Adventures in Fjordland - Photo Epic

Dec 22, 2017
by Yeti Cycles  
Joey Schulser mountain biking in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.










On the 68th parallel, 200 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle, we arrive with our bikes. Northern Norway is known more for its winter adventure and eight-month-long ski seasons, but we only see the possibilities before us. The dramatic landscape carved through the ice ages, as remains of ancient mountain ranges were eroded down to sea level and later lifted. Further exposed to harsh winds and water flows, Mother Nature has crafted a natural bike park in a simply stunning location. In the next week, our spirited crew of three plans to ride as much of it as we can.











Fjord view in Skjomen Norway.
Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser riding at Reinnesfjellet Norway.










The drive to the trailhead follows the shoreline of the fjord. Mountains rise steeply on the side. Lush, green forests at the valley floor contrast against the emerald colored water. Above in the alpine, the dark granite towers above us.











Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Bj rnefjell Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Beisfjord Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam s legs after mountain biking in Beisfjord Norway.
Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Beisfjord Norway.










An hour and a half of pedaling and hike-a-bike in the wet, freezing temperatures and my fingers are numb. A cold I have not felt since last winter. It is only August, but in northern Norway, fall comes early. The colors have started to change in the valley, and in the alpine, snow from last winter hides in the grooves of the granite.

My friend Micke af Ekenstam, a local who has lived in the area for 20 years, shows us the way. We have been riding in the shade since we started in the morning. Micke yelps to Colorado native Joey Schusler “typical Scandinavian weather.” Joey, who is in Norway for the first time, sets the pace as our crew of three heads into the alpine mist.











Mikael af Ekenstam in Beisfjord Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser riding at Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser riding at Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.
Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser hanging out at Reinnesfjellet Norway.










We are in Reinnesfjellet, about one hour south of Narvik, a small town in the region of Nordland. Reinnesfjellet is a 45-kilometer-long and 2-kilometer-wide polished rock ridge of granite with rolling terrain. Around this unique natural phenomena, there are rugged mountain peaks, fjords and small glaciers in the distance. It is an extraordinary place to ride a bike.

After our long approach in the cold, we finally reach the plateau 1000 meters above the fjord. The setting is spectacular. The traction on the granite invokes confidence. We find neat little lines, drops, berms, and features all over the place. There is no specific trail to follow, only small piles of rocks to mark the way, but you can ride pretty much anywhere. We let the playful terrain determine our agenda for the day, as there is no rush and detours are welcome.

Micke points out several couloirs and lines he has skied in the winter, then talks about the history of World War II. The Germans tried to hide their submarines in the tight fjords when the British Airforce set off to hunt them down. The region around Narvik was a battlefield at the end of the war, and most of the town of Narvik got burnt down.











Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Joey Schulser riding in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.










Late in the afternoon, we drop down towards the fjord. The speed accelerates quickly on the steep granite pitches and nerves tighten. Pull the coarsest side of a grater against the outside of your thigh, and you get an idea of how a crash will feel on this surface. After a full day on the Norwegian Slickrock, we feel pretty comfortable letting it go. The adrenaline is pumping, and the stoke runs high.

Joey challenges things the most, doing drops off a natural cliff into a perfect tranny. Not surprising given his background as a competitive downhill and enduro racer, but Joey's skills go beyond riding. The week before he was in China filming a three-week expedition where nobody had ever taken a mountain bike before. With only a day or so back home in Boulder to recover, he is now leading the charge on a remote rock slab in northern Norway. He plays on his bike the way a spirited child does with a new toy.

Back down at our camp we relax and cook a well-deserved dinner. We salute a great day in the mountains with a few beers and share stories by the fire. There is no internet, no emails and barely any cell service. Nowhere to go, nothing else to do, we just enjoy the moment and dream of the morning descent.











Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam in Reinneset near Skjomen Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser hanging out at Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.
Joey Schulser drinking his morning coffee in Reinneset Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser riding in Skjomen Reinnesfjellet Norway.

Traditionall norwegian house in Bj rnefjell Norway.

Joey Schulser hanging out in Narvik Norway.










The next few days we explore the riding near Narvik. The small shipping port is located straight down the mountain, at the mouth of the Ofotfjorden. Much of Narvik’s history is owed to the vast iron mine a couple of hours east in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland. The need for access to an ice-free port to export the iron led to the construction of the Ofotbanen Railway Line more than 100 years ago. What followed was a rapid transformation of the town over the past century. A few sparse farms remain as a reminder of a history steeped in fishing and agriculture.

Mountain biking in Narvik got established in the late 90s. A few enthusiastic locals hand built the long, steep downhill track from the top of Fagernesfjellet, which is served by the gondola lift and has 550 vertical meters of altitude drop. It is still considered one of the finest tracks in all of Scandinavia.

We go up for a lap, as we ride the upper part of the steep trail the town hovers above our handlebars. Micke leads the way down, which takes us to the start of his hand-built trail called Røde Orm (The Red Snake in Norwegian). Now the angle of the slope becomes more mellow, and I let the brakes go, feeling the flow of the trail. Fast sections, berms, technical sections and, of course, some jumps – everything in balance for almost four-kilometers with a vertical drop of 400 meters.











Fjord view in Skjomen Norway.
Joey Schulser in Skjomen Norway.

Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Narvik Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Beisfjord Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser riding in Narvik Norway.
Joey Schulser riding in Beisfjord Norway.

Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam riding in Narvik Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser hanging out at the train station in Bj rnefjell 513 meter Norway.
Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam hanging out in Bj rnefjell Norway.










