Our good friend Kyle Miller went on another adventure this past spring to the mountains of Norway! Take notes and get a good look at what Kyle’s been up to. Also, if you’d like to keep with Kyle and all his adventures, follow him on Instagram: @kylemiller411
Words and photos: Kyle Miller
It all started with a roundtrip plane ticket to Munich, Germany and an generalized plan to ski and stay with friends it two of the ski touring meccas of Europe Innsbruck, Austria and Tromso, Norway. I left the Cascades admist a bleak seasonal snowpack and days after attending and MCing the Mount Baker Splitfest only to arrive in Innsbuck as the biggest storm of the season slammed the Tirolian Alps. Plans of a large scale traverse were thrown aside in the allure of easy access powder runs in an area roughly the size of North Cascades National Park yet with 100 different ski resorts. After two weeks of storm riding there was a quick transition to spring and that new snow had to consolidate and I knew it would take time. I took it as a hint that it was time to head north and spend my spring in the Lyngen Alps.
The year prior I had spent a month in Norway but it wasn’t until the final week that I found myself among the towering and complex mountains of the Lyngen. For three solid weeks our crew battled dire conditions and made the most out of daily storm events, a low snowpack and rain in the alpine before everyone went back home except for me. I decided to stick it out for one final week and head up into the Lyngen Alps and see what all the hype was talking about. It was on that final week that the clouds parted and a new and exciting world opened up in front of me. With only a few days I was overwhelmed but made the best out of it base camping and tagging line after line. The area was big enough to get remote yet not too vast to loose yourself in. I knew one day I would have to go back.This season I first arrived in the Lyngen through the Finnish border. I had been taking shelter in Kilpisajrvai a by night and after an hour commute riding the Lyngen by day. I would come to find that the Finns have been climbing in these mountains for decades and had them all to thereselves before the word of there potential spread like wild fire. Amongst this land and abroad they are known for being humble and meticulous and I had the great fortunate to be admist a few for the first week of my journey, making the best out of variable conditions by day and soaking in a Sauna by night. One day we even found ourselves riding a steep 300 meter couloir in perfect corn on the Finnish side and getting a sled ride the 15kms to and from while the driver went Ice Fishing at the base of the mountain. It’s through traveling without a plan that I was able to learn so much about the Finnish people. After a week of hiding in Finland I was dropped off at a bus stop and it it was time to head into the Northern region of Lyngen and switch from Finnish to Norwegien hospitality at it’s finest.
I arrived in Lyngengiest right at the perfect time moment with two backs filled to the brim with camping and glacier travel gear. Sean and Molly Busby who run Twosticksandaboard.com had arrived in town and were staying at my friend Davids farm and just so happened to be buying fuel at the local shop and were kind to offer my gear and I a ride back to the farm. Like me, there plan was to have no plan and were kind enough to invite me on there journey and after breaking down the forecast and maps we decided to head out on the road and do some freedom camping. For the next week we drove and rode in-between Lyngen and the Lofoten Island making the best out of the snow conditions and taking in the world class scenery all around us. It was fun to see Lofoten when it wasn’t raining (the previous year we spent almost 3 weeks in the rain), and to take in blue skies day after day though weather wise it is pretty rough there is a reason they call it “The Gem of Norway”. At the end of there trip I said goodbye to Molly and Sean and got stationed again at the farm started ticking off different objectives that I could see from his yead
The last two weeks I really focused on the Northern Lyngen and with the help of local busses, carpooling and Sea Kayaking I was able to get into endless options of alpine perfection. The last weekend of the trip my friend David and I sea kayaked across a fjord into terrain that could rival the Cascades and rode powder filled couloirs back to the fjord. There’s a calmness in sea kayaking after snowboard that can be additive. If that wasn’t enough the transition from Spring to the midnight sun was amazing watching the days get almost a half hour longer daily. At 69 degrees it’s hard to get further north and even harder to find comparable terrain and the Lyngen Alps of Norway have both stole my heart and my mind as I ponder the limitless options and start to understand the range in itself.