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Bikepacking above the Arctic Circle in “Journey to Halti”

Manon Carpenter strives to reach Finland's far north on two wheels

Manon Carpenter Journey to Halti

A destination postponed, a plan adjusted, and a big advenuture beyond the Arctic Circle. All are included in Journey To Halti, ex-downhill racer Manon Carpenter’s new bikepacking film.

The Welsh rider, an elite and junior downhill world champion and World Cup overall winner, first set to to reach Halti by ski. That trip didn’t pan out as planned. Three years on, Carpenter is back, this time with a bike loaded up with bags.

With the mode of transportation changed comes better luck. Carpenter, who retired from racing back in 2017, gets to enjoy big days of riding – and plenty of walking – on the way to reach Finland’s highest point.

Along the way there’s waterfalls, lakes, boulder fields and even an encounter with wild reindeer roaming the Finnish tundra.

Journey to Halti

What does Manon Carpenter have to say about Journey to Halti ?

Join us on a four-day bikepacking trip to the highest point in Finland – Halti (1324 m) – in the very north of the country, up above the Arctic Circle.

“Journey to Halti is a four-day bikepacking trip born from a slightly hare-brained idea three years ago, that saw us trying to reach the highest point in Finland – above the Arctic Circle, in the middle of winter, on skis. It was my first time on skis (brave or stupid, you decide), -28 degrees 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.

Christian moved nearby for work in 2020, and me visiting for summer presented the perfect opportunity to try reaching Halti again – this time by bike. We had no idea what the trail would be like, and were aware that it might not be 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.”

-Manon Carpenter