The Unforgettable Adventure

Snowmobiling across Finland and back home via the Arctic Ocean

Two weeks. 5523 kilometers. Last spring Lynx ambassador Joni Maununen made a snowmobile adventure like no other. Joni rode a snowmobile across Finland, returning to the starting point via the Arctic Ocean in Norway and Kilpisjärvi in the north-western tip of Finland and northernmost Sweden.

Made for long trips. Joni Maununen rode his spring adventure with the model year 2024 Lynx Xterrain RE 850 E-TEC crossover snowmobile. A longer and rougher track than in a standard trail model ensured progress in sometimes soft conditions. Top-quality suspension and shock absorption guaranteed riding comfort on varying trails.




The Gulf of Finland, April 2023. In front, open water splashes in Virolahti, in the southeast corner of Finland. The rider looks at the sea and wonders where the journey will take him next. The Arctic Ocean in Norway – you have to get there. The target moves 1100 kilometers north as the crow flies on the map.

– When you have enough distance behind you, you notice that the adventure has suddenly moved into your own comfort zone. Then it doesn't matter whether you ride three or ten thousand kilometers, Joni Maununen describes his feelings in the southern parts of Finland. At that point, 1800 kilometers had been driven on the spring adventure.

Joni's journey had started five days earlier from the yard of his home in Ivalo, Lapland. Like the most memorable trips of the Lynx ambassador, who is known for his insane adventures, the Easter time’s ultimate adventure started without any foreplanning .

– I first drove 360 km from Ivalo to Rovaniemi, and there I wondered, where to go next. Originally, I had thought that I would drive to Tulppio, which is considered a legendary sledding destination in eastern Lapland. I thought that there must be such bad phone coverage that I didn't think I dare to go there alone to adventure against the night.

After spending the night in Rovaniemi, Joni turned Xterrain RE’s front end towards Bothian Bay. From the shore of the sea, the voyager headed to Ii for the night, when the journey to Oulu was interrupted at the boat channel between Ii and Oulu.

– There is no reason to play with unfrozen waters in winter.

After resting overnight, the traveler's idea about the next direction of the journey became clear.

– I thought that everyone else had gone sledding north for Easter, so I decided to go south.


Mighty Lake Inari is bathed in the evening light. Joni carried only the most necessary things on the adventure. The spare fuel, extra oil and LinQ bag stayed firmly on top of the Xterrain RE's tunnel.




A model year 2024 Lynx Xterrain RE 850 E-TEC was chosen as Joni’s travel companion as being at its best on long trips.

– The long track stabilizes riding on bumpy trails and that was also helpful later when the soft snow made progress challenging. The Xterrain RE’s suspension is great for taming varying trails.

Joni carried with him only the most necessary Lynx accessories and things, which were packed in a LinQ tunnel bag and Riser Block Bag. In addition, a LinQ Fuel Caddy and a LinQ Oil Caddy were attached on the tunnel in case of long refueling intervals.

– The bag contained a change of clothes, hygiene items, lunch, a BRP tool kit, a knife, a multi-tool, cable ties, a cargo strap and gorilla tape. Of course, there was also a first aid kit and several fire-starting items.


After aiming at Jyväskylä and even Tampere in southern Finland, the traveler had to note in Viitasaari in Central Finland, that the going was challenging. Although the slogan of the trip was #lumieilopu (the snow doesn’t run out in Finnish), the snow cover really began to decrease in central Finland.

– People sent messages via social media that you should not go in that direction where the snow runs out. This was how the hashtag of the journey was born. And that seemed to take on a life of its own.


The snow doesn’t run out. Crossing a railroad in eastern Finland.




From Viitasaari, the direction turned towards the province of Savonia. After riding on narrow and bumpy trails, the traveler spent the coldest night of the trip in a shelter close by a sled trail.

– The sled jacket was a blanket and the campfire warmed as long as it burned. The night outside was quite freezing, so I was cold.

A night in the shelter was atmospheric, but cold. In Salla, the conditions were great not only for riding, but also for accommodation.




The weather and riding conditions varied greatly during the trip. The frost could be -20 celsius degrees at night, while the worst daytime temperatures were +15 degrees.

– There was a rush to get to the south, because the snow was really about to end. At this point I had already decided that the Gulf of Finland should be seen from the sled.

Via social media people could follow Joni's adventures almost in real time. Facebook's Finnish snowmobiling group received several updates about the snow situation in each area, and the Instagram message box was filled with encouraging messages for the lonely rider. Accommodation and other help were also offered.

– The feedback was only positive and people always came to chat and take pictures when I was refueling somewhere or otherwise taking a break. That felt really nice.

During the trip, Joni learned that the followers who were communicating might have a slightly different understanding of the amount of snow sufficient for snowmobiling than a Lapland man used to riding in special conditions.

– I decided to stop asking questions and continued to navigate with the help of online real-time snow maps and the BRP GO! app.