The next morning, we take the bus from Narvik to Riksgränsen in Sweden to ride the classic Rallarvägen. Riksgränsen means “land border” in Swedish, and this old transport route along the railway separates the two countries.

The landscape is wild and raw. Above the tree line, the rolling terrain consists mainly of rock slabs and just a bit of dirt where the trail goes. We follow the old railway transport route from the late 1800s. Soon we pass the actual border, but there is no control to check our passports. If you don’t know, you barely notice the little sign next to the trail.











Mikael af Ekenstam riding past an old cave. During the WW2 the germans used this cave as a prison. Bj rnefjell northern Norway.

Signs near the swedish-norwegian border. Bj rnefjell northern Norway.
Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Katterat Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Katterat Norway.

Joey Schulser riding in Rombak Norway.

Joey Schulser taking a break to pick some wild bueberries in Beisfjord Norway.
Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser refilling their water bottles near Rombak Norway.

Mikael af Ekenstam and Joey Schulser mountain biking in Katterat Norway.

Fjord view from Reinneset Skjomen Norway.

Boat arrives to pick up Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam in Rombaksfjorden Norway.
Rib boat taking Joey Schulser and Mikael af Ekenstam from Rombak to Narvik. Rombaksfjorden northern Norway.










The closer to Narvik we come, the more enchanting the views become. The route takes us past beautiful old houses, quirky old bridges, and some epic scenery. Eventually, we need to drop in towards Rombakksfjorden, as our captain and his boat leave at 3 pm sharp. In the land of the fjords, often the most natural way to travel is on the water. If we miss that ride home, we have to pedal all the way back we came, then hitch a ride to Norway. A long and painful option I do not want to entertain.

With that in mind, we decide it is time to only enjoy the riding from here on – no more photos. After 30 minutes of flow through the ultra-green birch forest, we reach the beach at the fjord. Down here it is much warmer, and the sun has come out. It is time to strip a few layers and enjoy the sun before we board. What a beautiful ending of our adventures in the Arctic.











Joey Schulser riding in Narvik Norway.










Presented by: Yeti Cycles
Riders: Joey Schusler, Yeti Ambassador and Micke af Ekenstam
Words and photos: Mattias Fredriksson, photographer, journalist, and Yeti ambassador













MENTIONS: @yeticycles



Posted In:
Stories



37 Comments

  • 44 1
 Loving every bit of this. Nice work Mattias, Joey, and Micke!
  • 9 0
 Id love to see content like this every day. Gotta hand it to Yeti too for supporting adventures like this.
  • 34 0
 Whoa. Last Photo is contender for Photo of the Year. Great article!
  • 4 2
 I don't see a roost so no, its not a contender.
  • 2 0
 I am absolutely with you! What a great shot.
  • 8 0
 Thank you Yeti cycles for doing this fantastic write uo with amazing photography. So much better then a video with questionable music choices accompanying it.
  • 8 0
 A good set of photos tells much more than minutes of video.
  • 8 0
 Veldig fint!
  • 1 0
 Schmorgie borgie
  • 2 0
 The pictures are stunning. The rugged beauty of northern Norway is beyond words and would be an epic place to ride. I've been to every continent except Antarctica but Norway specifically is on my bucket list of places to visit. It just so happens my grandparents on my mom side are from Norway, having come over to Canada some 85+ years ago, which makes even more compelling a place to visit.
  • 5 1
 rock line after rock line after rock line! so beautiful I would love to ride there!
  • 5 0
 Beautiful work, Mattias and Yeti !!!
  • 3 0
 SO stunning! After seeing that guided tugboat fjord tour photo epic on PB last year, I've gotten a serious itch for Nordic riding!
  • 4 0
 WOW!!!!. Thanks for the great story, and the awesome photo's..just beyond beautiful..
  • 3 0
 Love these photo epics. The list of places I need to ride grows faster than I can consume it, I hope i have time, money, and health when I retire !
  • 3 0
 Always nice to see people ride in my home country. Great writing and pictures. Thanks! Smile
  • 3 1
 Been up there this summer, can not wait to go back next year ! Thanks for the great photos, riding and writing - that brings up awesome memories!!
  • 1 0
 Now that's as great a set of photographs as you'll ever see anywhere. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we really do get spoilled with the quality of photies on this site.
  • 1 0
 If you come over, prepare for the weather. You really have to live here to get the epic trips done when there suddenly is a weather window with a few days of not rain and wind
  • 3 0
 Outstanding content - Thanks!
  • 3 0
 Thank you for great writing, riding and pictures.
  • 3 0
 Great shots, the last one surely has to be in for POY, great article!
  • 3 0
 Great!
  • 3 0
 Awesome!
  • 4 1
 So many PODs !!!
  • 2 1
 Before you put those berries in your mouth look up and see if any deer are laughing at you.
  • 2 0
 That right there is ALL TIME.
  • 2 0
 I can't believe how beautiful it is there.
  • 1 0
 Awesome and inspiring trip report!! Well done! I love trip reports like these.
  • 1 0
 THIS IS MOUNTAINBIKING. Breathtaking views, awesome stories and for free. Props for the three of you guys.
  • 2 0
 Wow. Just wow.
  • 2 0
 Lovely pictures
  • 1 0
 Incredible! Bucket List 4 Sure
  • 1 0
 Kempe fint!
  • 1 0
 Amazing photo work!
  • 1 0
 fantastic!
  • 1 0
 great photos!!





Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.013045
Mobile Version of Website