Three little ice ages will fall upon the world, known as the Fimbulvetr, and many other signs will come to pass. Then the time will arrive and the cocks will crow. The fire giants led by Surt will come out of Muspelheim. Naglfar, the ship made out of dead men’s nails, will carry the frost giants to the battlefield, Vigrid … ¿From The Twilight of the Gods

The Arctic Challenge

Trysil Fjellet Ski Resort is situated in the middle of Scandinavia. It’s the largest ski resort in Norway, just 210 kilometers approximately 130 miles north of Oslo, the capital of Norway¿easy to get to by car, bus, plane, or boat. It has one terrain park and two halfpipes.

The 1999 Arctic Challenge halfpipe session took place April 26¿29 at Trysil. There was a massive effort to make it happen. The halfpipe was located high above the tree line on a seventeen-degree north-facing slope. Twenty-thousand cubic meters (over 65,000 cubic feet) of snow was pushed together for the walls. Then 5,000 cubic meters (over 16,000 cubic feet) of snow was pushed out of the pipe to form the huge transitions and an unreal finish. The beast measured over five meters (more than sixteen feet) high, eighteen meters (over 60 feet) wide, and 165 meters (over 540 feet) of rideable length. The Trysil Monster Pipe was just lying there waiting to be challenged by Terje Haakonsen, Daniel Franck, and some other lucky bastards.

The run in was long and steep with two kickers, one on each wall, to get the riders insane height when they dropped in. Halfway down the walls there were two big slide boxes. The terrain was set and the riders used it to the limits.

To make everything work fast and smooth for the riders, as well as for the spectators, all riders were picked up by a fleet of snowmobiles after each run and raced back to the top. This became a session in itself when the snowmobilers started to race each other for the next pickup.

Although there were no official winners at this first event, the whole atmosphere of riders, film crews, photographers, and spectators combined with a perfect pipe and sunny weather made it a nice experience for everyone to bring home.¿René and Niklas Rødun

 

Two-hundred and fifty miles inside the Arctic circle lies Lofoten, a beautiful island in the Norwegian sea, one link in a frosty archipelago that is a playground for the adventurous. Stamsund, with a population of 750 was the event’s base. It’s a traditional fishing village on the island’s southern tip¿a million miles from the typical resort venues where competitions are usually held.

These days, every time you go to an event you hear riders complain because most of the events suck ass. You have to deal with all the political bullshit, ride in hopeless conditions where you can’t express yourself, and look like a clown on the television screens. Thousands of kids show up to see you ride, but the conditions only allow you to get three feet off the ground. The kids think, “What the f¿k? I’m taking down his poster. He rides like a wussie!” And it happens over and over again, in every country and state. Of course there are some good ones, but none of them really stand out. You go to all these contest and they’re just a flash in your mind. You hardly remember them.

The Arctic Challenge will never be forgotten. Ask around. I’m not saying that it will change everything overnight, but we’ll definitely try. It’s about time we riders take charge. Haakon and I have the chance to make a difference. Competitions used to be a fun thing to do. But when you go to one these days a lot of the atmosphere is gone. Competition is only a small part of what snowboarding is really all about, but it doesn’t hurt to look forward to one, The Arctic Challenge.

The Arctic Challenge is the start of a totally new contest format. The concept is free from the constraints that ually inhibit all different disciplines of a competition. The event format, from peer judging to timing systems, will give the riders maximum scores for self-expression. There will be 24 riders total, of which twelve will be directly qualified. People can qualify through handpicked events all around the globe. We will give professional riders what they deserve, something to remember, a happening that’s worth going to. It will be a magic journey to the mysterious North with its myths and legends, Viking culture, and moonshine ’til you drop. The Arctic Challenge places snowboarding performance where it belongs, in the heart of its environment.

Until next time.¿Daniel Franck, Kjell Vagle, and Norwegian Sea Foods/Frionor-Fish, for a better life!

The Arctic Challenge was amazing. Terje and Daniel made a great event with the help of Oakley and the Norwegian Sea Foods Association. I was happy to go to an event put together by the riders for the riders. Having that aspect in snowboarding could help out in a major way. When snowboarders are involved with a snowboard contest, the event is going to run exactly how it should. Some times people running events are a little too far away from the industry to know what it takes. Events like Daniel’s and Terje’s should happen more in snowboarding. We should all start putting on our own contests and events around the world. I think this would help snowboarding and how it’s portrayed. Thanks, Daniel and Terje, for putting on such a show.¿Erik Leines

 

The day we shot my lipslide on that box was the windiest day I’ve ever experienced. You can actually see I’m not bullshitting on how windy it really was when I throw my board in the air for the opening shots of Technical Difficulties. Only me, Guch Bryan Iguchi, Jeff Curtes, and Vincent Skoglund stayed up there. The pipe was like a wind tunnel! If you unzipped your jacket and held on to it like a sail, you could almost go uphill. Nobody went more than two feet out.

