Wampa Way

This page is a report of the trip we did from 31st March until 7th April 2007. With loads of photos!

Day 4

The weather forecast was right on the money.  The sky was a clear blue with not a cloud in sight.  The temperature was already above the freezing point right after breakfast.  This was going to be a great day to locate the filming sites on the glacier. 

We had three snowmobiles available (which we named Snowspeeders for the obvious reason), two for the Hoth Hoppers and an extra one for the film crew.  Being the tour guide, I got the best seat in the house (on the Snowspeeder behind the driver), while the hoppers sat in a sort of cart on skis that was pulled by the Snowspeeders.  

Our first stop was on the ‘mouth’ of the glacier itself.  We got off the Snowspeeders, turned around and gasped in unison.  We had arrived on the Battlefield of Hoth, where the trench was dug some 28 years previously.  It was simply stunning.  Like we did in Tunisia (see www.tatooine.tk), we immediately broke out our bottles to fill them up with snow that would serve as a souvenir.  In the photo it's my close friend from the US, Rob.  It’s the geeky thing to do and we have a reputation to uphold, right? Then we took it to the next level by breaking out the toys and getting some film-like shots taken.  The images don’t need captions, do they?  Enjoy.

After a short lunch stop at the aforementioned Appelsinhytta, where we signed the guest book, we went on to visit the location that was used for one of the three Probot scenes.  This was the location for the second scene, with the Probot gliding out of its crater and floating from the right to the left of the screen.  It took some work to get to the exact camera standpoint.  We found out we needed a scaffolding to get the exact line-up of the shot.  A lot can happen to a snow-capped mountain in 28 years.  But the protruding rocks were easy enough to identify in this case.

The next stop was the Probot location for the first scene, in which it drops from the sky and crashes into the arctic landscape.  From another angle, this was also used as a site-B location for the Battlefield of Hoth, where a few shots were taken, including some close-ups of Hoth Rebel Troopers.

Our drivers next took us to the place where we would be camping on Wednesday night.  Yes, we would be spending the night in a tent on the glacier amid the filming locations, how cool (no pun intended) is that!?

We then stopped at a location that was supposedly used to shoot the Frozen Shelter scene, where Luke and Han await rescue from Rogue 2.  But it is not known if these shots were actually used as they were also shot just outside of the hotel.

The next stop brought us to the third and final Probot scene: where it gets blasted by Solo and the Wookiee.  Unfortunately, due to the heavy snowfall of the week before, the actual rocks were buried about four meters below us, so we had to improvise with the remaining rocks.  But the mountain ridge in the background is a dead give-away for the location.  The stunning view all around us was simply breathtaking.

The final stop was on the western part of the (frozen) lake.  This part was used for several shots: close-ups of the charging Hoth Troopers after the first AT-AT has been brought down, the radar laser cannons blowing up, Luke using his grappler hook to reach the underbelly of the Imperial Walker (this was in fact a British stuntman who actually fell off the cable and had to be taken to a hospital in Voss for a couple of days).

When driving (or is it skating?) back to the lodge, we recognized some mountains in the distance that looked familiar.  We learned that these were actually shot from a helicopter and used as fore- and background footage for the search and rescue party of Snowspeeders.

We had been on the glacier for close to 6 hours and our drivers were impressed that none – not even one – of the Hoppers had nagged about getting cold feet (literally).  I was very proud of this group of people.  We were all smiles when we got back at the hotel.  Mission accomplished!  It was a magnificent day out on the glacier, worth every parsec!  If it weren’t so bloody expensive, I’d do it all over again next year.  But unlike Tunisia, which I could easily afford since it was only about $750 all in, Finse is close to $2500 (not counting the beers…).

We had some excellent fish for dinner, but I forget the name.  Let’s pretend we had Gundark for dinner.

We all slept like babies that night.  I had the Luke Hoth Gear action figure under the pillow...