Journey to Halti: Bikepacking to the Highest Point in Finland

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Manon Carpenter and Christian Stenvall set off on a four-day bikepacking trip to reach the highest point in Finland – Halti (1324 m) – in the far north of the country, above the Arctic Circle. Along the way, Manon made this film. Watch it here and find a stunning photo gallery from the trip…

Self-filmed by Manon Carpenter (@manoncarpenter) and Christian Stenvall (@kridestenvall), Journey to Halti follows the pair on a four-day bikepacking trip that was born from a slightly hare-brained, unsuccessful trip they took three years ago when they attempted a ski trip to reach the highest point in Finland—in the depths of winter, above the Arctic Circle. “It was my first time on skis (brave or stupid, you decide), -28°C when we set off, and at the end of the year when the sun no longer rises in Lapland. We only made it halfway, faced soft snow and a lack of established skiing routes that early in winter, so it’s been an incomplete mission since then,” explains Manon.

This past summer, the stars aligned and presented the perfect opportunity to try reaching Halti again. This time, they would go by bike. Not having seen the trail under the snow that covered it during their last attempt, they had no idea what the terrain would be like, or if it was even rideable. “With a very literal rocky start, and slow-going flat sections and climbs, we were rewarded with descents that we could actually ride to enjoy. Smooth sections in between the boulders felt like the best trail ever! Four days out in the vastness of Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, with everything we needed on us or our bikes, was a great way to complete the mission of Halti, three years on,” adds Manon. Watch the film below and scroll down for a photo gallery from their trip…

“You have a destination, but your focus is always on the journey, what you’re doing at each moment along the way. No to-do list other than to put one foot (or one pedal stroke) in front of the other and embrace the elements.”

  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland

In Finland, Jokamiehen oikeudet, or The Everyman’s Right, allows the general public to roam freely in countryside and access natural areas for recreational use, as long as it’s done so responsibly. This includes access by bike, with the exception of some national parks, where you’re encouraged to stick to the trail and avoid protected areas. Even better, Finland’s national parks offer unlocked wilderness cabins to anyone who respects the rules and leaves things as they’re found (or better!). On this trip wilderness cabins provided shelter, beds, and cooking facilities. This meant that Manon and Christian only needed to carry food, tools and spares, and sleeping bags. Filterable water was readily available from the many rivers and lakes along the way.

“Riding out into a wilderness area and finding no one else around, a wood burner ready to light, and a lake to dip in at the end of the day is a pretty special experience, and something that makes you appreciate wilder spaces all the more…”

Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland
  • Journey to Halti, Bikepacking Finland

Editing by Laurence CE (@laurence_CE); Created with support from Radon Bikes (@radonbikes).

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