon footprint because of that. To do this type of project means that I would need to be able to stand by my choice of staying in the Arctic throughout the whole project, even if the conditions would be challenging. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be travelling for snow anymore but if I don’t ever try something different how can I know what actually works best for me?

Pic: Simo Vilhunen.

I also wanted to switch things up and show what riding in the Arctic is really about. Being a Finnish freerider gives the project a different meaning because it makes me have to take into consideration Finland and Sweden too when I think about the whole list of 30 lines. So many people go to Norway to ride, and that’s it, but there is much more to this area than only Lyngen in Norway. It’s for sure the most easily accessible amazing freeride area in the Arctic but there is so much to explore here, and I want to show that side too. I don’t want to be fixated to one certain type of freeriding anymore.

The plan is to ride 30 different Arctic lines over two years. How do you go about planning something this big? Do you have your lines already mapped out? Or is it an evolving process?
I have many ready lines in my list, but this is also evolving through the project. I cannot make the whole list before I’ve explored some new areas I want to see. I have chosen all the classics, massifs and aesthetics.

“I cannot make the whole list before I’ve explored some new areas I want to see”

The massifs and aesthetic categories have already been decided a long time ago because they need to be studied the most and are most likely requiring a lot of logistics and planning. There are also a few traverses which are going to be very demanding that I’ve been planning a lot.

Pic: Jaakko Posti.

Are there any particular lines that are going to be especially challenging/exciting?
There are many, especially in North Norway and the Kebnekaise area in Sweden, where the most challenging lines of the project are. This does not always mean challenging because of the riding part but also because of the access or when these lines need to be done.

What are some of the unique differences/challenges of riding somewhere like the Arctic? Are there things that you have to factor into your plan that you wouldn’t in other parts of the world?
The Arctic Circle is the area of ever-changing light. We go from pitch dark to purple and all the way to midnight sun. This creates possibilities but also challenges for planning the missions.

“The Arctic Circle is the area of ever-changing light”

Also, we do get snow here. But the wind, well, it usually takes it away quite fast. In January we usually have a long dry spell which creates a lot of facets in the snowpack and that is something we have to deal with every winter.

What is the best part about freeriding in the Arctic?
The challenge of adventuring. You cannot trust the weather in the Arctic Circle. When it’s good, you gotta go because the next day the good weather might be gone. But most importantly this area is my home and I love it because it has helped me to become a better rider, which is mainly because of the challenging weather cycles that have thought me so much about nature and the environment.

Pic: Jaakko Posti.

What’s in your bag when you head out on a mission? 
Depends but I never go out without: Extra mittens, goggle lenses, tools, backup binding accessories, ski straps, emergency kit, water, nuts and light mid-layer. Also, I usually plan a daily route in my watch for safety measures.

“Also, I usually plan a daily route in my watch for safety measures”

Depending on conditions and object I will also bring Splitboard crampons, ice axe, basic crampons and a glacier kit.

You’re riding the Jones Ultracraft and the Jones Solution splitboards with the Spark R&D Arc Pro and Spark R&D Surge Pro bindings – what makes this the best kit for the job?
I’m light and I also like it very light but responsive. To me, Jones and Spark R&D are making the best equipment for a rider like myself who likes to spend time outdoors and enjoying the conditions as they are during the day I’m there. To me, splitboarding is most about enjoying nature and being out there.

Pic: Simo Vilhunen.

More and more people are heading into the backcountry – especially with everything that’s happened in the last 12 months. Do you think the Arctic has the potential to become a global splitboarding destination for people?
I think Norway is already like that. In Lyngen there are so many people but there are many other smaller spots in Norway and also in Swedish Lapland and Finland that are amazing for splitboarding. The cool thing about splitboarding is that you can enjoy your day in many different ways and different types of terrain so for the Arctic, I think there is endless potential.

Thanks, Autti, we’re stoked to see how the whole project unfolds!

Pic: Jaakko Posti.

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Pic: Jaakko Posti.
Pic: Jaakko Posti.
Pic: Jaakko Posti.
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