Ski and sail in Svalbard

You have to have a wild imagination to think of anything better than a trip which combines sailing and skiing in the untouched, pristine ends of the world. The Svalbard peninsula is a paradise for ski touring, surrounded by oceans, glaciers and mountains.  There are no roads, no paths, and it is only accessible by boat. 

From our boat, you will step onto the beach with your skis, and then break trail up the mountain looking down onto the ocean below you.  Our base camp is our boat, and during 9 days we will have the opportunity to go where nobody else can.  A unique and unforgettable experience for anyone who enjoys ski touring and the wonders of unspoilt nature.

The trip starts and ends in Longyearbyen on the protected island of Svalbard, which lies between Norway and North Pôle.   We start by sailing northwards, to a series of fjords including the Prinz Carl land, the Magdalenen and Kong oscar fjord.  From here on it is uninhabited by humans, with the exception of Ny Alesund which is a tiny research station, with a population of around 50.   The area is dominated by mountains, glaciers and icebergs, interspersed by polar bears, and all this fantastic fauna.  We cover between 700 and 1000 vertical metres per day, most often skiing right back to the beach.  

The skiing we plan together with the guide, adjusted to the group as well as the weather and conditions. After skiing we decamp back to our boat, enjoy a hearty (usually locally caught) dinner, before setting sail to our next adventure.  You will be helping sail the yacht, not just skiing! Previous sailing experience is an advantage, but not obligatory.  More important is a quest for adventure, and an appreciation of the wilderness. 

For the duration of this trip there will be a ski guide, a skipper and a fully qualified chef on board.  The ski guide will act as instructor as well as guide, to make sure you can also improve your skills to take full advantage of this incredible experience.

 

Svalbard Program 

Day 1 : Flight to Oslo. Night at the hotel in Oslo.

Day 2 : Flight Oslo - Longyearbyen. Arrive Longyearbyen around 11 pm. Bus to the harbour and we drop our luggage onto the boat. Gear check, briefing of the week and short visit to Longyearbyen. Lunch in town. Start sailing by the end of the afternoon.

Day 3 to 11 : We will sail northward to The Magdalenenfjorden at the edge of the iceshelf. We will ski peaks including Phipsfjellet, the Snodomen, Draudmanen, ....We will be sailing through fjords including Kong Oscar fjord, St Jonsfjord, the Prinz Carl Forland. We'll say hello to the Walrus colony at Poolepynten on the Prinz Carl Forland Island, the seals and perhaps the king of the arctic, the white polar bear.

Skiing on the Protector fjellet

Skiing on Fregatten mountain

Arriving on top of Dronning Mauds, Kong Oscar fjord

Arriving on top of Phipsfjellet, Prinz Carl Forland

Kong Oscar fjord with Snodomen in the background.

Our boat awaiting our ski descent

 

Day 12 : Fly back to Oslo.

Day 13 : Breakfast and end of our service. Taxi for the airport and flight back home.

This program may be modified due to weather and snow condition but also depending of you ski level and your fitness.

 

Ski and Sail in Svalbard: Practical Information

What is this concept of 'ski and sail' in Svalbard?

It is a concept where we use a sailing boat as our floating transport and accomodation; we sail to the foot of the mountains and start our skiing right from the beach. By boat we are flexible and can move from place to place, and choose hillsides, faces and our areas according to the present conditions we have. Ski & Sail is a concept created by a french skier / sailor since early 1990s, and a concept that norwegians recently have started to discover. Some of our guides have started to ski there for the first time in 2005 and know very well the Svalbard archipelago. Skiing in Svalbard requires a good ski touring level as we often ski on the glacier. During the trip we may encounter polar bears when go ashore; your guide is trained in how to manage these situations and will carry gun flares and a rifle. 

Technical level: medium
This trip requires some experience of ski touring, but you do not need to be an advanced tourer / skier. You need to have done other multi-day ski tours (such as the Haute Route), and you need to be able to master kick turns, and be able to ski off-piste.  If you do have a lot of experience it is obviously an advantage, and you will be still able to challenge yourself. Those with more experience often want to climb steeper mountains, and do more meters up and down in one day. As organizers we try to keep the level as equal as we can, so that we can choose mountains according to the level of the group. If you are in doubt this is the right trip for you, you are welcome to contact us at any time - whether you are beginner or experienced. This is a ski and sailing trip possible to do for most intermediate skiers. If you want to learn about sailing our skipper will be very please to teach you all the skill and technics of sailing. If you also have sailing experience, you will be welcome to steer the boat and help the skipper in general.

Travel
Your flight to Oslo is not included.  You can fly to Oslo from the UK with SAS, Norweigan Air International and RyanAir.  
Your hotel in Oslo and your return flight to Longyearbyen is included in the price.

Please don't buy your flight ticket before the group is confirmed. We will send you an e mail as soon as this happens.

Changes to the program
The program is a provisional plan that we adjust according to weather and snow conditions.  If a particular slope is more avalanche prone or has wind crust, then we can sail to find another in better condition.  Onboard we have with us a dinghy for trips ashore, we have fishing gear to catch our dinner, and we have what we need to make a bonfire and barbecue ashore. 

Booking
You must book your trip minimum 4 months prior to your chosen date, but we recommend 6 months if possible to ensure flight and boat availibility.

The Boat

Valiente is 21m steel boat recently built in 2010 fully equiped with 5 comfortable double cabins each fitted with an ensuite bathroom.  The boat has a small but practical kitchen, and has both indoor and outdoor dining quarters. The boat has it's own fresh drinking water maker, with 2 tanks of 2300 liters.  If there isn't enough wind to sail, then we have a 200 horsepower inboard engine to get us to our desination. 

 

Accomodation 
Twin beds or shared king size bed with private bathroom in every cabin.
The cabin allocation will be based on the booking order - book early to make sure you get your first choice!

The back double cabin

Double cabin

Dining quarters

Bathroom 

Food
We'll have a hearty breakfast in the morning, and when we come back onboard, we'll have another meal around 2 or 3 pm.  A dinner with dessert will be served around 8pm. A master chef is on board with us throughout the trip to prepare our meals.
 

Cost of Ski and Sail Svalbard

We need a minimum of 7 persons to run this trip. You can sign up as an individual, or as a group, and we will endeavour the complete the group.
If you are a group of friends and want to privatise this trip, please get in touch with us.  Please contact us to discuss the dates you have in mind and the additional cost.

Cost includes

Organisation of the trip
Flight Oslo - Longyearbyen
Hotel in Oslo
Experienced skipper on board 
All meals cooked by chef on board
High mountain guide UIAGM certified
Full board accomodation 11 nights, 10 days on the boat from day 1 diner to day 12 breakfast.

 

Cost does not include

Lunch day 1 in Longyearbyen
Drinks on board such as beer or wine etc...
Personal equipment and clothing (ski touring, boots, skins, tranceiver, shovel, probe etc..)
Flights to/from Oslo

 

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