Norway Snowshoe Week
Location: The Hardangervidda Plateau, Norway
Price: £1295 per person excluding flights
Length: 1 week
This is an exciting expedition to the largest mountain plateau in Europe. You will enjoy a snow mobile ride into a remote Norwegian cabin on a small island that is surrounded by mountains and frozen lakes. Using the beautiful cabin with log burning stove and home cooked meals as our base for the week we will explore the surrounding mountains, frozen lakes and snow laden forests. You will undertake a snowshoe journey supported by a team of huskies including an overnight camp, have the opportunity to try mushing with the dog team, try fishing through the ice, have the option to spend a night in a snow shelter and have the option to spend a day trying cross country skiing.
Over the week you will practise winter travel skills, winter navigation and will be a part of a small team and take a share in the navigation and route finding as well as helping prepare an overnight Arctic camp and help the local Musher with the dog team.
Who is the course suitable for?
The days will be physical but there is no climbing involved so anyone with a reasonable level of personal fitness will enjoy the trip. You don’t need to have used snow shoes before as I will teach you how and they are pretty easy to use with a bit of coaching. On the overnight element the heavy equipment is carried by the dog team.
What about the weather?
Temperatures average about -20 degrees centigrade so its pretty chilly but it is a much drier cold than we are used to in the UK and is much easier to manage. You won’t need to wear any more clothes than you would on an average Scottish winters day. Over a typical week you will get a day or two of snow and the remaining days will be bright and sunny.
The Northern Lights
People often see the Northern Lights from the Hardangervidda Plateau but it is not a place to go if that is your sole desire from the trip, to increase your chances you need to go further North. If we see them its a bonus!
What is snowshoeing?
Snowshoeing has been around for centuries as a means of traveling through deep snow which we would sink into without snowshoes or skis. Snowshoes can be mastered very quickly which gives them a massive advantage over skis but will still allow you to access the back country which would not be possible otherwise. Snowshoeing is easy to learn, good for our health and reasonably cheap too!
Day One: We will transfer from the airport by car to the edge of the plateau. Here we will be collected by snow mobile and make an exciting journey in the dark across a frozen lake to reach our island cabin. The cabin is a recently refurbished Norwegian lodge that has electricity, hot water, log stoves and all of the comforts of home. We are well looked after by the family that live on the island and become our hosts for the week. The food is delicious in the form of a set menu of home cooked food each night. The accommodation is in twin rooms and the whole lodge is very warm and cosy which is what we need after a day in the cold!
Day Two: A day of snow shoe training including bagging a local summit and winter skills.
Day Three: We will aim to climb the nearby peak of Laksanutane which is over 1300m high and get down in time to do some fishing through the ice or some mushing with the huskies.
Day Four: This is a rest day during which you can choose to try cross country skiing with a local instructor, do some ice fishing, go for a ride with the huskies, relax at the cabin or build a snow shelter. You then have the option of spending the night in the snow hole or in the log cabin, depending on how adventurous you feel!
Day Five: We will undertake a journey over the mountains that sorround our island and the night will be spent camping in Arctic temperatures and we will teach you how to look after yourself and enjoy this environment. The husky team accompanies us to carry the heavy kit. We use a Lavu camp which is the Norwegian equivalant of a wigwam as shown in the picture at the top of the page. The Lavu has a log burning stove and we will eat and socialise together before retiring to tents for our nights sleep in the Arctic temperatures.
Day Six: The final night will be spent back on the island and we can enjoy a final meal together.
Day Seven: We will transfer by snow mobile back to the main land and then make our way to the airport to fly home.
Where is the course held?
The Hardangervidda Plateau in Norway is Europe’s largest mountain plateau and in winter provides a fairly extreme Arctic wilderness. The plateau covers an area of approx. 2500 sq miles and has an average height of about 3500 ft. The highest point is 5646 ft above sea level. The area that we will be visiting is in the Telemark region, famous for the story of the Norwegian Resistance fighters that blew up the hydro plant in Vemork to prevent the Germans from making Heavy Water for the Atomic bomb. This story was depicted in the film the Heroes of Telemark with Kirk Douglas and later in the book and television series The Real Heroes of Telemark by Ray Mears.
We stay in a converted school house on a remote island. There is running water, hot showers, log burning stoves, electricity and even wi-fi! The food is home cooked and is lovely. If you like a drink with your meal its worth bringing one with you as there is no bar.
I hold the MIC & the IML. Not sure what this means – follow this link. I will be leading the expedition myself. We will also be accompanied for some of the expedition by a local musher.
What’s included in the price?
The price includes:
Transport to and from the airport
Accommodation throughout the trip
Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals at the log cabin
Leadership & guiding
Use of all specialist equipment such as snow shoes, shovels etc
When you book the trip we will break down the costs. Our course fee will be payable to us and accommodation, transport etc will be paid directly to the local operator. This price will be fixed so that you can budget for the trip.
You will need to arrange your own flights and pay for the cross country skiing if you choose to do this on the rest day. You will need to pay for your own snacks and alcoholic drinks and your own expedition food. You can bring this with you or we will do a group shop en-route.
We will send you a detailed kit list as part of the course notes and this will include details of which flights to arrange. Flights in 2011 were £85 return from London or £98 return from Liverpool.
Cancellation & Insurance
This trip is classed as an overseas expedition and is subject to our terms and conditions of booking so please make sure you read them before committing to the trip. Once you book an expedition I will reserve that space for you, hire local and UK staff and make arrangments in the country we are visiting. Hopefully you will have no need to cancel but if you do I will try and re-sell the space for you. A deposit is required to book the course and is non-refundable. If you cancel less than 16 weeks before the course starts I can only offer a refund once I have sold the space on your behalf. Please take out cancellation insurance at your time of booking in case the unexpected happens. (Travel insurance is mandatory for the expedition anyway)
Each course member must have with them and show proof of insurance for the duration of the course on the first evening ie personal accident, rescue and public liability. Our approved insurance contractors are:
BMC: 0870 0104878 www.thebmc.co.uk
Previous Experience & Fitness
You need to be happy to spend a week living in a cold winter environment. A winter skills course is good preparation but is not essential if you have the right mental attitude. We will cover basic winter skills which will be a useful refresher if you have done a winter skills course previously. This expedition is strenuous and you need to be physically fit to get the most from the trip. A little bit of training in the form of cycling, running or swimming beforehand will pay dividends!
Book this Course
To book this course please choose a date from the diary page and then click on the button below to complete our booking form and make payment via Paypal. We require full payment to secure your course space.