Svalbard Ski & Sail
Svalbard islands are well suitable for a ski touring adventure by boat, ideally in may and june, when it is easier to approach the coasts and land with a RIB. What we propose here is among the best Ski & Sail trips conceivable in the north pole region, absolutely worth trying at least once…
The boat, depending on the actual type and size, offers a decent comfort and allows for the necessary flexibility in choossing the sailimng route and the ski itineraries according to the sea and mountain conditions and to wheather.
The best ski touring areas (and authorized by the Svalbard Governor) are all in the Spitsbergen island. We normally sail from Longyearbyen on the Isfjorden along the north-western coast, which is totally uninhabited, with the exception of the village of Ny Alesund. Here only a few dozens people live all year around, most of them employed at the local reseaerch centres. All mining and fishing activities have been abandoned since the 60’s.
For this special program we aim at forming a team of 6-10 people, as to get the boat at our exclusive disposal. We only utilize boats specifically built for sailing in the polar seas, featuring a reinforced hull, equipped with all the necessary safety and communication devices, and driven by an expert skipper who knows well the specific requirements of a team of ski mountaineers. A ski guide with special expetise in polar expedition will also be available for assistance all along.
In relation to the specific period, the snowpack conditions, and the available boats, we offer programs of 4 to 12 net sailing days, with departure / return from / to Longyearbyen.
The ski lines are chosen according to the knowledge acquired during the previous expeditions or spot sighted from the boat. Thanks to the 24 hours sky light it is possible to perform two or more ascents and descents in a day, or a glacier traverse. An endless choice of couloirs is there to be skied by the steep skiing specialists.
Finally, in this trip you can enjoy the beauty of the unique polar environment. At sea you may spot whales and orcas, and on the coast live seals, walruses, sea lions, foxes, polar bears, and a variety of sea birds. Our guide will carry at al times a rifle and deterrent rocket against any possibe bear attack.
***OTHER SKI & SAIL TRIPS ***
-> in Norway: Finnmark (Lappland), Jan Mayen island, Lofoten islands, Lyngen Alps, Sunnmore Alps, Romsdalen fjords
-> in Iceland : Hornstrandir peninsula
-> Kamchatka (Siberia)
-> Greenland , east and west coast
-> Antarctica peninsula.
CONTACT US FOR ANY SKI & SAIL PROGRAM OR SPECIAL PROJECT !
2) The territories south of Van Mjienfjorden are protected area, an expedition there is authorized by the Svalbard governor under special conditions. In particular, the Wedel Jarlsberg Land is interesting for ski touring, with many glaciers and peaks upto 1200 m altitude. As to organize an expedition in these area, we need to be contacted at least 6-8 months before departure, owing to the time required to get the permits and arrange for the logistics.
Arrival at Longyearbyen. Transfer to the polar base, meeting with the staff, check of all equipment and gear. In the evening, boarding on the sailboat.
Day 2 – 8
Sailing along thr Isfjordeb and the north-western coast of Spitsbergen. Possible halts: Ymerbukta or Trygghammaon on the Isfjord, St. Jonsfjorden, Prins Karls Forland island, the Aavatsmarkbreen galcier, Kongsfjorden and Ny Alesund village (if authorized), Krossfjorden. From the coast there are endless possible itineraries: summits ans cols, glacier crossings, steep slopes and couloirs. We may ski traverse from fjord to fjord and reach the summit of Snodomen 1215 m, among many other possibilities.
The landing of skiers and gear onshore is made easy by the RIB available on board.
The fjords further north such as Magdalenfjorden, Smeerenburgfjorden, and Hamiltonbuktacan be reached having more days available or with a fast motor boat.
Sail back to Longyearbyen and overnight in the village.
Day 10Transfer to the airport for boarding on the return flight.
Various alternatuve sailing routes can be envisaged, with variable duration, but subject to the actual availability of the boat and skipper.
Please note that the program here described is indicative. The actual sailing route depends primarily by the sea conditions, whereas the choice of the ski itineraries is mostly related to the conditions on the mountains, the wheather, and the team’s expectations. Flexibility is key in this kind of adventures, as well as safety.
Trip dates, Duration, Departure
The period of time given in the trip description sheet is indicatively the most recommended for optimun conditions for the planned activities. Different periods are possible, especially during season with special climate situations. Duration is referred to the “standard” programme as per description sheet, however it could change according to the local conditions and/or the team’s requirements. If the trip is included in the Scheduled Trips list (yearly planner), the departure date is the one given in the planner; otherwise it will be decided according to the requests we have received. In any case we suggest to contact us for more precise information. In customized trips, departure date and duration are established according to customer’s request
By means of the scores given in the trip decsription sheet we wish to provide an indicative assessment of the challenges to be expected, divided in the following three categories:
Grade 1: adult performing a minimum sport activity (4-8 hours/week), or teenager in medium fitness conditions
Grade 2: adult performing sport activity (8-16 hours/week) or teenager in good fitness conditions
Grade 3: adult performing regular sport activity (16-20 hours/week) or teenager in very good fitness conditions
Grade 4: adult only, regularly performing sport activity and intense training (more than 20 hours/week)
Grade1: no prior experience in the activity is required, just a natural predisposition
Grade 2: prior experience in the activity as beginner to medium level
Grade 3: prior experience in the activity at medium to high level, with regular practice since min. 3-5 years
Grade 4: excellent technical skills with long experience in the activity (more than 5 years)
Grade 1: no prior experience in adventure travel id required, just a positive attitude to adapt
Grade 2: prior, yet limited, experience in adventure travel, with a strong attitude to adapt and determination
Grade 3: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding
Grade 4: prior experience in adventure travel including remote area and wilderness, or extreme wheather, or uncertainty in route finding, strong determination to overcome unforeseen events
The type of accomodation as planned is indicated in the trip sheet (hotel, lodge, tents, etc..).
The means of local transfers are indicated as planned (flight, bus, 4WD vehicle, ferry, etc.). Some changes are possible in relation to the actual availability on site and/or the terrain and wheather conditions.
Service included and Prices
We do not have a price list. Quotes are sent on request only. Details of services included, excluded, or optionally available, will be specified in the quote and confirmed at the time of booking. Prices depend on number of participants and on the specific requirements of the group. They will be definitely set at the time of booking after definiton of all trip details and confirmation of dates. Special prices can be granted according to number of participants, and/or for pre-established groups, clubs and associations, guides with own clients, active athletes, tour operators and travel agents, journalists, physicians, rescue operators, schools, staff of organization running an humanitarian or research project.