Ski-Sail in the Arctic

Ski touring and sailing are an ideal combination in northern Norway. The views across the fjords bathing in clear Arctic light are stunning, and skiing right down to sea level is a very special experience.

A typical day on a ski sailing week starts with a wake up at a respectable time. No need for alpine starts here, where the low angle of the sun and the long days means that the snow changes very little during the day compared to alpine latitudes. After a leisurely breakfast, we take a dinghy ashore, strap skins and start our ascent.

The mountains in northern Norway are between 900 and 1200m in altitude as a general rule, so ascents take about 4 hours. The effort required is less strenuous than in the Alps as there’s more oxygen about. Most ascents are less technical than in the Alps but in May especially the surface can be hard so you need to be confident with kick turns and couteaux.

The descents can be any standard you want, from easy to super steep, but the constant is that the sea is below, making for a great back drop and a unique extra dimension. Many trips finish on the same beach as our departure, but sometimes we can get the opportunity to traverse an island or a peninsula and have the dinghy pick us up on the far side.

Back on board, it’s time for some soup or tea and cakes, depending on how long the day has been, and then sail to the next anchorage to do it all again the next day.