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Ski touring in Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja

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If the beauty of these Arctic islands doesn’t leave you breathless, the extraordinary ski touring experiences almost certainly will.

With a location deep into the Arctic Circle, the quaint fishing villages at the foot of the mountains in Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja offer a convenient base for a genuine Norwegian adventure. Here you will find plenty of rorbuer, traditional fisherman’s cabins that have been converted into charming holiday lodges. Expect a friendly welcome from the locals as they serve up a combination of fresh flavours and vibrant culture.

Several of the lodges offer transportation to the skiing areas by boat. These tailor-made expeditions cruise along the islands' vast coastlines and deliver the passengers within reach of that coveted powder snow. Operated by professional guides who will help you to access the best available runs, the programs are adapted according to the weather and local conditions.

An early winter visit to this region gives you a splendid chance to spot the mystic beauty of the northern lights. On the other hand, the long skiing season also allows visitors to enjoy the magic of the midnight sun during late spring and early summer.

This picture-perfect area further offers a range of exciting rest-day activities. From Arctic wave surfing at the Unstad Surf Camp to sea eagle and whale safaris, the islands of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja are a paradise for any winter adventurer.

Stay safe and find out about the avalanche risk before you set out.

Main ski touring season
February - April

Recommended level
Experienced to experts

Types of skiing terrain
Alpine peaks
Couloirs to the ocean
Open rolling faces
Sea to summit

Types of accommodation
Hotels and B&Bs
Fisherman's cabins (rorbus)
Lodges
House boats (sail and ski)

Lofoten

The stunning archipelago of the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway extend far into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a vast coastal area with jagged granite mountains, providing seemingly endless opportunities for ski touring. Summit-to-sea descents, testing couloirs and open birch forests are sure to meet the ambitions of every ski adventurer, whether beginner or advanced.

Epic run
Store Trolltind (1,036 metres) is a spectacular peak in Trollfjorden. Transport by boat to the starting point is required for this tour, which offers great skiing in wild and untouched terrain.

Vesterålen

North of Lofoten lies Vesterålen, a chain of craggy islands dominated by stunning peaks and beautiful fjords. The summits facing the open ocean on the outer side of the islands are ideal for ski touring. Due to its remote location, Vesterålen is one of the least visited skiing destinations in the north – so if you like solitude, this is the place for you.

Epic run
Stortinden stands some 1,000 meters above Vangpollen in Sigerfjorden. The western flank is an uninterrupted steep descent that ends right at the seashore. The exposed summit offers a panorama of the jagged skyline of Hinnøya.

Senja

Senja, the second largest island in Norway, has equally great ski touring potential with peaks extending as high as 1,300 metres. Located in the county of Troms, Senja’s mountainous landscape is full of secluded hills that are perfect for shredding. There are no lifts around here. After skiing, you can go hunting for the northern lights, try ice climbing or fishing.

Epic run
Store Hesten (874 metres) has an unusually accessible run – you can start skinning right next to the the parking at Hestesletta. With spectacular views and a variety of descents, Store Hesten is considered Senja’s best ski touring mountain.

Discover the area

Getting here and around

In many cases, you can get to the foot of the mountain by public transportation, but the easiest way to get around is by renting a car. Get in-depth travel information at the official websites for Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

Safety in the mountains

Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

  1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
  2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings. This is especially the case for ski tourers - check the current situation in your area on varsom.no and make sure you follow the advise given.
  4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
  5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
  7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
  8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

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