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Ski touring in Svalbard
Ski touring in Svalbard
Svalbard.
Photo: Terje Bjørnsen
Svalbard.
Photo: Terje Bjørnsen

Ski touring in Svalbard

Located 1,300 kilometres south of the North Pole, Svalbard is, without no doubt, one of Norway’s most exotic and challenging destinations when it comes to ski touring.

Imagine vast glaciers and impressive summits in treeless surroundings. Thanks to Svalbard’s remote location, you can enjoy these idyllic winter landscapes on untracked runs, free from crowds and obstacles. The location also means that you can go skiing right up until the end of June. And if that isn’t exciting enough, you can also go skiing under the midnight sun from as early as April.

On a sail-to-ski expedition, you will be based on a boat, accompanied by professional guides with extensive local knowledge that allows them to tailor the tours according to the current weather and snow conditions.

Alternatively, you can choose to stay on dry land. A good base for a skiing adventure is Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest town on the island of Spitsbergen. This small coal-mining town has a wide range of accommodation options, from cosy guest houses to full-service luxury hotels.

The most adventurous travellers have a chance to experience the Arctic nature up close on a ski touring camp-based expedition or on a Nordic ski touring trip from north to south or west to east.

The polar environs are home to several rare and hardy Arctic creatures. During the winter months, these landscapes turn into a playground for species like reindeer, polar bears and arctic foxes.

Last but not least: Stay safe and find out about the avalanche risk before you set out. Read more about safety in the mountains here and about local conditions on varsom.no.

 

Quick facts (Svalbard)

Main ski touring season
March to late June

Level recommended
Experienced to advanced

Epic run
Trollsteinen (849 metres) – by far the most popular run near Longyearbyen. Crossing the Larsbreen glacier, you are rewarded with incredible views of the settlement, the Adventfjord and the Hiorthfjellet mountain.

Types of skiing terrain
Alpine peaks and open faces
Glaciers
Sea to summit

Types of accommodation
Hotels, guest houses
House boats (sail and ski)

Discover Svalbard

Ski touring in Svalbard
If you are passionate skitourer and want to experience skitouring in a way that fit perfectly with Svalbard, this is the trip for you. Read more
Wilderness winter camp 3 days: Ski tour with overnight in tent - Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Getting here and around

    Remember that Svalbard is not part of the Schengen area, so passports must be brought by all non-Norwegian visitors. Get in-depth travel information on Svalbard’s official website.

    • Svalbard boat (ski touring)

      By boat

      There is no regular boat transportation between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard.

      Several companies offer Svalbard safaris and round trips, but these do not go to and from the mainland. You have to make your way to Svalbard through other means.

    • Svalbard snowmobile (ski touring)

      By snowmobile

      There are only about 46 kilometres of road on the Svalbard Islands. Driving off-road is strictly prohibited.

      There are no roads between the various settlements. Instead, locals use boats or snowmobiles. Snowmobiles can be rented in Longyearbyen.

    • Svalbard plane (ski touring)

      By plane

      There are daily flights to and from Svalbard throughout the year, and the frequency increases in the summer.

      Flight time is around 3 hours from Oslo Airport and 1,5–2 hours from Tromsø Airport.

      An airport shuttle service is available for all scheduled flights and takes you to most hotels and guest houses for a fee.

    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.

    Get inspired

    Let the adventure begin.

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