Trip Dates

May 13-22, 2020

Price

$6250 USD

Group Size

1:6 guide to guests ratio

Skill Level

Intermediate to Advanced

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Svalbard Ski & Sail

Exploratory ski touring adventures in the land of the midnight sun...

A unique ski touring expedition in the rugged mountains of the Svalbard/Spitsbergen archipelago in the arctic ocean. Located at 79º latitude & north of Norway, this area provides an amazing opportunity to discover a remote alpine range, arctic wildlife, glaciated peaks and world class skiing.

Our base, the “Noorderlicht“, is a comfortable 2 mast sailing yacht from where we will sample the best ski touring spots along the west coast of Spitsbergen. The high latitude and long Spring days will provide 24hr daylight. Due to the presence of polar bears, the guides will be carrying bear deterrents and firearms during the ski touring days.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 (22-May): Arrival at the airport in Longyearbyen from Oslo via Tromso in the early afternoon (usually one overnight required in Oslo). Transfer to our Hotel and time to check out the town including a visit to the Polar Museum
  • Day 2 (23-May): Ski touring day trip close to town and return to our Hotel
  • Day 3 (24-May): Ski touring day trip close to town or alternative a snowmobile tour to the town of Barensburg, as small Russian mining town
  • Day 4 (25-May): A final town based ski touring day. Embarkation around 4 pm at the earliest, safety briefing, departure from pier around 6 pm
  • Day 5 – 10 (26 May – 31 May): We usually only sail one hour to our first ski tour in the Isfjord. From there, we continue to sail along the West Coast of Spitzbergen to sample the best ski touring and peak ascent the group of islands has to offer. In May and June the sun will be with us for 24 hours in Svalbard, which leaves a lot of flexibility for our departures. After each day of skiing we return from the shoreline by Zodiak motor boat back to our Yacht, where the smell of dinner will usually welcome us. We usually finish the day on deck with a glass of wine, enjoying the contrast of the sea and the magnificent mountainscape with the everlasting sun above the horizon. Arrival back in Longyearbyen usually around 4 PM. Farewell dinner on the boat
  • Day 11 (1-June): We bid farewell to our Yacht and crew in the morning after breakfast and head back to the airport. Via Tromso we will fly to Oslo from where we can catch our international connections, which may require an overnight

Prerequisites

This is an intermediate to advance ski mountaineering program.  You must be an intermediate to advanced downhill skier with previous ski touring experience.  Guests are responsible to self evaluate their skills as groups need to be matched together based on prior experience and ability.

Prior experience with Summit Mountain Guides helps you anticipate the difficulty and style of our program. It is an asset. Please contact us to discuss your background.

Equipment

Weather

Average temperatures in Svalbard for the month of May are highs of -1C (30F) and lows of -3C (26F). Precipitation is frequent but falls in small quantities, this means that there are snow showers most days. The weather rarely bad enough to alter the ski program. While the winter is pitch dark in Svalbard with cold temps (-13C- -20C) and often strong winds, the spring has 24 hrs daylight with pleasant, very moderate winter temperatures.

Location

A unique ski touring expedition in the rugged mountains of the Svalbard/Spitsbergen archipelago in the arctic ocean. Located at 79º latitude & north of Norway, this area provides an amazing opportunity to discover a remote alpine range, arctic wildlife, glaciated peaks and world class skiing.

Our trip will start in the village of Longyearbyen on the Svalbard/Spritzbergen archipelago. Daily flights from Oslo and Tromso to Longyearbyen exist. Depending on where you start your travels, connecting flights to Oslo will often involve a transfer in London or Frankfurt. Please contact us for more info.

Services Included

  • Pre-trip planning support
  • Fully certified IFMGA guide service
  • Accommodation and all Breakfast and Dinners on the Noorderlicht
  • Group safety equipment (satellite phone, ropes, rescue kit, first aid, GPS, maps)
  • Alternative plan based on current conditions

Not included in price:

  • Transportation to meeting location
  • Accommodation before and after the field portion of the trip
  • Dinners while in Longyearbyen
  • Personal equipment (personal ski & safety gear or sleeping bag, overnight gear, etc.)
  • Additional costs for accommodation, transportation etc.. due to itinerary change due to weather
  • Trip cancellation insurance, adventure travel insurance, medical insurance

FAQ

Alpine Ski-touring or Telemark gear? Which should you use?

If you are a downhill skier then you should use Alpine touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier should you use Telemark gear.

Spring skiing the high alpine environment offers variable snow conditions. On one particular run things may go from perfect powder to challenging breakable crust and or variable wind affected snow.  When compounded, the variable snow conditions, the long ski touring days and the large day packs all call towards the use of an easier skiing set up like alpine touring.