Finnmark Plateau East – West Skiing Expedition. 9 days
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 pulks (sleds) from Karasjok in the heartland of the Norwegian Sami culture, northeast, across the Finnmark Plateau to the town of Alta. 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 addictive.
From mid-February 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 might, if time allows it, 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. On most trips, we bring a dog who 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 dog in the best way possible. Our daily skiing distance is between 4 and 16 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 10 am in Karasjok, day two of the program. A reasonable level of fitness is necessary and some outdoor experience is helpful.
The American travel publication 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 East-West Skiing Expedition in international media:
The German Spiegel Online (published December 2014).
The Nederlandske 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 Engholm Husky in Karasjok during the day. Program start with dinner at 7pm. Then your guide will give information regarding the tour. Lodging in log cabins at Engholm Husky.
Day 2 Breakfast and then the day is spent packing and preparing the equipment, both personal and group gear. The day can also be spent doing a day activity or the skiing instruction program.
Day 3 Trip starts with 14km from the road to Ravnastua mountain cabin. Loding at Ravnastua.
Day 3- 7 Skiing across the Finnmark Plateau. Sleeping in tents.
Day 8 Skiing to Jotka mountain cabin, where we will have shower, a nice dinner and sleep inside.
Day 9 Breakfast and journey home.
Day by day plan:
Arrival to Karasjok and Engholm husky (6km outside the town). Program start by dinner at 7pm, your guide will welcome the group to Finnmark and you will be introduced to both the guide(s) and your fellow expedition partners. If time allows, we might start going through your personal equipment tonight.
After breakfast we will do the last preparations and there will be time for some last-minute shopping if needed. You will also have time, this day, to do a daytrip with dogsledding, visit a reindeer herder or practice your skiing skills (these activities are extra and have to be booked in advance) 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 during the trip. There will also be time to make your final personal preparations and adjustments before the journey across the Finnmark Plateau starts. Your guide will also go through safety routines, skiing routines and how to handle the dog in the best way possible.
We have breakfast at Engholm husky and will make up a nice lunch pack for the day. With everything prepared yesterday, we aim to start just after breakfast. We will be transported by car from Engholm Husky to the starting point at Assebakti, where we will leave the road behind and move 14km into the mountains to Ravnastua Mountain cabin. Today we will ski on tracks, up the hills and across some frozen lakes to Ravnastua. It will be a long day, but the night will be spent indoors at the mountain cabin. This is a simple but comfortable cabin, with electricity and beds, but no running water. Heating comes from wood burning stoves.
Breakfast will be our last meal indoors for a while. When all is done and packed, we leave Ravnastua for the plateau. The first hour we walk through the forest before emerging out onto the plateau itself and we are in a world of white. For most of the day we navigate through rolling hills and further into the wilderness before making our first camp.
We are heading towards west, and we see the coastal mountains as they tower on the horizon to the north. The whole day is spent skiing, we aim for a frozen freshwater lake where we will camp on the shores. The lakes are both a great water source and gives us the option to do some ice fishing if weather and time allows.
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.
A full day skiing across the winter landscapes and last night in tent.
After breaking our last camp, we start skiing towards Jotka mountain cabin where we will spend our last night together. The last kilometers will be on tracks. A warm shower, sauna and a good dinner served by the host at Jotka are waiting for us before going to bed.
The day starts with an early breakfast and a final packing of the pulks, before we ski the remaining 4km from Jotka and out to the nearest road, where our transport will be waiting for us. The car journey is approx. 1 hour down the valley to Alta, where you can choose to be dropped of directly at the airport or at one of the hotels in the town center. The equipment you left in Karasjok will be given to you in Alta.
Under "General information" and "getting here" you will find information about how to travel to/from Karasjok to preferred 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 breaks||1|
|Thick woollen sweater or fleece jacket||1|
|T-shirts, thin woollen shirts or other technical underwear||2|
|Warm underwear (longjons and top with full length arms). Preferably wool or woollen terry||2 sets (minimum)|
|Warm and wind proof hat that also protects your ears in the wind||1|
|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 socks||2 pairs|
|Scarf and/or balaclava||1|
|Gaiters/leggings (not needed if you rent ski/skiboots from us)||1 pair|
|Ski boots, skis, skins and ski poles||1 sett* (NOK 1600)|
|Sleeping mat / roll mat (and inflatable mat for extra comfort)||1*|
|Sleeping bag (minimum comfort temperature >/=-20Celsius)||1* (NOK 600)|
|Liner for sleeping bag or thin sleeping bag to use inside the winter sleeping bag||1*|
|Drinking flask, Nalgene bottle with wide opening, 1 Liter||1*|
|Thermo flask, 1 Liter||1*|
|Toilet articles, privat first aid kit, towel 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 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 or Nansen) and poles (Åsnes Horgi/Vidda), skins and boots (Alfa Polar A/P/S or Alfa Quest A/P/S).
Turgleder also provides:
- 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 Karasjok to Alta.
- 2nd - 10th February
- 8th - 16th March
- 12th to 20th April
Minimum 3 participants required.
In case of less participants, we will inform and refund deposit no later than 8 weeks prior the departure.
Are available on request from January to May.
The price includes
· All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9
· Some equipment (specified in equipment list),
· Lodging in Karasjok, Ravnastua, Jotka and 4 nights in tent.
The price does not include
· Travel to Karasjok and from Alta (for more information see "getting here".)
· Personal equipment (please check the equipment list)
· Travel insurance
· Snacks to eat between the meals (we recommend sweets, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate etc)
· Any unforseen expenses due to delays due to weather or safety considerations or if you have to leave the expedition miday for any reason.
- You must be prepared to share rooms in Karasjok, Ravnastua and Jotka 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 two nights in 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.
If you need more information about this adventure before you make your reservation/booking, please feel free to contact us via email@example.com or call us on +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: