Experience the far polar north of Norway on a multi-day self-supported sledge trip. Ski or snowshoe options available. This is the farthest north you can go without encountering polar bears! A tough trip – but then, not many can say they slept out on a frozen lake underneath the blazing Aurora Borealis!
Three connecting flights get you to the topmost part of Norway, the Finnmark region. If you check the map, you will be surprised by how far north it really is.
As you check into the airport with big luggage and heavy pulks you will earn the jealous looks of those who aren’t off on serious expeditions. The last flight from Tromso to Alta, the start of our crossing, gives you a sense of the remoteness and wilderness which expects us as you look out through the cabin window over endless white plains, mountain tops and large fjords.
This is, essentially, what the trip is about – going far north, somewhere remote and cold, where you can experience being self-sufficient and relying on your own strength and willpower to see you through. It’s an environment where pee bottles are essential, your drinking water freezes at night unless you stuff it in your sleeping bag and the views of frozen lakes and distant peaks lift your soul and urge you on. It’s where Norway’s ‘Green Gold’ flows like rivers through the sky and everything is wide, open and people-less. We love the north!
Karasjok, where we end up, makes the trip complete with a stay in the luxury Scandic hotel, great Norwegian food, sauna and a visit to the Sami museum and Sami parliament.
This trip is a true challenge – pulling the pulks through new snow is hard work, managing yourself in the cold and going through the tent routines at the end and start of each day requires a good amount of self-discipline. Tough weather conditions when the Storm Kit gets out can make the going extremely slow. The crossing can be done on either skis or snowshoes. You will be able to pick up most of the winter skills during the trip and on our training weekend, which is part of the trip package. We have time set aside for going through specific skills like avalanche safety, navigation and tent routines.
What is required, however, are good levels of physical fitness in order to complete long days and have enough energy left to set up the tent and do the cooking. Please get in touch with us so that we can talk about your experience and advise on any training needs. The trip is a good preparation for our Svalbard expedition and more challenging expeditions that take you closer to the Poles.
DAY 1 Connecting flights to Alta and transfer to Jotka Fjellstue. First night on the plateau.
Fly to Oslo and connecting flights to Tromso and from there to Alta. Transfer from here to Jotkajavri Fjellstue. We are straight out amongst it, doing a few kms and acclimatising to the cold clear air of Northern Norway. We select a spot in the snow to set up camp.
DAY 2 Crossing of lake Iesjavri.
Early start heading towards the large Iesjavri lake which we will cross. The lake is framed by a skyline of steep distant peaks to one side and gentle snowy hills with small trees to the other. We camp in the middle of the lake.
DAY 3-8 Crossing of the plateau, covering 15-20km per day and polar training along the way.
These days will be spent making our way across the plateau. Along the way, weather, group experience and snow conditions will determine our exact route. 6-10 hour days, depending on routes and conditions. The landscape and terrain is extremely varied with new views around each corner.
The last days head up over a high mountain plateau with long views into the surrounding wooded valleys and Karasjok, our destination, far in the distance. The route drops down to reach a frozen lake and a hut where we stop to warm up and have hot drinks. The last miles lead through birch forests before dropping down steeply through the densely wooded valley sides to reach the road at Karasjok from where we get a transfer to our hotel. Try to spot some moose along the way! Karasjok is a small settlement with the Sami museum and Parliament as its main attractions. The Parliament is a stunning building – well worth a visit. We celebrate our successful crossing with traditional Norwegian food and drinks.
At the end of your expedition, you will be experienced in managing yourself in remote multi-day winter conditions, winter camping, and moving in snowshoes/skis with a pulk.
DAY 9 Flight back to the UK.
Early morning transfer to Lakselv airport. Flight to Tromso and connecting flights onwards to Oslo and the UK.