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Photo: GE

Ski Touring Across The Finnmark Plateau (Norway)

A skiing expedition in Northern Norway across the Finnmarksvidda with husky helpers

  • Guided
  • Medium
  • From £1152/person
  • Mar-May, 4 days/3 nights
  • Adults (min. age 16), Groups, Solo

Book now to save 5% on published GBP and EUR* prices! (*except Euro prices for tours in Finland)

Highlights:

  • 4 days of ski touring in remote wilderness area
  • Stay in simple mountain cabins with sauna each night
  • 1-2 huskies pull pulks with some equipment
  • Ski with daypack only
  • Some previous ski experience required
  • Ski equipment available to hire

Description »

A classic ski tour enjoying the long days of "spring winter"

The Finnmark Plateau, or "Finnmarksvidda", offers winter adventures in a remote region of mountain birch forest and wide-open tundra. Traversing this wild and dramatic landscape on skis is one of the world's class ski-touring experiences.

Ski Touring Across The Finnmark Plateau is suitable for those with good level of fitness and some previous cross country skiing/ski touring experience who would like a real taste of the wilderness.

You will be skiing in the "spring winter" period, with very long hours of daylight. By late April, it barely gets dark at all! If you choose to travel a little earlier in the season, being far from light pollution and the "modern" world, this ski tour also gives excellent chances to see the Northern Lights for dates in March and early April.

Ski Touring Across The Finnmark Plateau

The tour offers a relatively challenging wilderness experience without the commitment of an extended expedition. Photo: GE.

Stay in mountain lodges along the route and soothe your muscles in the sauna

Covering 14-29km per day over 4 days, you will be skiing between mountain lodges, which are themselves a real feature of the tour, offering simple but cosy accommodation - plus the cabin hosts are often real characters and may well provide some of the best memories of your trip!

Saunas are available at each of the three cabins on the Finnmark Plateau along the route, and warm welcomes and delicious local dinners await you after each day in the wilderness. While the intention is for a soft bed and roof over your head each night, as a safety measure, tents and camping equipment are also carried as a back-up.

During much of the 4 days' skiing, you will following snowmobile tracks, offering a partially-prepared trail, with one day normally making your own tracks. The landscape has a number of ups and downs punctuated by flatter parts. If hiring ski equipment, short skins are included to assist with uphill sections if required.

Huskies pulling the pulks on Ski Touring Across The Finnmark Plateau

Huskies help to pull some of the gear, providing both practical assistance and a wonderful extra dimension to your ski trip. Photo: GE.

Huskies accompany you on the trip

With you on your mini ski expedition across Finnmmarksvidda will be 1-2 huskies, who not only provide their affectionate and companionship, but assist by pulling "pulks" (sleds) with some of the bulkier equipment. Each participant may pack a small bag of max. 8kg with personal luggage to be carried on the pulks.

Items you will need during the day, such as lunch, thermos and extra clothing layers, are carried in your daypack. You therefore need to carry only with a relatively light pack when skiing.

If you wish, you are of course welcome to assist the dogs by pulling one of the pulks yourself for a while - a great way to feel even more like a real wilderness adventurer!

NB: For this experience, skiing begins in the morning of Day 1 ending in the late afternoon of Day 4. It is necessary to arrive the day before to overnight locally and participate in introductory meeting in the afternoon.

Itinerary »

NB: For this tour it is necessary to arrive in Alta the day before to overnight locally (not included). For accommodation before/after the tour, very comfortable camping domes are available at the ski touring centre and this is a very convenient option, especially before the tour. We are happy to suggest other options for accommodation in town.

There is an introductory/planning meeting at the ski touring centre approx. 6km outside Alta at around 14.00-16.00 (depending on guests' arrival arrangements) the day before the tour begins. This is an essential part of the tour and attendance is compulsory. During the meeting you will discuss the tour ahead and the weather forecast. You will check the equipment and any communal items to be carried or hired items will be distributed. Please arrive in Alta in good time to attend this meeting. Transfer between Alta town and the meeting is included. A simple meal of soup and bread will be served during the meeting.

