Ski touring in the heart of Arctic

Starting from Longyearbyen, capitale of Svalbard, a boat will drop us off in the national park of Bünsow in Spitzbergen for 5 ski touring days. 

Our goal is to cross the massif, from the beach of Kapp Ekholm along the ice pack to the cabines of Brucebyen, at the feet of the majestic Nordenskjöld glacier. 
The laternation between valleys, summits, ice caps and coastline assures an unforgettable adventure. Cradled by the permanent sunlight, we adapt our itinerary to the days and enjoy the best snow and the most beautiful slopes of the Great North. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Flight Paris - Longyearbyen

    Flight Paris - Longyearbyen Flight Paris - Longyearbyen and arrival in the middle of the night in Spitzbergen. We settle into the guesthouse for one night.

    Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Day 2 Preparation day and first adventure

    Preparation day and first adventure Briefing morning on the skiing practice in a remote area. The Arctic cold, the bears, the avalanches... many aspects that we need to handle at 78° north latitude.
    We start our first walk in direction of Nordenskjoldtoppen to test out our equipment and give a chance to our bodys to get used to the real conditions. Then, we'll prepare our pulkas and our belongings to be ready for the great start tomorrow.
    After a nice diner, we'll have a good night sleep at the guesthouse. Tomorrow, the wild Arctic is waiting for us !

    Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Days 3 to 6 Travelling from the base camp

    Travelling from the base camp In the morning, we leave by boat to the Great White. We load our pulks for a small step to get started and first camp settling. We alternate steps pulka-skiing in direction of the ice cap named Lomonosov (Russian scientist from the 18th century). The circuit is varied and the environment relatively gentle. The biggest pass has a 500m positive difference in altitude.
    We end this itinerary of different summits at the start of the camp (difference in altitude between 500m and 1000m every day). We have the advantage to be at 78° North latitude, with days filled with permanent sunlight, we have the opportunity to choose the best time slots.

    Positive difference in altitude : 800m | Accommodation : Camp

  • Day 7 Back to Longyearbyen

    Back to Longyearbyen We join the shore skiing. There, the boat taking us back to civilization is waiting for us. We find with joy the warmth of the inside of the boat and take advantage of the return journey to try and sight one last time the typical wild fauna of Svalbard.
    Once back at the guesthouse, a nice and warm shower is just what we need ! We enjoy this evening and remember the highlights of our adventure.

    Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Day 8 Spare day in Longyearbyen

    Spare day in Longyearbyen Today we have the opportunity to have our last ski run from Longyearbyen, depending on our physical conditions ! Otherwise, it will be a relaxing day and the occasion to visit Longyearbyen and its polar museum.
    Departure for France in the night.

  • Day 9 Return flight to Paris

    We arrive in Paris in the middle of the day. We say goodbye, our heads full of memories !

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: 66ENSPSKR

Included

A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure. 

  • Flights : Paris / Longyearbyen / Paris
  • Flight and safety taxes 
  • Transfers included in the trip's program
  • Full-board accommodation during the trip
  • An expert french and english speaking guide 
  • The night in Oslo in case of stopover 
  • Lawn of the great cold material : skis, shoes type Dorel, poles, pulks, duvet jacket, polar jumpsuit, duvets, self inflating mattress, camping equipment

Not included

  • Registrations fees : 18 euros per person
  • Carbon compensation for your trip to Spitzbergen : 8 euros per person
  • Insurance and assistance
  • Transfer to Paris
  • Flights supplement taxes

Terms and conditions

Subscription

Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon. 

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Montagne Expedition has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy

If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s priceLess than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above:
  • Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt. 

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Montagne Expeditions has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract


If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

Pricing


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer

In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply. 

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Montagne Expedition as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advise you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Montagne Expedition team are experts in polar environments. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything arctic. Please note that this adventure takes place in an isolated, polar environment where around 2500 Polar Bears live - your guide will explain safety rules which must be followed.

