Raid on the East coast of Spitsbergen

This out of the ordinary trip allows a complete immersion in the most beautiful winter landscapes of Spitzbergen.


You will cross distant lands where very few people venture through glacial valleys, from where reindeers shelters to the East coast where polar bears gather together in spring. This great crossing of Spitzbergen, linking Sassendalen to the East coast, joins the spirit of great polar expeditions due to its extreme aspect. 12 days raid in complete autonomy, nordic skiing or with a pulk.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Flight Paris - Longyearbyen

    Welcoming at the Longyearbyen airport and transfer to our accommodation.

    Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Day 2 Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen Distribution, verification and familiarisation with the equipment before leaving tomorrow.
    Small hike around the Longyearbyen to finalise a few adjustments and have a safety briefing.

    Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Day 3 Rabotbreen glacier

    Rabotbreen glacier We load the equipment and leave in direction of the Rabotbreen glacier which is the starting point of our expedition, far from any civilisation.

    Accommodation : Camp

  • Days 4 to 5 Rabotbreen and Ulvebreen glaciers

    Rabotbreen and Ulvebreen glaciers The great crossing can finally start. Once our equipment is loaded on our pulkas, we leave the camp towards the East coast of the island covered with ice pack for a large part of the year. During two days, we'll evolve on the glaciers in an Arctic ambiance, immersed amongst infinite and clear landscapes.

    Positive difference in altitude : around 300m | Negative difference in altitude : around 500m | Accommodation : Camp

  • Days 6 to 10 East coast, roaming on the ice pack and bay of Ingelfield

    East coast, roaming on the ice pack and bay of Ingelfield The valley finally opens up on the iced sea, astonishing show of the ice pack covering the East coast of Spitzbergen. Depending on weather conditions, we'll evolve in the snow, sometimes on the ice pack, an opportunity to encounter seals basking in the sun.
    Here, the white bear is on its territory. We might have the chance to see some in this area. Our progression on the ice pack is very enjoyable : it's an incredible sensation to be able to walk on this iced sea between icebergs captured by ice.
    We arrive in the bay of Ingelfield where the impressive bluish ice edge large of 3km of the Nordsysselbreen glacier creates a very particular ambiance. We settle our camp near this ice giant.
    - 50km browsed in 5 days.

    Positive difference in altitude : around 50m | Negative difference in altitude : around 50m | Accommodation : Camp

  • Days 11 to 13 Crossing the glaciers to join the reindeer valley

    Crossing the glaciers to join the reindeer valley We leave the ice pack to climb up the Nordsyssel glacier. We reach a pass at 230m high overcoming the surrounding valleys and offers a magnificent view on the area. Then, it will be time to descend in the valley of Kjellström to spend the night near an iced lake. Each valley crossed will be the opportunity to discover a unique world : Kjellström, Lundström, and Reindalen, territory where numerous reindeers spend winter.
    - 70km browsed in 3 days.

    Positive difference in altitude : around 230m | Negative difference in altitude : around 370m | Accommodation : Camp

  • Day 14 Reindalen - Longyearbyen

    Reindalen - Longyearbyen We finish our descent in the largest valley of Svalbard, which is 40km long. We settle our camp for one last night.
    The carrier will join us to drive us to Longyearbyen where we'll regain the comfort of our guesthouse.
    - 30km browsed in 2 days.

    Positive difference in altitude : around 660m | Negative difference in altitude : around 600m | Accommodation : Guesthouse

  • Day 15 Spare day in Longyearbyen

    Spare day in Longyearbyen Relaxing day with free time to visit Longyearbyen and its polar museum.
    You can also practice some optional activities for the day such as dogsled, snowmobile or the exploration of ice caves (if there is availability).

    Departure for France in the night

  • Day 16 Back to France

    Flight back to France. Arrival scheduled in the middle of the afternoon. We'll say goodbye after a wonderful experience together !