Time spent skiing to cover the daily distances may vary greatly depending on factors such as weather and the ability of the group. It is the intention to take the tour at a relaxed and enjoyable pace - you have the whole day to reach your destination. As a very general guide, a typical group will cover around 3.5km per hour of skiing.

Day 1: Øvre Stilla to Jokta Fjellstue

Starting at 08.30, your first day of skiing begins a short distance from the meeting point. You pack the equipment and dogs into a trailer for transfer to the head of the valley Tverrelvdalen.

Today you will be mostly skiing "off-trail", making your own tracks, skiing through a landscape of mountain birches. You stop for a lunch near a site important to the local indigenous people, the Sámi, an ancient sacrificial stone.

Your first night in the wilderness is at the Jotka mountain cabins, a staging point on the famous Finnmarksløpet dogsled race, a 1200km event which takes place annually in Finnmark in early March. Here your hosts will greet you for dinner and sauna.

Distance: approx. 15km.

Day 2: Jotka Fjellstue to Mollisjok Fjellstue

The longest day today, covering almost 30km, though predominantly flat terrain with some ups and downs in the earlier part of the day.

Following the route taken by the dogsled race earlier in the winter, you cross Finland's largest lake, Iasjärvi, to reach the mountain lodge at Mollisjok. You are now in the real "heart" of the Finnmarksvidda.

Your local hosts will greet for you for an evening of sauna and dinner.

Distance: approx. 29km.

Day 3: Mollisjok Fjellstue to Ravnastua

After breakfast, your ski tour continues with an uphill section leading up the "hundevidda", or "dog plateau", which gets its name from the Finnmarksløpet dogsled race.

Being above the tree line, this eastern plateau region can be very exposed and it is important to plan accordingly. Later in the day you will descend again into the trees to reach the cabins at Ravnastua, where sauna, dinner and a warm welcome await!

Distance: approx. 23km.

Day 4: Ravnastua to Assebakte

Your last day of skiing, predominantly in the mountain birch forest, takes you towards the end point at Assebahkte, a few kilometres outside Karasjok, the political centre for the indigenous Sámi. The last 5km is a lovely downhill - the perfect way to end your expedition after the hard work of the days before!

Here you are met for transfer back to Alta (transfer time approx. 2.5 hours), where you will organise the equipment at the ski touring centre and bid farewell to your husky companions.

Transfer to central Alta or to Alta airport to meet the 18.15 flight is included. If travel plans allow, the group can meet in Alta for dinner (not included) as an ideal way to round off the trip.

Distance: approx. 14km.

Dates»

Dates 2020

  • March: 26.03-29.03.20
  • April/early May: 02.04-05.04.20, 16.04-19.04.20, 23.04-26.04.20, 30.04-03.05.20

Private tours for groups are also possible on other dates subject to availability from March to early May by arrangement. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Prices»

Prices 2020

Standard Prices  
Per personGBP 1,152EUR 1,281

NB: Ski equipment is not included - please see "Optional extras".

Private tours for groups are also possible at standard prices based on minimum group size 6 persons. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Optional Extras (see description below)  
Ski equipment (skis, boots, poles short skins)GBP 148EUR 165
Bed linen for cabin nights (not essential)GBP 61EUR 68
Night in dome (per night for 1-2 persons)GBP 200EUR 223
  • Ski equipment (skis, boots, poles, short skins): Skis used are typically Åsnes Amundsen with BC bindings or similar backcountry skis. Short skins are also provided to assist with traction on uphill sections if required. Please provide height, weight and shoe size in advance.

