backcountry

Discover Splitboarding

We are currently finishing small doc series about splitboarding. Not only it is a great tool to get out there just for fun but in the recent years split has been tremendous help for my work. I could not imagine myself hiking up in deep snow without some sort of aid on my feet. Snowshoes are great help but it is nothing compared to the help I get from splitboard.

I already carry a heavy back bag full of cameras, lenses, avalanche kit, food and water, why would I want to carry my board while hiking up? It makes no sense. Your board is the device to get up! Split it, make skis, get a little help from poles and up you go. Only thing extra are the skins and those are coming along under your skis, most of the time.


Episode 1


Episode 2
 

Behind the scenes. Miikka Hast setting up his skis in Aittakuru, Pyhätunturi. I decided to get a lightweight kit for this day that I knew we were going to hike (or skin) a lot. I was cursing through the day with that small and crappy tripod. After getting used to a heavier Gitzo carbon legs/Sachtler FSB combo those crappy Manfrotto heads and flimsy legs just dont cut it.

Behind the scenes. Miikka Hast setting up his skis in Aittakuru, Pyhätunturi. I decided to get a lightweight kit for our first real day of shooting. I knew we were going to hike (or skin) a lot, but going lightweight has its limitations. I was cursing through the day with that small head and lousy old legs. After getting used to a heavier Gitzo carbon legs/Sachtler FSB combo those crappy Manfrotto heads and flimsy legs just dont cut it. Better than nothing though.

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We got really lucky with the weather this day. Everything else before this, including our trip to Japan, did not go as planned. In january before we really got the project started in Finland, working title was “The Impossible Project”

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Some extra footage we captured for one of our sponsors in the early morning magical light. We only got five to six hours of sunlight but it is more like constant golden hour. Crazy colours for the whole day!

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Same day, framegrab from the afternoon. No magic tricks with the colours. Blue, yellow and pink. Thats about it.

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We have fluffy powder and steep runs in Finland too! Miikka from Splitlines enjoying what Pyhätunturi has to offer.

Thank you goes out to:
Protest
Jones snowboards
Karakoram
EpicTV!

Random photos

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Alvaro Vogel somewhere in the Hokkaido roadside steeps.

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Canadian trees from Monashee Powder Snowcats

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Photographer Rami Hanafi enjoying Kiwi powder with Alpine Helicopters, Wanaka

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Photographer Jani Kärppä and B-cam videographer Matti Ollila in Kagura, Japan

BC in B&W

Last february we went to British Columbia to shoot Approach&Attack project. These photos are snapshots I took with my pocket camera, LOMO LC-A. Excellent little camera that does its own magic with the available light. There is something going on in the exposure meter of this little thing, most of the times it just works in a way that never stops amaze me. Super easy to shoot and I really enjoy it with black&white film, this time it was Fomapan 400asa. British Columbia itself was awesome, despite we had some bad luck with the weather and warm fronts coming in couple of times during the trip. We visited resorts around Nelson, did some hiking and splitboarding in mountain passes and had few days of awesome powder in Valhalla Powdercats. From there we had the opportunity to visit Monashee Powder Snowcats.

Nelson has excellent location and a lot of options to do and you can find much cheaper accommodation than from the resorts or lodges. Highly recommended!

Our crew in Valhalla Powder Cats, Nelson BC.

Our crew in Valhalla Powdercats, Nelson BC.

Snowdog somewhere in the Valhalla Snow Cats backcountry

Snowdog somewhere in the Valhalla Powdercats backcountry

Kootenay Pass view

Kootenay Pass view

Antti and Miikka hiking up in  Kootenay Pass

Antti and Miikka hiking up in Kootenay Pass

Miikka Hast slashing some pow in Kootenay Pass

Miikka Hast slashing some pow in Kootenay Pass

View from Whitewater resort

View from Whitewater resort

Miikka and classic moustache

Miikka and classic moustache

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At times it was snowing constantly

Fellow photographer Kärppä hiking in Whitewater

Fellow photographer Kärppä hiking in Whitewater

French snowboarder Sylvain Bourbousson joined the crew for few days in Monashee Powder Snow Cats

French snowboarder Sylvain Bourbousson joined the crew for few days in Monashee Powder Snowcats

Some random drive-by guitar player

Some random drive-by guitar player

Shooting “In The Trees”

Latest video from our Approach&Attack project focuses on, as the name implies, riding in the trees. This type of snowboarding usually means a lot of snow and since you are riding amidst the trees the visibility and contrast are better than higher altitudes and alpine terrain. We shot many days while it was snowing and actually I like it very much. Snowboarding in deep powder is possibly best thing there is and it looks really nice too, many times you can really see and feel the joy of riding in snowy forests.

