Finnmark Plateau West – East Skiing Expedition. 9 days

  • Cross country ski expedition northern norway northern lights

 

First timer or experienced skier, this cross-country skiing expedition trip presents an unforgettable experience for any adventure-minded nature lover.

On this expedition trip we ski with dogs and pulks (sleds) from outside the town Alta, southeast, across the Finnmark Plateau to Karasjok in the heartland of the Norwegian Sami culture. We sleep in mountain cabins and tents and most of the trip will be of trails.

The highlights of this trip are the silence, a true wilderness experience and the Northern Lights (not guaranteed)

Warning: An adventure like this can be adictive.

From mid March to early May is probably the best time to see the Finnmark Plateau. The dark polar night is over and the light returns with higher temperatures and longer days. The skiing conditions are normally excellent, making it easy to get to almost anywhere you want to go. The weather is often good and the ice fishing gets better every day.

We leave the hustle and bustle of civilization behind and we focus on making this a stress free outdoor experience. Every day brings new scenery as we ski across wide open plateaus, over hills and around mountains. We take the time to enjoy the environment and to make our tent camps as comfortable as possible. On our way we will also try ice fishing. Your very experienced guide will make sure safety is taken care of at all times.

We will be cross-country skiing the whole way and we transport everything we need in pulks and backpacks. Dogs will help us pull some of the equipment. These happy, social and hardworking Alaska Huskies give the trip an added social dimension. Your guide will show you how to handle the dogs in the best way possible. Our daily skiing distance is between 4 and 15 kilometers. Total distance is approx. 80 km.

The terrain is open, flat and easy to ski across. The weather is normally good with cold nights and "mild" sunny days. The Arctic weather, however, can sometimes present some challenges. But do not worry! Your guides are highly professional and have years of experience in this environment, he/she will make sure you are well taken care of in any situation. On this trip we focus on comfort, good food and, as with all Turgleder trips, safety.

You do not have to be an experienced cross-country skier to do this trip. Several first time skiers have already done it. However, if you wish to learn the basics of skiing or improve your cross-country skiing skills before you go, we can offer you a skiing instruction program at 10am in Alta, day one of the expedition. A reasonable level of fitness is necessary and some outdoor experience is helpful.

The American travel publiation Forbes Travel Guide has ranked the skiing trip on the Finnmark Plateau to be one of the 5 most stunning cross country skiing spots in the world.

Here are links to articles about our Finnmark Plateau West-East skiing expedition in international media:
The German Spiegel Online (published December 2014).
The Nerderlandske Hoogtelijn, (published November 2012).
About our skiing trips on Northern Norway tourist board.

Weather conditions in March/April:
- Average temperature approx. -6 C (21,2F)
- Temperatures can drop down to approx. -25 C.
- Sunrise around 6am on 15th March and 4:30am on 15th April.
- Sunset around 5:30 on 15th March and 9:30pm on 15th April.
- The best time to see the northern lights is before 5th April

 

 

Day 1        Arrival in Alta, supper, briefing about the details of the trip and checking your personal equipment. Lodging at guesthouse/cabin.

Day 2        Packing the equipment and starting the trip. Lodging at Jotka mountain cabin.

Day 3 - 8   Skiing across the Finnmark Plateau. Sleeping in tents and last night in a mountain cabin.

Day 8        Arrival in Karasjok and Lodging at Engholm Husky Lodge. Sleeping in design cabins.

Day 9        Breakfast and journey home.  

 

Day 1
Arrival in Alta. Your guide will meet you at Alta Airport at 6 or 7pm or in Alta city and take you to a local guesthouse/cabin where you will stay the first night. You will be served dinner and your guide will go through the program for the trip and the exact skiing route with you. Your guide will also go through your personal outdoor equipment to make sure everybody has brought everything they need for the trip and that the equipment meets the standards that the Arctic environment requires.

