The Lofoten Islands (Magic Isles) are one of the most famous ski destinations in the Arctic Circle, and should be on any discerning skiers tick list.
The Lofoten Islands
The mountains here rise up to 1100m directly from the sea, with highest peak being Higravstinden 1146m. Although slightly lower than the mainland peaks, there is much to interest the skier with open slopes, broad couloirs and narrow chutes, all in some interesting rock architecture.
Here in the Lofoten Islands, the deep fjords and complex coastline often means that summits are surrounded by sea. Not only can you ski to the sea, but you may well have a choice as to which direction you ski in, arguably making the Lofoten Islands unique. The weather can be unsettled with storm cycles resulting in plenty of fresh snow. Combine this with varied terrain and you have the ideal location for an interesting trip to suit most levels of ski tourer. In April there is often the opportunity to ski powder if conditions dictate. We have been fortunate to see the Northern Lights from our fjord side lodgings in Hopen.
Ski Touring on the Lofoten Islands
Skiing in the Lofoten Islands is a unique experience. The area is most famous for it's dramatic scenery, the vibrant fishing industry and the northern lights. We travel by road capitalising on the excellent road network and bridges linking the islands and fjords of the region. This allows great flexibility to make best use of the prevailing weather or simply to make ascents on the different islands that make up the Lofoten Islands.
This trip is based from apartments to the west of Svolvær, in Hopen. These modern and spacious apartments are in a secluded spot on the banks of a sheltered fjord, with mountains immediately behind. More importantly the ski touring starts close to the house with the excellent ski summits within easy reach.
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 small variations. You can download a sample programme here.
The Lofoten Team
In order to provide a unique experience and make the best of you time in the Arctic Circle, we have created the Lofoten Team. The team consists of 2 IFMGA Mountain Guides and a BASI Level 4 (ISTD) Ski Instructor, giving the benefits of both high quality guiding and ski instruction, not to mention enthusiasm for skiing in Arctic Norway.
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. We have enlisted the services of Emma Lawrenson as chef and catering manager, to ensure we return to a hearty home cooked meal after a day of ski touring.
£2300 per person
There are a maximum of 12 places available on this trip. Having 3 staff gives maximum flexibility to divide into small groups for each day on the hill. This is done on a daily basis depending on the prevailing snow and weather conditions, and the group's aspirations. This trip is guaranteed to run with a minimum of 1.
- 6 x days ski guiding with IFMGA Mountain Guides. *
- Additional input from BASI ISTD Ski Instructor.
- 7 x nights accommodation (double, twin or triple rooms) and food on full board basis (inc. packed lunch) at Lofoten Apartments.
- Transfer to and from Svolvær Airport.
- All transport during the trip.
- Use of avalanche transciever, harness, axe and crampons on request.
What’s not included?
- Travel to and from Svolvær.
- Alcohol (please note alcohol is expensive in Norway. This is best purchased at duty free).
- Ski touring equipment. Due to this being a specialist trip joining in Svolvær we won’t have extra equipment available. If you have any equipment requirements then please contact us. Please read the kit list here.
- Insurance for cancellation, rescue, repatriation and medical expenses.
- Entrance to museums (bad weather day option, see below).
- 1 spacious double ensuite room is available for 2 people to share at a supplement of £400 (subject to availability). Total cost for 2 people is £5000.
- 4 dormitory style beds are available on the mezzanine level at a reduction of £100 per person.
Our trip to the Lofoten Islands would suit most levels of intermediate ski tourers. We have the flexibility to divide into small groups.
The ability to ski off piste is essential for this area, being comfortable skiing slopes of up 30 degrees. You will need to be able to cope in a variety of conditions i.e. poor visibility and crust. You need to be able to kick turn when skinning, even if you are not fluid in doing so. You need to have the fitness to cope with a full mountain day, skinning uphill at a rate of approximately 300m per hour for 3 - 4 hours. The majority of days will involve 700m -1000m of skinning.
To get the most from this trip, you will have some experience of using crampons, and boot packing up a slope.
The terrain is varied with open slopes, well spaced trees, couloirs and steeper slopes to suit most tastes. The days are also shorter than the european alps allowing us to take a steadier pace and enjoy at least one traditional 'fika' break. 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.
* We aim to have 6 days skiing during this trip. Due to the variable nature of the weather and snow conditions on Lofoten, we may replace one of the skiing days with a sight seeing trip if this is deemed to be in the group's best interests. Visits to Henningsvær and the Viking Museum are good bad weather options.
Find out more about the Off Piste Performance team.
- Off-Piste Ski Ability
- Ski Touring
- Ski Instructor & Mountain Guide