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Finnish exoticism in randonnée

Arto joulukuun Powderissa. Kuva: Mikko Lampinen
A photo of Arto Majava’s and Mikko Lampinen’s (Huippu’s photo editor) just made it to the hot-off-the-press December issue of the divine Powder magazine. And what’s the shot in question?

In a familiar photo that’s also been seen on the Huippu website, Ape drags behind him some veritable-sized gear on Balggesvarri, Lyngen, in May 2010 – using two wooden sticks. Did he have to do it?

“No,” Ape comments. “I just wanted to try out this sort of sled while on my way to the valley. I attached two tree trunks as thick as my wrist on the harness and put all the gear on that. I grabbed them by the bottom, and the flexible tops were dragging behind me.”

Arto skied all the way, four kilometers, dragging the sticks – and back. As the featured video shows, it wasn’t hard for him.

According to Mikko Lampinen, the contraption that looks like it was made by Gyro Gearloose was an ad-hoc accomplishment on the road.

“It truly did work well, and I can recommend it whole-heartedly!” Arto says. “Ten kilograms is a good weight for this, as it’ll still be me dragging it, and not the other way around. The sticks carrying the weight are sturdy enough and not too heavy.”

He points out, though, that the device in question is only a substitute for a sledge. These days, you can get a portable rest for your gear equipped with a ski, for example. Arto recalls never seeing sticks being used in a similar fashion before – and this probably is what the Powder staff thought as well. The Finns don’t run out of exoticism.

Mikko thinks there is a good vibe in the picture and it documents a good idea well. “This is what happened and how it went down. No posing involved.”

Arto thinks one of the merits of the shot is that it also expresses a certain retro boyscout feeling.

“He’s like from the eighties – and he’s got all the gear with him, too!”

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