Ski touring in Norway: 5 reasons that make it a must!
Ski touring in Norway: 5 reasons that make it a must!
Year after year, ski tours in Norway are becoming more and more popular. Unbelievable landscapes, great snow conditions and outstanding facilities are some of the reasons that explain their popularity. Read our top 5, and join the group of those who already discovered Norway!
1) Ski down to the sea
Norway, together with Greenland, Alaska and Iceland, is one of the few spots on earth where you can ski down to the sea. Impressive islands and mountains rise right from the fjords, allowing you to go down untracked powder slopes straight to the water.
Besides, the views on the fjords and the sea are absolutely unique. The wild beauty of the landscape together with the quality of the snow are what makes this trip an unforgettable adventure. As Paul Erik who went there a few times said: “Once experienced, it’s near impossible not to return for more!”
2) Plenty of options for all levels of skiers
It doesn’t matter if you are a pro skier looking for your latest challenge or a beginner ski tourer making your first steps off-piste, Norway offers a wide variety of possibilities. When it comes to skiing, the difficult part will be to decide between glacier, trees, couloirs, easy slopes or steeper ones, short trips or long days in the mountains.
The key spots to visit are the Lyngen Alps (Tromso), Molde and the Lofoten. Some areas in the Lyngen Alps are getting quite popular, so if you want to ski without the crowds around one of the best options is to go up north to the region of Finnmark.
But, in any case, the benefit is that there are no issues linked to altitude sickness because you start at sea level, and the way up isn’t too long: the higher you’ll get is up to 1200-1400 meters.
3) The charm of Tromso
Nowhere else will you find a starting point as enjoyable and beautiful as Tromso. Located at the same latitude as northern Alaska, it is the northernmost city in the world with a population above 50,000.
The old harbor in the city center is packed with cozy cafes and restaurants. And if you happen to go in spring, you’ll immediately feel the great vibe of the locals that go out to have a drink and a bite in the terraces, enjoying the first sunny days after a cold winter. Another good idea is to visit the Polar Museum, one of Norway’s top museums, to learn exciting stories about Arctic hunting and Polar explorers.
Before leaving, you must taste the local dishes: reindeer and salmon. And to enjoy what Scandinavians do: nothing like staying in a hotel or cabin that offers a sauna. So grab a beer and birch whisk for an authentic experience!
4) Sailing and skiing: A magic combination
Skiing from a boat is a very attractive option. In a few words, this is how it works: The boat functions as transport and accommodation, it drops you off at the start of a tour in the morning, and meets you at the end in the afternoon. You get to ski from sea to summit, and back again, and rarely have to do round trips. And don’t think about a rotten barge, some boats are really comfortable, with great beds, delicious food and hot water. After a day of intense skiing you’ll enjoy a nice dinner and beers while the skipper sails you to the next drop off point for the next morning.
The advantages are that the boat can move big distances to follow the good weather, and the guide can choose the best area to ski given the conditions. Not being tied to a single base is a great advantage in the changing Arctic weather.
The sailing gives you an ultimate view over the magnificent mountain area and the possibility to visit mountains that are impossible to reach by car. The water also gives you access to fishing and, for the brave ones, maybe an ice-cold swim after skiing!
The other option is to stay in a lodge and go from one ski spot to the other using every day a boat or the car. That might be a good option for those looking for more alpine peaks a bit further inland. Some mountain guides like Fred, guiding from a lodge in Finnmark, are also offering other activities like kayaking in the fjords, fishing, dog sledding and fat biking, which can be combined together with ski touring and make the one-week experience even more unique.
5) Long days and pure air
Spring is the best season to go skiing to Norway. And the good news is that if you have bad luck and the conditions are not so good during the day, you can still go skiing during the night! As soon as you get closer to June 21st, the days get longer and longer, until you have almost 24 hours of sunlight, which means: plenty of time to ski!
Nevertheless, from March to May the weather is usually very stable, and the quality of the air is outstanding, so you can enjoy majestic views. Before that, it is too dark, and after that, the quality of the snow is not so good anymore. But if you still want to go early in the season you might be able to enjoy one of the most fascinating natural phenomena on Earth: the Northern Lights!
To wrap up, these are some of the reasons why we consider Norway as one of the world’s most beautiful settings for ski touring and ski mountaineering. And to get the best out of it, we recommend you to hire a guide who knows the region in order to stay safe and enjoy the best spots to go skiing. At Explore-Share, you’ll find some of the best ski touring trips in Norway with IFMGA mountain guides.
Need some extra inspiration? Here are some incredible pictures of ski touring adventures in Norway!