We will again be offering a trip to the island of Kvaløya in Arctic Norway. This has been one of our favourite destinations for personal skiing for many years and we are keen to share this magnificent area.
A ski touring trip to the island of Kvaløya, positioned close to Norway’s northern city of Tromsø, visits a unique set of mountains in the Arctic Circle. Kvaløya lies just to the west of the Lyngen Peninsula giving fantastic skiing and scenery high above the sea. The mountains are popular with the locals, however there no need to fear the crowds here, as there are plenty of descents to choose from.
The mountains here rise up to around 1000m and are in many cases surrounded by the sea, with some of the most popular being the likes of Buren, Lille Blåmannen and Steinskardtinden to name a few. Nearby mountains on the island of Senja, the Troms Mainland and Lyngen are within easy reach.
Some 300km into the Arctic Circle the snow conditions are reliable, allowing you to ski from the summit to the sea in many cases. The sheer variety of the skiing makes Kvaløya an ideal location for an interesting trip to suit intermediate skiers and tourers. Kattfjorddalen alone sports open slopes, well spaced trees, and steeper couloirs explaining why the residents of Tromsø describe the area as one of their favourites too.
Ski Touring on the island of Kvaløya
Skiing in the Tromsø area and Kvaløya in particular is a unique experience. Being based on the island a short distance from Tromsø allows us to travel by vehicle capitalising on the excellent road network around the fjords, with short distances between ski tours. This allows much greater flexibility to make best use of the prevailing weather or simply to visit the neighbouring islands of Senja and Ringvassøya and the Lyngen Peninsula.
This trip is based from Ersfjordbotn, with stunning views down Ersfjorden. Here we make use of traditional Norwegian houses or ‘hytte’, both of which are well appointed, and close to the sea front. It's not unusual to see otters and porpoise here.
Many of the days are shorter it terms of vertical distance than we are used to in the alps, giving plenty of time for another lap or descents of the many variations available. Later in the season ascents will often be timed to get the best 'spring snow' on sunny aspects, but rarely is there the need for a 5am start in the Arctic Circle.
You can download a sample programme here.
Check out this video from last year shot and edited by Rob Johnson - Film Up High on Kvaløya:
The Kvaløya Team
In order to provide a unique experience and make the best of you time in the Arctic Circle, we have created a Kvaløya Team. These trips will be led by a dual Ski Instructor and IFMGA Mountain Guide team giving the benefits of both high quality guiding and ski instruction, not to mention enthusiasm for Arctic Norway and the magical skiing the Kvaløya area offers.
Our Kvaløya weeks will be led by two Mountain Guides and one Ski Instructor.
Having an informal but dual discipline team brings a lot of flexibility to cater for groups of different ability or aspirations as well as ensuring plenty of ski coaching or guiding time as appropriate. Of course a big part of experience in Arctic Norway is allowing yourself to take a steadier pace while soaking up the surroundings. To help us we also have enlisted the services of a cook and catering manager.
£1800 per person
Maximum 6 people per group. The minimum number for this trip to run is 1.
We have 10 places available on this trip and will divide into 2 or 3 groups on a daily basis.
- 6 days dual guiding and ski instruction with IFMGA Mountain Guide and BASI ISTD.
- Transfer to and from Tromsø Airport.*
- Accommodation (double or twin rooms) and food on full board basis (inc. packed lunch).
- All transport during the trip ( including additional costs such as ferries).
What’s not included?
- Flights to and from Tromsø.
- Alcohol (please note alcohol is expensive in Norway. This is best purchased at duty free).
- Avalanche safety equipment, and ski touring equipment. Due to this being a specialist trip joining in Tromsø we won’t have extra equipment available. If you have any equipment requirements then please contact us in the first instance. Please read the kit list here.
- Lift expenses. Although this is a wilderness skiing trip, and it’s use is unlikely there is one lift in Tromsø!
- Insurance for cancellation, rescue, repatriation and medical expenses.
A trip to the island of Kvaløya would suit intermediate ski tourers. The ability to ski off piste is essential for this area, and slopes of approximately 30 degrees are likely to be encountered. Ascents of 800m-1000m per day are fairly typical. We ask that you are comfortable skinning uphill at a rate of 300m per hour. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspect of your ski ability or for advice on your preparation.
Find out more about the Off Piste Performance team.
* We will be available to pick up from either the airport or a Tromsø hotel, at a pre-arranged collection time, from 3pm onwards on the start date of your trip. Similarly, we will drop you off (at either the airport or a Tromsø hotel) before midday on the final day of the trip. We are happy to drop off for the first flight out of Tromsø (normally 0630). We will do our best to deal with any delays, but due to the distances involved, if your flight is delayed we may have to ask you to arrange your own onward transport. A taxi is approximately £100 to Ersfjordbotn.
Additional information can be found in the links below:
- Off-Piste Ski Ability
- Effective but not efficient
- Ski Touring, Instruction and Ski Touring
- Ski Instructor & Mountain Guide