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

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: 66ENSPSK2

Included

  • All transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation including three nights in a guesthouse in Longyearbyen
  • Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
  • Full board except for a last evening meal in Longyearbyen
  • Cold weather technical equipment  - please see 'trip details' for more information about the high quality equipment we provide on this trip ('practical info' / 'equipment')

Not included

  • Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
  • Flights
  • The final evening meal in Longyearbyen (~ 30€)

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Svalbard museum: from €9

Notes

Level 5/5: Extreme

Our extreme adventures are only for those in in very good physical shape. Experience in the chosen activity/activities is mandatory as is a positive attitude. This is a demanding nordic skiing winter expedition in the land of Polar Bears.

Physical preparation: You must know how to ski to participate in this type of trip. Proper control, good stamina and ease getting on and off your skis are required. This trip begins with training so you can get accustomed to your equipment and enjoy a smooth start to warm your muscles and avoid injury.

Health and fitness: Perfect health is required. For these trips, we stress the difficulty of getting help for an emergency evacuation. Radio links are non-existent and health centers are very often far away. Your guide is a qualified first aider and will always carry a full first-aid kit but we recommend that you bring your own personal first aid supplies (see equipment list for details). A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip; please explain clearly that you are going to the Arctic in weather conditions that may be very severe and require excellent health.

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

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 recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Montagne Expedition. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

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 Svalbard team are experts in polar environments. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are all English and French 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 favoured. In spite of this, plus the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the artic 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 our hearty evening meals 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. (https://www.gjestehuset102.no/)

Camping: 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 Norweigian 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 with an impressive lightness, so that you spend a pleasant stay without suffering discomfort. 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

  • A 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
  • A Sarsat beacon
  • A VHF radio
  • A heavy caliber rifle
  • An alarm gun
  • Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
  • A copy of Spitsbergens animal records
  • A first aid kit
  • Books about local flora and fauna
  • Cooking stove
  • Thermos flasks

Individual Equipment

  • A large warm down jacket for when you are not participating in activities
  • Polar overalls
  • 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)

Skiing Equipment

  • Nordic cross country skis
  • Ski poles
  • Warm snow boots for walking around camp (Sorel)
  • Pulks (mini sledges for carrying your gear)

Vital equipment

For Longyearbyen:
  • Your travelling clothes
  • A bathing suit

For the expedition:
  • A Long waterproof jacket (with a hood, Gore-Tex, Nikwax or equivilent)
  • Waterproof trousers/salopettes (Gore-Tex, Nikwax or equivilent)
  • A down jacket
  • At least two pairs of good under gloves and over gloves
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • A ski mask (mandatory)
  • A thick 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 toiletary 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.

Helpful equipment

  • Head torch and spare batteries (+ March)
  • Toilet paper and a lighter
  • Tissues
  • Vaseline
  • Your camera (with suitable protective case)
  • Binoculars
  • A comfortable evening outfit for Longyearbyen
  • A small inflatable pillow
  • A knife
  • A notepad and pencil
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • Handwarmers

Luggage

Please remember that your clothes will be redistributed into waterproof bags with limited capacity and carried on your pulks - try not to over-pack!

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

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is a visa-free zone.  It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements.

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. This expedition takes place very far from emergency healthcare and medical care 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 Norweigian 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-Touring Winter trips
Duration
16 days
Group
5 to 8 people
Code
66ENSPSK2
Price
From €3,590
Level
3/5
Comfort
2/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • A completely unique nordic skiing expedition in tents in the isolated north of Svalbard
  • Discover the hidden arctic universe of Spitsbergen
  • Enjoy the presence of sled dogs to help pull our pulks and protect us against polar bears
  • Benefit from our quality technical equipment

Guide's advice

"Our most demanding adventure and what an expedition it is!"

Required level

INTENSIVE
This unique expedition, in total autonomy, does not present any particular technical difficulties, but requires a psychological and physical commitment by each participant because of the absolutely isolated location, the precarious comforts of winter camping and the temperamental weather. This trip is only for people in excellent physical shape; good experience of Nordic skiing expeditions in high mountains is requested. Each member pulls a pulka (starting weight 40 kg) and must be equipped for severe weather conditions (wind and cold). The daily progress is 6 to 8 hours but depends strongly on the weather conditions. The itinerary and given as an indication. It depends on the snow conditions and the weather.
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