Mountain Biking North of The Polar Circle

Autor: Verena Stitzinger | Photography: Werner Früh, Verena Stitzinger | 05. 09. 2018

Lyngenfjord? Have you ever heard of it? If you have it is probably from ski tourers and some probably claim that the ski touring areas are almost always good mountain bike areas.

Lyngenfjord? Have you ever heard of it? If you have it is probably from ski tourers and some probably claim that the ski touring areas are almost always good mountain bike areas.

Enter Georg. Georg is from the local tourism office called “Visit Lyngenfjord“. He is a former XC racer that promises us some nice tours filled with amazing single trail. We take him for his word large in part to Norway being a dream destination.

Andrea, Werner and I (Verena), hop a flight from Munich to Olso then continue onward to Tromso, which is the northernmost university city in the world. Checking the map while in the plane I noticed that when we left Norway’s capital we were only half way to our destination because Tromso is located 340 Kilometres north of the polar circle and with an annual mean temperature of 2.5 degrees celsius it sounded far from being a MTB paradise.

Surprisingly there is a thriving MTB scene in Tromso comprised of primarily students. Once a year they organize a small MTB and Downhill festival at the Lyngenfjord with around 120 event goers called the Skibotn Stifestival. A long weekend is spent camping together and touring the local trails. Georg suggested we go there and he was right! When we headed out on a guided tour we quickly learned what Stisykling means: “Sti“ is representative of a narrow path or trail, but that is only half the story.

Before one can get to the “Sti“ the tour starts with driving to the trail head. Bikes are then unloaded and then from there it is “Hike a bike“ or simply pushing up hill. Our new friends do not even try to pedal, but rather they patiently push or carry their bikes for the two hour journey to the peak. Taking a short break some join in the conversation and say they recently started mountain biking. Complainers? Not a chance, everyone is in high spirits. When it is time to head downhill the trip to the top is completely justified. Flowing like water downward we wind through the wide corners, the feeling is nothing short of amazing!

At the bottom, we meet Einar, who works in road construction and enjoys mountain biking on weekends. Recently, however, he had to cancel a tour. He exclaims, “It was too hot and nearly +20 degrees,“. Okay … We thought and on that note we will remember to always pack warm clothes on any future tours to the area.

Georg continued to show us many more beautiful trails. Everywhere he took us the trails had consistent attributes of beautiful scenery, lots of pushing uphill and amazing downhill descents. At times the sun was shining down illuminating the arctic plant world and other times we were riding in through sleet and welcomed a chance to warm up next to the stove in a hiking hut.

Our take away: Stisykling in Northern Norway has a very special take on what mountain biking is and we found it wonderful to experience!

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