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Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1


With the launch of Lena Stoffel’s latest film, WAY EAST, we were curious to see just what’s involved in a snow camping and surf mission across some of Japan’s most beautiful landscapes. Lena was all too happy to take us behind the scenes and in turn gave us some serious inspiration for a bucket list trip to the land of the rising sun in search of a true adventure beyond our wildest dreams...

Read all about Lena’s experience below -

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Imagery courtesy of Aaron Jamieson

To go behind the scenes I have to go back to the beginning. Planning a freeride camping and surf mission with campervans, you have to pack a lot of stuff.

Luckily Aaron, our photographer, who lives in Japan organized all the camping gear. Tents, sleeping bags, mats and cooking gear. But we still had to bring our snow and surf gear. Which mostly consisted of a suitcase, a surfboard bag with the longboards, another surfboard bag with my shortboard and all kinds of gear like big backpacks, smaller day packs and all the ski and snowboard gear.

It was a mission.

Especially in Tokyo where all the people at the check in counter were totally confused and struggled to deal with so much luggage.

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Arriving in Niseko we instantly started planning our 5 day hike and snow camping mission. We cured our jet lag and were ready to go.

You can make a lot of mistakes when you go snow camping.

For example, wearing a lot of layers in the night is not good because the sleeping bag will not work as it should. The layers of down filling can’t get enough of your body heat and so it will be cold. So you only need to wear one layer.

Also, don’t stay out in the cold standing around doing nothing to long…. you gotta keep moving until you go to bed. We made some of these mistakes and had cold nights.

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

But we also had some really magical moments out there in the forest with a lot of stars or waking up above the treeline seeing the volcanos and the forest from above was amazing.

We had wind, fog, powder and sun. It was a beautiful mission to walk across the mountains to the ocean.

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Our goal was to get a greater insight to ‘energy’. We wanted to create the film to bring awareness around the situation in Japan, post Fukushima disaster, and start a dialogue about energy in all its forms, including renewables.

Along the way we saw the only nuclear power station on Hokkaido, but we also saw a lot of wind and solar stations across the west coast up to the north.

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

After our hiking mission we packed the two campervans and hit the coast in search of waves.

It took us a while to find our first surf spot, and it was just wind swell. Onshore winds, snowstorm and really, really cold. Changing outside on the snow, in the wind, getting all the wetsuit gear on is quite a challenge. What’s worse is when you come out of the water, we were so cold and didn’t know how we would be able to change because we could barely move.

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Behind the Scenes of WAY EAST with Lena Stoffel Part 1

Watch WAY EAST here and stay tuned for Part 2 of Lena’s adventure....

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Tagged in Snow