Warm days, cold nights and heavy rains. Joni used the Lynx Stamina Enduro riding suit on his adventure, which offered great protection against the changing weather. With the Lynx under and middle layers, Joni adjusted the warmth of the outfit according to the current weather to keep the feeling as comfortable as possible.




The dwindling snow caused a nasty surprise between Lappeenranta and Imatra, where the front of the sled dived through the snow cover in a ditch and hit a rock. The upper A-arm got bent, but luckily help was found from Imatra at the local Lynx dealer.

– I got a new A-arm from the dealer and I was able to fix the sled in their workshop. At the same time, the sled got a full maintenance because there was already almost 2000 km of travel behind and who knew how much more ahead. The skis were worn out from driving on a little snow, so I replaced them with new ones. I also replaced the hyfaxes and ice scratchers just in case, even though they were still in good condition.


From the Gulf of Finland, Joni’s and Xterrain RE's journey continued back towards the north, this time following the eastern border of Finland. Going north, the riding conditions became more favorable again.

– Above Joensuu, the rush stopped. There was plenty of snow again for riding and the trail carried well.


Riding conditions of all kinds. According to Joni, he had time to think the world over several times when crossing big lakes, while the narrow and bumpy trails in South Savo required the rider to be constantly attentive.




Perhaps the tastiest sections of the route were in Tulppio – the mecca of safari sledders in the 90s, which was the original destination of the trip.

– Tulppio was one of the greatest locations of the whole adventure. The trails there are marked like a highway and the snow situation was also good for the time of year.

From Eastern Lapland, the journey continued towards Saariselkä, where after the night spent, the Lynx’s skis turned towards Nuorgam and the Norwegian border. Six days earlier, the Gulf of Finland had sparkled ahead and soon we were on the northern edge of continental Europe, marveling at the mighty Arctic Ocean. Tana fjord in Finnmark county was also the northernmost point of the journey.

– Getting to the Arctic Ocean was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. However, I still wasn't satisfied with riding, so I set off towards the west.


Highlight moments of the adventure. Joni has reached the shore of the Arctic Ocean on Tana fjord in Northern Norway.




To Kilpisjärvi, Joni rode via River Teno-Karigasniemi-Pokka-Enontekiö route. There was still enough snow in the northernmost Lapland but the rains that started in Kilpisjärvi, brought their own spice to driving.

– The rain softened the trails all the way through, so staying on the trails required constant precision. Fortunately, the long track of the Xterrain RE made sure that the progress continued even though the snow, especially from Kilpisjärvi to the Norwegian side, was like hell - sinking mush the whole way.

Joni's goal was to ride to the coast of the Atlantic in Oteren, Norway, but heavy rains and warm weather caused the rivers coming down from the mountains to flood massively. Reaching the Atlantic Ocean on the Lyngen fjord remained a dream.

– The last river crossing on the trail was so fierce that I had to raise my hands up and surrender. The sea would have been only 200 meters away.

The only option was to turn the Xterrain RE’s nose towards the south again. The wet and warm weather made the riding through Western Lapland to Rovaniemi challenging, but at this point giving up was not an option. Ivalo – the starting point of the journey and Joni’s home – should be reached by riding.


More than two weeks on the sled. Finland from end to end, a ferry trip, the Gulf of Finland, the Arctic Ocean in Norway and the Three Nation’s Border Point at Kilpisjärvi. Exhaustion, cold, wet, sweating. Unforgettable lonely moments in the wilderness, memorable encounters with people. The odometer of the Lynx Xterrain RE displayed 5523 kilometers in Ivalo.

Along the snowmobile trails in Finland, you can see many things reminding you of the past. An old shop bus, boats that have already made their trip at Lake Saimaa and a wilderness hut at Lake Inari, Lapland.




Joni is used to doing incredible adventures, but the passionate sledder has never experienced anything like this on snow before. Adventures across Europe in the most exotic cars, around Finland on an ATV and personal watercraft safaris on Lake Inari have been memorable in their own way, but riding over 5500 kilometers by snowmobile alone is the kind of experience that even a hard-boiled adventurer will remember for a long time.

– You ride a sled over terrain, and especially when riding alone, you are often far from help if something happens. And that was also physically quite a raw effort compared to, for example, car trips in Europe.

For those planning a similar trip, Joni advises to focus on careful route planning. Risks must be mapped in advance and you must know how to prepare for them.

– I do not recommend riding alone to anyone. I also like to ride more with friends, but you can't really get anyone to join on a trip like this when you don't know where you're going and when you're coming home. When riding alone, you get a special feeling of freedom when you can choose the destination, the places to stay, the length of the riding days and the duration of the trip all by yourself.

– The start is always the most difficult part of the trip. But once you start, you don't want to stop riding.

That idea encapsulates a lot of the adventurer's mental landscape. And the Sisu mindset of Lynx riders.


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