Best Story Ever | Ylfa Runarsdottir

Revelstoke, BC. [o] Daniel Stewart

"It was around midnight when we arrived, and I had been the driver for the last four hours of a 15-hour road trip to the far north of Sweden. Svanstein, or ‘Pullinki’ as they call it in Finland, is a ski resort on the border of Sweden and Finland. Snowboarding legends Johan Olofsson and Ingemar Backman used to run it. I was here coaching an all-girls camp called Progressions. Svanstein is a tiny magical resort with a powerful mountain in the middle of northern nowhere. Everyone there lives, eats and hangs out pretty much in two bigger buildings in the middle of the slope, or trailer camping in the parking lot. It feels like a lawless land. The locals are rough and real, they carry on the history of the place. When we arrive, I’m met at the door of the lodge by Johan Olofsson and Örny—wild, drunk and happy, all geared up to go pow surfing with headlights. “Are you coming with us?“ Johan asks. By the look of it, these guys were not gonna wait on anyone. I buy myself a minute by asking them if I can borrow a pow surfer and a headlamp. I managed to pull a pair of snowboard pants over my jeans and put boots on. And before I know it, I’m riding up the mountain on a four-wheeler—and the driver is on their party level. I am sitting there, getting bounced around, thinking, Holy shit! I’ve never been to this resort—it’s pitch black. I have no idea about this run we’re about to go on. Is it steep? Are there tight trees? On top of that, I had only tried pow surfing once before. We get to the top and start hiking in the dark out to the backside of the resort and into the woods. I soon realized that these guys had much better headlamps than me—I need to stay close. When we drop in it’s every man for themselves. Tight with trees, the dead of night, in 20 cms of moist powder, and I’m trying to keep up with the legend of gnarly himself. It was one of my most adrenaline-filled runs ever. I came down the run a little while after Johan and Örny, hoping they would be waiting at the bottom, which they were. We got picked up by sled towing a toboggan, the driver brought us beers and took us back to the lodge on the opposite side of the mountain.The rest of the week Johan was with us the whole time. Guiding us around the resort, through the tree runs they had made with chainsaws in the summer, making sure we experienced the whole mountain. An experience I’ll never forget." —Ylfa Runarsdottir

[o] Dan Stewart

Be sure to watch Ylfa's latest footage in Burton's newest short film 'Blooom'

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