Project SvalBIKE - A Freeride Adventure in the Midnight Sun

The Arctic, four mates, a website - a crazy idea. Mountain biking in the Arctic, in combination with ski touring, on the Spitzbergen! It sounds like a stupid idea, because even in the spring, when the sun returns, and the polar island group is released from a four-month darkness, it is, without making a big deal about it, extremely cold. On hearing this cool idea, photographer Stephan, journalist Thomas and their mates Falko and Tillmann, grabbed their bags and flew north to the Arctic.

The dream, to travel with the Fatbikes through the endless white, and then with touring skis and splitboards to the summit - the perfect combination of fat biking and freeriding. The trip was focused around Longyearbyen, the northernmost settlement in the world. Behind the polar bear warning signs, where civilization and mobile phone reception end, accompanied by a few dwarf reindeer, we could hear the crunch of the thick tires in the cold snow - and otherwise complete silence. A journey with ski mountaineering on the mighty Table Mountains; Fat biking over powerful glaciers; then beers and a bonfire on the beach under the midnight sun. Spitzbergen at its best!

An adventure at the end of the inhabited world, but also an adventure just five flying hours away from your sofa.

Words by Thomas Werz. All photos courtesy of Stephan Vogel.