We sat inside the box for a while using it as a shelter against the freezing arctic wind. The wind calmed down just a bit and I told Jeff that I’d try to hit the box. I climbed 60 feet past the top of the pipe and pointed for about 200 feet before I dropped into the pipe. I barely made it. We started sessioning it with Bryan. It was stupid, but still one of the funniest days up there. It’s a perfect example how you can have fun, even on the shittiest days, if you have good buddies to mess with. Well, at least we got the shot.¿Joni Malmi

 

Hemsedal, Norway¿A laid-back kicker session.

The first lift in Hemsedal was built in 1961¿only one lift and one slope. Everyday management was done, for free, by the people from Hemsedal in order to keep everything running. That first year they earned about five-thousand dollars.

Hemsedal has developed into one of the largest ski resorts in Scandinavia with 30 slopes, a huge snowboard park, and many off-piste off trail possibilities. It is the largest employer of people in the area, tourism accounting for their largest portion of income.

The scene in Norway is basically the same when it comes to fashion and park riding as it is on the West Coast of the States. But since we don’t have the same amount of powder, we dedicate a lot of our riding time to the pipe. We dislike people who brag about themselves¿riding should speak for itself and you’ll get credited for it and your personality. We like people who just go for it, push the heights and the technical difficulty.

When it came to our little laid-back session in Hemsedal, Fredrik Sarvell, Roger Hjelmstadstuen, Frode Sandbech, and I were actually just planing to ride and have fun after a long season. I happened to talk to Mike Hatchett Standard Films since Roger and Romain de Marchi had been there and said the conditions were really good. He sent Matt Small to shoot the guys. Scalp, a photographer from France called and asked what we were up to. I told him we got the resort at Hemsedal to build us some kickers and quarters, give us free housing, guides, and snowmobiles. Scalp brought along David Pitschi, Pascal Imhof, and Iker Fernandez, and Frode brought another photographer, Espen Lystad. Then all the fun started.

When we were tired of the park we built a huge quarterpipe, in which Fredrik Sarvell managed to go about seven meters high approximately 21 feet, see cover. Then Sebu Kulhberg and Tero Ainonen showed the crowd what snowboarders have forgotten about, 100 different ways to do handplants.

We plan to have the same session ten days before Easter this year, too, but just with our friends. If we invite you, then you are a friend of ours.¿René Hansen

Hemsedal is the place to be in the springtime, when all the ice has loosened up and it gets soft all over. This place has one of the best parks ever, and the mountain is worth an expedition. Lars Eriksen, who is the park boss, built kickers all over the place, and René arranged a gathering with several riders and photographers. It was a cool session, and I’ll be back next year.¿Frode Sandbech

Hemsedal was so f¿king great. We lived in the middle of the slope in a huge house, which was so luxurious. The vibe was good because of this, and because there were a lot of good guys.

The resort was so friendly and reshaped the park every day. At the same time they took us to the best spots with a cat and helped us build whatever we wanted. They helped us build a huge quarterpipe, which made the whole atmosphere very good. This quarterpipe was the best ever. I’ve never seen or ridden a better quarterpipe. It was great that the resort built all this stuff for us since at that point most of the snow had melted. There wasn’t much freeriding to do, but it was some of the best sessions I’ve ever had.¿Fredrik Sarvell

t Small to shoot the guys. Scalp, a photographer from France called and asked what we were up to. I told him we got the resort at Hemsedal to build us some kickers and quarters, give us free housing, guides, and snowmobiles. Scalp brought along David Pitschi, Pascal Imhof, and Iker Fernandez, and Frode brought another photographer, Espen Lystad. Then all the fun started.

When we were tired of the park we built a huge quarterpipe, in which Fredrik Sarvell managed to go about seven meters high approximately 21 feet, see cover. Then Sebu Kulhberg and Tero Ainonen showed the crowd what snowboarders have forgotten about, 100 different ways to do handplants.

We plan to have the same session ten days before Easter this year, too, but just with our friends. If we invite you, then you are a friend of ours.¿René Hansen

Hemsedal is the place to be in the springtime, when all the ice has loosened up and it gets soft all over. This place has one of the best parks ever, and the mountain is worth an expedition. Lars Eriksen, who is the park boss, built kickers all over the place, and René arranged a gathering with several riders and photographers. It was a cool session, and I’ll be back next year.¿Frode Sandbech

Hemsedal was so f¿king great. We lived in the middle of the slope in a huge house, which was so luxurious. The vibe was good because of this, and because there were a lot of good guys.

The resort was so friendly and reshaped the park every day. At the same time they took us to the best spots with a cat and helped us build whatever we wanted. They helped us build a huge quarterpipe, which made the whole atmosphere very good. This quarterpipe was the best ever. I’ve never seen or ridden a better quarterpipe. It was great that the resort built all this stuff for us since at that point most of the snow had melted. There wasn’t much freeriding to do, but it was some of the best sessions I’ve ever had.¿Fredrik Sarvell