In Japan there was too much of snow at times so positioning cameras and keeping them running was harder than usual. Getting from place to place takes time and splitboard or snowshoes are a must! Snow causes all kinds of problems with electronics and optics, it keeps on melting on the warm surfaces and handling with warm hands is melting snow even more. Moisture and condensation might turn out to be a big problem, especially if the sun comes out and starts to warm the lens optics causing condensation to form inside lenses.

Cameras after slash seen on video 2`42

Bag and camera after slash seen on video 2`42, never leave you bag open!

Best piece of extra equipment in these kind of conditions is towel. Not just lens wipe but actual hand towel, and many lens wipes, tissue and whatever you can imagine to keep your stuff clean and dry. Plastic bags are great for the worst snowstorms. I´m not a big fan of rain covers that are made for cameras, they are usually too tight and get in the way of basic handling, just an average sized clear plastic bag does the job if needed.

Zip lock bag with an opening for lens teared on its corner covering my B angle cam in Canada

Zip lock bag with an opening for lens teared on its corner covering my B angle cam in Canada

Choosing cameras with proper weather sealing is essential. I am not overprotective when it comes to gear. They are just tools and most of the time goes for planning, thinking and actual shooting, not covering cameras and keeping them sparkling clean all the time. Wipe it with towel and clean lens with cloth as needed. Covering yourself is also important if not even more important than covering your gear. You don´t want to quit your day in short just because you got soaked. Investing in good clothing with Gore-tex fabrics pays back for sure!

Playing the waiting game. Photo: Ed Blomfield from Whitelines

Playing the waiting game inside a huge glide crack. Photo: Ed Blomfield from Whitelines

Time to get it all dry! On the Onsen floor with electronic heater of course!

Time to get it all dry. On the Onsen floor with electronic heater of course! Bag and half of the stuff belongs to monsieur Matt Georges

We are starting the new season in few days. First off to snowy paradise called Japan, more on that later!

Relate To It online

Full movie online, finally! It took some sleepless nights and over three weeks of intensive editing to make things happen but I am happy with the results, hope you like it too!

More on this later!

Crew III and behind the scenes of a photograph

Man behind the whole Relate To It -project Antti Autti shares his thoughts about the project.

Antti at Tamok. This was my favorite shot of the year. We were in Tamok right up in the treeline, it was snowing really hard, weather was getting warmer and snow turned to slush. Everything was wet and my videocamera got fogged from inside and stopped working. Then same thing happened to DSLR, not only lenses were fogged but the sensor seemed to be as well. I could not shoot with them anymore. I turned to Super8, got the quick shot that ended up in the film and in my pocket was an old Olympus XA 35mm point-and-shoot loaded with x-process Lomo film that I used for this shot. Not a bad day after all! Photo can be seen at Cafe Kauppayhtiö exhibition.

Filming in New Zealand pt.2

This is rare stuff, real making of photos from the mountains! Our guide Tucker from Triple Point Expeditions was kind enough to give me these photos. Maybe they help out telling a story about how the day goes by when shooting snowboarding in the mountains.

In New Zealand we had the opportunity to fly and shoot from the helicopter. Normally you just dream about it while you hike or splitboard your way uphill, sometimes for hours on end. In NZ most of the terrain is accessible only with heli and the places we were shooting were definitely deep inside mountain ranges of Mt. Aspiring National Park and not easily accessible by hiking.

Usually the day starts at 5.30am with big breakfast to get ready for a long day in the mountains. Pack the bag, make sure you have all the camera gear you need and the most important trio: avalanche beacon, shovel and probe. Then drive out to meet the guides at 7am and grab a cup of fresh coffee from cafeteria downtown. Short drive to heliport and liftoff around 7.30 or 8.00. Short flight to preselected destination and you are at the top 8.15 and ready for work!

