Wind, Waves Foil Last Leg of Scandinavian Winter Trilogy

Cycling and pulling a sled during the worst of the northern Scandinavian winter were a piece of cake for 26-year-old Lorenzo Barone of Italy. But when it came to kayaking 1,000km from Finnsnes to Vardo in northern Norway, the ragged weather and long, frightening open water crossings proved too much.

Photo: Lorenzo Barone


One month after beginning the kayak portion of his winter adventure, he still had almost 500km left. Although spring was approaching, it didn’t feel like that in northern Norway. He also broke his rudder near Tromso, and his emergency GPS device hasn’t worked for two weeks.

kayaker with backdrop of snowy mountains

Photo: Lorenzo Barone


An inexperienced paddler, Barone had tried to avoid an open-water crossing earlier this week by dragging his kayak across a neck of land. Although the experience was better than being out on the water in that gale, it was hardly encouraging, as his Instagram video showed.

Today, he decided to end his journey not in Vardo, but at Norway’s North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. It’s only 126km away from his current position. More importantly, it avoids all the big crossings immediately afterward.

map of northern Europe

The kayak portion of Barone’s route, showing his projected end point, Vardo, at right. Instead, he has decided to end at North Cape.


An experienced adventure cyclist, Barone had cycled 1,600km to Sweden earlier in the winter. He then hauled a sled over 600km to Finnsnes, where he began to kayak through the fiords and islands of the north coast.

bow of red kayak mirrored in the water

A rare calm day. Photo: Lorenzo Barone

Jerry Kobalenko

Jerry Kobalenko is the editor of ExplorersWeb. One of Canada’s premier arctic travelers, he is the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden, and has just finished a book about adventures in Labrador. In 2018, he was awarded the Polar Medal by the Governor General of Canada and in 2022, he received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for services to exploration.