Welcome to the Snow Village. At first glance a leisure complex built into the deep drifts of north-western Finland. But look beyond the kooky tourist attraction, like Dougie Lampkin did – and see a challenge too good to resist. In our exclusive film the internationally renowned trials rider goes tyre’n’ice inside the Snow Village. Watch now, and learn more about the the tundra’s snowflake filled wonderland…
350,000 kilos of ice with a 120 seat restaurant in a 16 meter snow dome, a 50-seat Ice Chapel for weddings, a 28-room Snow Hotel for guests, and, if you fancy a cold drink, an ice cool Ice Bar. Building the Snow Village is no easy task. Here's what it took to pull off the whole shoot...
This picture, taken inside the Snow Village bar and restaurant, gives a better idea of just how much Dougie shouldn’t be there. Sure, he’s got studded tyres on his bike, but the interior is still extremely slippery. The ledge he’s standing on is a mere five inches across, while the space is so confined that Dougie has only one inch of headroom when he’s up there on his bike. Thanks to the freezer-like interior, the Snow Village is even colder than outside, too.
The original plan with Tundra Trial was to shoot the whole thing indoors. However, once director Stu Thomson and crew arrived in Finland, they realised they could give a flavour of the surrounding wilderness. This tree, which had already fallen, was shaped into an obstacle by Dougie’s dad (and creative director on set) Martin Lampkin. That’s him at the back, wrestling with the caber (N.B. that’s not a euphemism).
The opening scenes of the film feature a classic image of Lapland: huskies pulling a sledge. The sequence is partly shot using the cutting edge Octocopter drone. At the time of this photo, the dogs are running away from the crew, who are preparing for a take. What the drone operator, Lech (in mirrored shades), doesn’t know is that when huskies are attached to a sledge, they can only move in straight lines, so they’re not gonna be coming back any time soon.
Here is Dougie balancing on some blocks left over from the Snow Village construction. This sequence was shot at 2am on the frozen surface of the Lainiojoki, in temperatures reaching minus 10 degrees. It was so cold that the battery life of the cameras was being adversely affected, while Dougie himself claimed to be functioning at “only 30%”. Added to all this, the crew were disturbed to find that the ice is very noisy – it’s always creaking and making noises as it lolls on the river. Despite this, they stayed out all night to capture time lapse footage of the Northern Lights.
One of the sculptors puts the finishing touches to an ice block. This picture gives an idea of the painstaking labour that goes into construction. The blocks are “harvested” from the nearby Lainiojoki river, and used as the basis for the whole village. The builders are conscientious, too; they make sure that each block is made purely of water and is free from vegetation.
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