  • Bed linen: For the three nights in cabins during the tour, bed linen can be hired if you wish (NB: does not include towel). Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own 3-season sleeping bag and liner to use in the cabins - this is the recommended and most common option, as this can then also be used in the unlikely event of a night in tent being required. Guests who opt to add bed linen are not required to bring sleeping bag for the tour.
  • Night in dome: Located at the ski touring centre where you will meet for introduction and also for the start of your tour, these beautiful domes are suitable for up to 2 persons and provide an ideal place to stay before and/or after your tour. Each dome features comfortable double bed (180cm x 200cm), table and chairs, area to hang clothes and drying rack. The domes are heated with wood-burning stove and with underfloor heating and offer both electricity and wi-fi - a real "luxury camping" experience! Bedding and towels are provided and the bed has an electric blanket. Breakfast is included and served in the adjacent communal building (if staying the night before your tour, you are welcome to make packed lunch from the breakfast for lunch on Day 1 of the tour). Shared shower, WC and sauna is also available in service building. The domes are located right in the pine forest with access to nature from the door - ideal for a short hike to warm up for your main tour! Dinner is available to purchase at the restaurant at the hiking centre, which offers excellent food, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, or you can travel into Alta for dinner. If staying total two nights (including if staying one night before and one night after tour), transfer between Alta town and the domes on arrival/departure is included.

Dome accommodation

Dome accommodation. Photo: GE

What's Included »

Included

Accommodation:

Three nights in mountain cabin/lodges along the route with sauna available each night. Accommodation on all nights is of simple standard and in shared multi-person rooms, typically with 2-6 bunk beds per room.

Meals:

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1* to lunch on Day 4. Light meal of soup and bread served during introductory meeting day before tour begins.Please advise any dietary needs in advance.

If adding a night in dome accommodation before your tour, you are welcome to make packed lunch from the breakfast there. Otherwise, please bring own packed lunch for Day 1 from your chosen accommodation.

Transfers:

  • Local return transfer from central Alta to ski touring centre for meeting the afternoon before the tour begins.
  • Local transfer from ski touring centre (or pick-up from central Alta) to start point on Day 1.
  • Transfer from end point of tour to Alta (or airport if taking 18.15 flight) Day 4.

Guide:

Experienced and knowledgeable guide.

Equipment and Huskies:

  • Tents and cooking/eating equipment (accommodation on all nights is in cabins/lodges, but tents are carried as part of safety equipment).
  • Safety equipment including GPS, communal First Aid Kit and satellite phone.
  • Huskies: The group will be accompanied by 1-2 huskies (depending on group size), who will pull the pulks in which is carried much of the bulky items such as tents, provisions and cooking equipment and up to max. 8kg of personal items per guest.

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Ski equipment: Can be hired as optional extra or you are welcome to bring own. If wishing to bring own ski equipment, please contact us to confirm that your equipment is suitable.
  • Sleeping bag/liner: For use in the cabins and as emergency equipment, guests should bring own sleeping bag (3-season) and liner. If hiring bedding as optional extra, sleeping bag is not essential.
  • Alcoholic drinks (not available to purchase).

Good To Know »

Required

Health requirements/experience:

You must have a general good level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors. You should also be used to living in close proximity with others.

Minimum age 16 if accompanied by parent and with suitable fitness/experience, otherwise 18.

You should have previous experience of cross country skiing/ski touring with a daypack and be comfortable skiing distances of up to 30km in a day over mixed terrain.

What makes this "Medium"?

This tour takes place in a very remote area across exposed terrain. Distance covered during the longest day is almost 30km, with distances on other days being shorter.

Skiings takes place mostly on snowmobile tracks (not prepared ski trails) and at times off-track, with some uphill and downhill sections.

1-2 huskies accompany the group and assist with pulling the pulks containing some of the bulkier equipment and up to 8kg of personal luggage per person, reducing the weight which needs to be carried when skiing. Participants typically need to ski only with relatively light day pack.

Accommodation en route is in simple but comfortable cabins, with tents taken as emergency backup.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Preparing for your trip:

For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.

Minimum number:

Total 4 persons is required for scheduled tours to be confirmed to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.

Groups

Max. group size 10 participants for scheduled tours. For private tours, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a written environmental policy.

Getting There »

Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

By Air:

Fly to Oslo for domestic flight (2 hours) to Alta. The ski touring centre is located approx. 6km from Alta town.

Gallery & Reviews »

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