Troms Toppturer explores the numerous summits around the Arctic capital of Tromsø. Skiing from the summits to the sea, Tromsø and the surrounding area is unmatched when it comes to accessible coastal mountains.
A ski touring trip to the Tromsø area allows quick access from the city to ski on the surrounding mainland of Troms County, Malangen and the surrounding islands of Kvaløya and Ringvassøya. Despite the maritime climate, the area sports some fantastic skiing, with regular snowfall and dramatic scenery high above the sea. The mountains are popular with the locals, although there no need to fear the crowds here, with plenty of descents to choose from combined with some wild and unexplored corners away from the principle summits.
The mountains around Tromsø are frequently around 900m with the highest summits being around 1000m and are in many cases surrounded by the sea. Some of the most popular include Tromsdalstinden, Ullstinden, Fagerfjellet, Bentsjordtinden and Nordfjellet to name a few. Mountains on the island of Senja and the Lyngen Peninsula can be reached by ferry.
Some 300km into the Arctic Circle the snow conditions are reliable with powder and spring snow conditions depending on the prevailing conditions of the season. The sheer variety of the skiing around Tromsø makes this an ideal location for an interesting trip to suit intermediate skiers and tourers. There is no mistake in this trips name, Toppturer translates as "summit tours" in Norwegian and in many cases summits can be reached on ski often giving the choice of different descents.
Ski Touring around Tromsø
Skiing in the Tromsø area is a unique experience. Ski touring has long been a pastime for the local residents in Tromsø, particularly in the spring. During this time the long daylight hours and short nights characterise the main part of the season with only the snow conditions, fitness and imagination limiting where you can go. Espen Nordahl published his book 'Ski Touring in Troms' in 2010, publishing a second edition in 2018 which now includes 116 arctic summits.
This trip is based from a spacious house just over the bridge in Kvaløysletta, a short distance away from Tromsø Airport. This allows us to travel by vehicle capitalising on the excellent road network around the fjords, with short distances between ski tours. As usual this results in greater flexibility to make best use of the prevailing weather or simply to visit the neighbouring islands of Kvaløya, Ringvassøya and Senja. From the house there are views across to Tromsø and Tromsdaltinden and south to Bentsfjordtinden.
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.
The Tromsø Toppturer Team
In order to provide a unique experience and make the best of you time in the Arctic Circle, we have created a Tromsø Toppturer 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 Tromsø area offers.
Tromsø Toppturer will be led by an IFMGA Mountain Guide and BASI ISTD 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. 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.
£2100 per person
There are a maximum of 6 places available on this trip. Having both an IFMGA Mountain Guide and a BASI ISTD working on this trip gives the opportunity to divide into small groups 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 dual guiding and ski instruction with IFMGA Mountain Guide and BASI ISTD
- 7 x days accommodation (double or twin rooms) and food on full board basis (inc. packed lunch).
- Transfer to and from Tromsø Airport.*
- All transport during the trip (including additional costs such as ferries).
- Avalanche safety equipment if required.
What’s not included?
- Flights to and from Tromsø.
- Alcohol (please note alcohol is expensive in Norway. This is best purchased at duty free).
- Ski touring equipment. Please read the kit list here.
- Single rooms are not available.
- Insurance for cancellation, rescue, repatriation and medical expenses.
A trip to Tromsø 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 if your flight is delayed we may have to ask you to arrange your own onward transport.
Additional information can be found in the links below:
- Off-Piste Ski Ability
- Effective but not efficient
- Ski Touring
- Ski Instructor & Mountain Guide