Checking the lines in the morning light after first drop off of the day

Getting the gear ready. 1st cam that I am operating and usually 2nd angle that is on monopod. Another guide Stu is with me all times while Tucker looks out after Antti. This way the riders can also lap jumps, lines or whatever. Second guide helps to load in while other helps to load out of the heli.

Dropping in with backpack full of camera gear is sometimes sketchy, depending on the steepness of the slope and quality of the snow. This time it was pretty mellow, maybe 35+ degree face. I set up ON the spine, not inside gullies or straight under the rider, got to keep mind of the avalanches.

Shooting from above on this one was the only choice because of terrain below this feature. Too risky to go shoot from below and the view was blocked from the side. I left another camera up behind me shooting straight down.

Getting ready to shoot from the heli with Rami Hanafi. Take the doors off, harness on, safety lines from the harness to the machine and wrist/neck loops for cameras to make sure they stay with you at all times. Antti And Sylvain stay on top and wait while we are up in the air and ready to shoot. Communication with the pilot is important during the shoot.

Shooting from the heli is never easy. Main thing is to keep camera steady. No fancy gyro stabilized Phantom cameras this time I tell ya! I keep monopod on my camera to make it heavier and be able to rest it on my shoulder. Rami sits on the floor so we both can operate freely and not disturb each other.

Shooting some slashes while waiting for better weather. You can see 2nd cam on monopod like I usually have it.

And at the end of the day you get nice ride back to the heliport. Scenery is just superb and being smallest guy of the crew I get to sit on the front all the time!

Check out Triple Point Expeditions and their facebook

Northlight Pictures facebook

anttisworld.com

Filming in New Zealand pt.1

After summer holidays it was time to get back on snow and travel all the way down to New Zealand. Here is quick update on what we have been up to so far.

First day after summer and so much fun at Snow Park

Fixing the cliff drop at Treble Cone with Will Jackways, Shin Biyajima and Antti Autti

Will Jackways droppin with Stalefish

Antti getting the pipe skills back in Snow Park pipe with some lo-fi Lensbaby touch.

Antti and our awesome guide Stu from Southern Lakes Heliski enjoying great weather and good runs

Shady walls had the best snow. This was shot in Mt. Albert which was the venue for World Heli Challenge couple of weeks ago.

Working on “Relate To It” webisodes

Latest addition to Relate To It webisode-series has been out for over a week now. Check it out if you haven´t seen it!

We were filming new stuff at Canada for couple of weeks. This time with different crew and different views of snowboarding. Three days at Monashee Powder Snowcats showed us the easy way of doing things. No hiking and not much of searching spots. Just let the guides take you to different areas and enjoy the powder and mellow ride up with a snowcat. It was the first time to go catboarding for all of us. Definitely worth a try!

Last part of the trip we stayed at Revelstoke building couple of jumps in the backcountry. Stay tuned for more in anttisworld.com

Juuso Laivisto, Markku Koski and Antti Autti checking out the terrain in Monashee Powder Snowcats

The surreal burnt forest called Full Moon had lots of great terrain

New project on the way

New season and new project on the way. Last season was all about Antiout the movie. This season I am working with Antti Autti on Relate To It webisodes that will be broadcasted online at Transworld Snowboarding and Onboard magazines and anttisworld.com website.

We started the project from Revelstoke, Canada late last year and currently we are filming in Hokkaido, Japan. With record-breaking snowfalls Japan is the place to be at the moment!

Antti and Miikka Hast at Revelstoke, BC Canada.

Photographer Jani Kärppä from Lappikuva and Antti just before the last run of the day. Me and Jani decided to take a run just for fun after hard day of hiking and filming and Antti had enough energy to tag along. According to Antti the backcountry code goes like: “Never leave your buddies” and thats the way it should be at all times when you are out there with your friends!

New tools for the trade. I wanted to take it easier this year and decided to get a split-board. It saves energy and hikes are way more easier when you don´t have to carry your board and struggle through the deep snow. For steeper and shorter runs I still prefer my regular (goofy) board!

Japan randomness clockwise from top left: #1 Check out this gallon of whisky, Jani is having a laugh and wondering should we take some quality time off from the slopes? #2 Some Japanese guy recognized Antti at local grocery store and wanted to have a photo with him. #3 Our car just before arriving at Niseko, check out that huge pile of snow at the roof! #4 You can get everything from the vending machines, this one had toys, toys, toys and seeds to grow your own radish!

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