Food

Besides one evening meal in Longyearbyen  this trip includes full board. For your evening meal on the final day there are shops and kitchen facilities available or local restaurants for you to sample - we have lots of recommendations!

During our expedition, each person is responsible for their own equipment, including food, and will carry everything on pulks therefore light and easy to cook meals are favored. In spite of this, plus the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the arctic regions, we are proud of the varied, and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. You will have the opportunity to try local products and several local delicacies. Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee or hot chocolate. You will carry a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks for the day and evening meals will include three courses, soup, a hot main dish and a dessert.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs. Please be aware that this is a participatory trip, your help cooking and setting up camp is expected. We want you to be a member of our team; not a sheep!

Accommodation

Longyearbyen: warm guesthouse accommodation, double rooms or dormitories of 2,3 or 4 beds, hot showers and heating plus shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. This trip does not include accommodation on the final evening because flights normally require departure at midnight this night.

Camping adventure: normally we provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people, for our expeditions we use light equipment which is suitable appropriate for Svalbards winter conditions. We will also provide a spacious mess tent for meal times, fully equipped with kitchen equipment including a table and stools. Please be aware that we expect all clients participate when setting up and packing down our camps.

Transportation

This trip involves transfer by Swedish Army tanks

Budget & exchange

The currency in Svalbard (and Oslo) is the Norwegian Krone, NOK
Please budget for:
  • Any additional activities
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • One evening meal in Longyearbyen, kitchen facilities, shops and restaurants available*
  • Food and perhaps accommodation during your transfer in Oslo

*We recommend a budget starting from €30 / 290NOK for a traditional meal in a local restaurant

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

We will provide you with all of the technical equipment you will need for this adventure. We are proud of the range of high quality equipment we are able to supply which is suitable for Spitsbergens unpredictable winter climate.

Group Equipment

We will provide the group with...
  • A 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
  • A Sarsat beason
  • A VHF radioA heavy caliber rifle
  • An alarm gun
  • Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
  • A copy of Spitsbergens animal records
  • A first aid kitBooks about local flora and fauna

Individual Equipment

We will supply you with...
  • A large warm down jacket for when you are not participating in activities
  • A suitable tent per two people (a 3 man dome tent for maximum space and comfort)
  • A self-inflating sleeping mat
  • A suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -25°C)
  • Cooking stove
  • A thermos flask
Skiing Equipment
  • Nordic cross country skis and/or snowshoes
  • Ski poles
  • Warm snow boots for walking around camp (Sorel)
  • Pulks (mini sledges for carrying your gear)

Vital equipment

Please remember that your clothes will be redistributed into waterproof bags with limited capacity and carried on your pulks - try not to over-pack!
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers/salopettes
  • At least two pairs of good gloves
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • A ski mask 
  • A balaclava (fleece)
  • Appropriate warm neck wear
  • A warm hat (wool)
  • A warm jacket (synthetic down)
  • Several sets of warm thermal underwear (long johns & long sleeved tops)
  • Thin socks and 3 or 4 pairs of thick socks
  • Sun cream and protective lipsal (not water-based - water freezes)
  • Any personal medication
  • Mini toiletry kit and toilet roll
  • A thermos flask
  • Head torch & spare batteries

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool.

The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm

It can be humid and cold in Spitsbergen, please think carefully about what clothes you pack especially for our winter trips. We will provide warm outer layers but the layers you wear next to your skin can make the biggest difference. We recommend:
  1. No cotton
  2. Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
  3. Wear multiple layers including:
    • A warm breathable base layer
    • A second thermal layer
    • Wind and waterproof protective out layers

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • Your camera (with suitable protective case)
  • Binoculars
  • A comfortable evening outfit for Longyearbyen
  • A small inflatable pillowInsect repellant
  • A knife
  • A notepad and pencil
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing

Luggage

You may bring a hold bag (up to 20kg) as well as a cabin bag.