Day 2       
After breakfast we will do the last preparations and there will be time for some last minute shopping before we travel to the mountains where the trip starts. We start of easy on the first day with skiing only approximately 4 kilometers to the Jotka Mountain Cabin. Here you will be served dinner and stay for the night. In the afternoon you will be teamed up with 1 or 2 other people with whom you will work together and share a tent during the trip. You will also be shown how to put up your tent and how to use some of the equipment that you will be using on the trip. There will also be time to make your final personal preparations and adjustments before the journey across the Finnmark Plateau starts. The guide will also go through safety routines, skiing routines and how to handle the dogs in the best way possible.

Day 3
After breakfast the trip starts. Alaska Huskies will help us pull some of the equipment. You will be surprised to see how much these dogs love to work. We will be skiing half of the day on tracks and the rest of the day off tracks. This evening will be the first night in tents. We will now be well on our way and the landscape will be quite flat and mostly treeless.

Day 4
A new day on skis. The next camp will be set up by a good fishing lake and the rest of the day can be spent fishing on the ice if we arrive early. The lakes along our skiing route have mostly Arctic char, Brown trout and grayling. With some luck, we will catch some that we can prepare for dinner.

Day 5
The day starts slowly and if you like you can try some fishing again before lunch. After lunch we pack our camp and we ski the rest of the day before we make camp again.

Day 6
The first kilometers will be in gentle uphill terrain before we reach the highest point on the trip. Here you can enjoy a fabulous view and there will be time to take out your camera before we continue. We will be skiing a few more kilometers before we make camp for the night.

Day 7
During this day we will be going from the barren mountains down into the forest. We spend this night at Ravnastua mountain cabin. This mountain cabin has a basic standard with no shower facilities. It is heated with wood burners and there are no televisions or other things to disturb the cozy and relaxed atmosphere. You will be sharing a room with your trip mates. 

Day 8
We will be skiing the rest of the way to Engholm Husky Lodge. The 15 kilometers will be on tracks and mostly downhill. After our arrival at the lodge we will gather in the lodge kitchen and dinner will be served in the warm and cozy lodge atmosphere. A nice wood heated sauna and outdoor hot tub is ready on request for those tempted.

Day 9     
Breakfast and journey home.
Under "General information" and "getting here" you will find information about how to travel from Karasjok to prefered airport. 

Wind proof jacket (and preferably also waterproof e.g. GoreTex, BreTex or similar membrane fabric)1
Windproof pants (Like the jacket)1
Thick insulated jacket to put over your wind proof jacket during breaks1
Thick woollen sweater or fleece jacket1
T-shirts, thin woollen shirts or other technical underwear2
Warm underwear (longjons and top with full length arms). Preferably wool or woollen terry2 sets (minimum)
Warm and wind proof hat that also protects your ears in the wind1
Warm and wind proof mittens. Preferably wool or down mittens with wind proof over mittens.1 pair
Thin gloves (to protect fingers from direct contact with cold metal)1 pair
Thick woollen socks2 pairs
Scarf and/or balaclava1
Headlamp1*
Gaiters/leggings (not needed if you rent ski/skiboots from us)1 pair
Ski boots, skis, skins and ski poles1 sett* (NOK 1500)
Sleeping mat / roll mat1*
Sleeping bag (minimum comfort temperature >/=-20Celsius)1* (NOK 500)
Liner for sleeping bag1*
Sunglasses1
Ski-goggles1*
Compass1*
Towel1
Toilet articles and other private equipment 

- Items marked with * can be provided by Turgleder on request for free or at an additional cost. Any additional cost is given in parenthesis. Information about equipment you need must be conveyed to Turgleder minimum 1 week before arrival

- Please note that this is the minimum required clothing and equipment for this holiday. You are of course welcome to bring other clothes and equipment in addition to this.

- You should pack your clothing in waterproof bags to avoid equipment from becoming wet during the tour.

- We also recommend that you bring a down jacket to put on when we are in camp or not moving, however this is only for comfort and is not vital for the trip.

- If you choose to bring your own sleeping bag, this needs to be a warm winter sleeping bag with minimum comfort temperature >/=-20˚ Celsius.

