Discover true wilderness in the polar regions on this remote 13 day ski crossing. In the winter Svalbard is a challenging environment. Skiing across the striking scenery of Svalbard, you will become self-sufficient in Arctic conditions and learn everything about Arctic travel.
This is a pure ski or snowshoe trip. To be able to cross this cold, windswept and inaccessible environment in the far Arctic North, halfway between the northernmost tip of Norway and the North Pole, you know you have done something extraordinary.
Few places have a more dramatic nature. The majority of the island is covered in glaciers and permanent snow, and the mountain ranges are vast and varied, from gentle undulating hills to striking alpine peaks.
You will ski/snowshoe about 15kms per day, away from the main routes and in an area where snowmobiles are forbidden. Waking up in a tent that is pitched in remote glaciated mountain terrain, 100s of kilometers away from civilization, is an experience that will be with you forever.
We aim at teaching you the routines of sled pulling, camping in the snow and setting up polar bear deterrents. In this environment, weather conditions can change rapidly and the temperatures in spring-time vary from -10 to -30C. Preparation and correct equipment is vital, as well as learning how to operate and be self-sufficient in polar conditions.
Fitness requirements and experience
Good physical fitness is required to pull a 30kg pulk for 8 hours, several days in a row, camp out and deal with the cold. Some previous Nordic skiing experience is essential for a crossing on skis. For a snowshoeing crossing previous snowshoeing experience is preferable but not essential. As part of the preparations, we offer a training course, aimed at going through basic winter skills, equipment and routines to be as well prepared as possible.
The potentially extreme cold and the particular routines needed to remain safe and comfortable in the polar environment, can be tiring and requires a lot of self-discipline. You will be at an advantage if you have previously trekked and wild-camped in cold and snowy environments.
DAY 1-2 Flights to Longyearbyen.
There are flights direct from Oslo Gardermoen to Longyearbyen. We can help you get the right flights into Svalbard. Once arriving you will be picked up from the airport and stay at a guesthouse for two nights. Today is a training day, you can get your skis out and warm up the legs for the long crossing of Svalbard. You will also have the chance to go through all your gear, separate group equipment and get your pulk ready for the following day’s start on the skis.
DAY 3 Travel to the east coast of Svalbard by snowmobile.
Briefing, kit check and final preparations. Today we will travel to the east coast of Svalbard by snowmobile (3-4 hours). Each tent team will be be trained and then take control of their own snowmobile. Once we arrive on the east coast we are underway. We start making our way back towards Longyearbyen on the west coast.
DAY 4-11 7 day crossing of Svalbard, covering 15km per day.
We will be skiing across Svalbard for the next 7 days. Every day our goal is to ski approx 15km where you will experience everything from snow, glaciers and mountains. We will help you develop specific winter skills for polar and cold weather travel, covering a wide range of techniques used in winter snow travel. Along the way, we will help you become more self-sufficient in Polar navigation, safety and camping routines.
DAY 12 Descent down the Longyear Glacier and arrival at Longyearbyen.
Our descent down the Longyear Glacier brings us back to Longyearbyen. We will sort out all the kit, shower, relax and celebrate our success. We will overnight at the guesthouse in Longyearbyen.
DAY 13 Flights back to the UK.
Today you will transfer to the airport for your return flight to Oslo and onward journey home.