For you hold luggage please bring a soft bag like a ruckack rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical when loading local buses and trailers. We also recommend that you pack your clothes in plastic bags inside your rucksack so that they stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Don't forget to bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the plane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing :
  • Personal medicine
  • Pain reliever (preferably paracetamol)
  • Double skin
  • Elastoplast
  • Local disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-vomiting
  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Eyewash
  • Light sleeping pills
  • Earplugs
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Vitamins C 
Non-exhaustive list.

Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least three months after your return date.

Visa

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is a visa-free zone

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks

Health information & recommendations

Please be aware that your guide will be carrying a gun along with other safety equipment to alarm/repel any Polar Bears.

Healthcare in Norway can be extremely expensive, we strongly advice all of our clients to invest in insurance before travelling.

Weather

  • The weather in the Svalbard archipelago is very changeable.
  • The average annual rainfall in Longyearbyen is only 200mm (7.87 inches), in London, England, the annual average is 594mm (23.4 inches) - Spitsbergen is a cold desert!
  • Average temperatures in Longyearbyen range from -16°C to -9°C (3.2°F - 15.8°F) in April and -3°C to -7°C (26.6°F - 19.4°F) in May.
  • Strong katabatic winds can occur here, particularly near to high glaciers but winds can generally be described as moderate and localised.
  • Dark polar nights occur from 14th November to 29th January, the full moon shines across the snow creating a beautiful gliterring winter landscape. Then, from 19th April to 23rd August, the sun shines constantly, uninterrupted, high in the sky.

Electricity

In Spitsbergen the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs is used, 230V with a frequency of 50hz

Local time

Svalbard uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1 hour and Daylight Saving Time (DST) is observed here.

Topography

  • The Norwegian Svalbard archipelago is the closest territory to the North Pole; Spitsbergen is the name of the largest island.
  • Svalbard covers an area of around 39146 square miles (63000km2) and two thirds of this polar world are constantly covered by ice.
  • The archipelago was deserted by human civilisation for a very long time but today has over 2600 inhabitants.
  • The archipelago has 3 National Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 15 Ornithological Reserves (bird reserves) and 3 Botanical Reserves.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

In the Polar Regions the ecological balance is delicate so we ask that you are particularly careful regarding the conservation of the sites we explore. We aim to leave our camping spots even cleaner than when we arrived and, as a company, we participate in the Clean Up Svalbard programme. We support the laws, advice and recommendations which aid the conservation and protection of this unique arctic paradise. This is reflected in our trips, for example, we do not visit Ornithological Reserves during nesting season and never remove historical remains or whales bones from the beaches. We hope that all of our clients will respect our philosophies and embrace these attitudes.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during our trip...
  1.  Be prepared
  2. Stick to trails and camp overnight right
  3. Stash your trash and pick up waste
  4. Leave it as you find it
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Sandra

My local agent
Sandra

  • Technical adviser on all trips.
  • Passionate about mountains and particularly with backcountry skiing.
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Region
Northern countries
Activity
Ski Ski trip Winter trips
Duration
9 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
66ENSPSKR
Price
From €3,495
Level
3/5
Comfort
2/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Appreciate ski-touring in the heart of the Arctic environment
  • The lawn of the greta cold equipment 
  • Our experienced professional guides and state of the art equipment will keep you safe and warm

Required level

Before your departure, it is important to have a physical condition adapted to the planned trip. The regular practice of an endurance sport is mandatory for the expedition activities. This sport can be jogging, cycling, swimming or sportive walking. 

Thank you for letting the Montagne Expedition agency if you have any medical recommendations about you : food allergies, diabetes, cardio and cerebrovascular disorders (ancient or latest), asthma, etc...

A practice of a raid (if possible in winter) before your departure is requires to participate to this trip : knowledge of the mountain and disassembling the tent, even in difficult conditions. 
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