- If you choose to bring your own sleeping mat, it must be suitable for camping on snow. A foam mat (roll mat) should be thick /insulated enough (≈14mm). If you have a inflatable mat you can bring that and combine it with the roll mat we provide you with for extra comfort if you like.

- We do also recommend that you bring a camera with extra memory cards and battery.

- You are of course welcome to bring your own skis on this trip. The skis must, however, be mountain/expedition skis (back country skis) or touring skis. Racing skis or other narrow and/or short skis will not do the job. The skis are vital on this trip and anything other than mountain/expedition skis or touring skis are not considered safe to use on this trip.

- Turgleder can provide a modern expedition ski package;
The package contains modern light weight expedition skis (Åsnes Amundsen) and poles (Åsnes Horgi/Vidda), skins and boots (Alfa Polar A/P/S or Alfa Quest A/P/S).

Turgleder also provides:  

        • Tents
        • Stoves, cutlery and cooking equipment
        • Pulks (sledges for equipment transport)
        • Other common equipment necessary for this trip

Equipment that you do not need on the expedition can be transported from Alta to Karasjok.

Dates 2019

  • 28th February to 8th March -  (Guide Liv Engholm and Lucy Shepherd)
  • 10th to 18th March - (Finnmark sleddog race "Finnmarksløpet" at same time)  (Guide Kasper Jæger)
  • 24th March to 1st April  (Guide Kasper Jæger)
  • 15th April to 23rd April - (Easter trip)  (Guide Kasper Jæger)

We guarantee departure on all listed departure dates. No minimum participants is required.

Private trips
Are available on request from December to May.

The price includes
Pick up at Alta airport (6 or 7pm) or in Alta city, all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9, some equipment (specified in equipment list), lodging in Alta, Jotka, Ravastua and Karasjok.

The price does not include
· Travel to Alta and from Karasjok   (for more information see "general information" and "getting here" tab.)
· Personal equipment (please check the equipment list)
· Travel insurance
· Alcoholic beverages

Lodging
- You must be prepared to share rooms in Alta, Jotka mountain cabin and Ravnastua mountain cabin. In Karasjok you will be lodged at the truly unique Engholm Husky Lodge in double rooms in design cabins with one or two rooms.
- First night in Alta and last night nn Karasjok single rooms are available for an additional cost.
- The nights in tents, teams of 2 to 3 persons will share one tent.

Extra days in Karasjok:
We would like to encourage you to stay a few extra days at Engholm Husky Lodge to explore Karasjok and the neighbouring town Kautokeino. At the Husky Lodge there is always many things happening and you can, among other things, take part in the daily handling of the husky sled dogs. You can visit the sights of Karasjok or you can relax with a good book from the “mushers library”. You can also experience the Sami culture by visiting the Sámi Museum, buy Sámi art and hand craft, visit the local Sámi knife smith or get a guided tour at the Sami parliament. You can aslo book a dog sledding trip or a trip to visit a reindeer herder.

For lodging prices and options, please go to the "Lodging" tab under "General information".

If you need more information about this adventure before you make your reservation/booking, please feel free to contact us via mail@turgleder.com or call us on +47 91167303 (Thomas) or +47 90855556 (Liv).

When you are ready to book, please go to “booking” under the «general information» tab and fill in and submit the booking/registration form. When we receive your booking/registration form we will reserve a place for you and send you a booking confirmation also including some questions if necessary. When all details surrounding your participation are in place, we will send you an invoice. Your reservation is valid for 7 days after the invoice is sent.
For more information, please see our booking terms and condition under the “general information” tab.

Note: If you do not receive a reply right away, please be patient with us. We might be out on other adventures without any internet connections. However, if you have not received a response within 3 days, let us know.

An amazing night with northern lights from the Finnmark Plateau West-East skiing expedition:

One of the nights with northern lights from the Finnmark Plateau West-East skiing expedition:

Feel good film from the Finnmark Plateau West-East skiing expedition: