Ski the fjords and glaciers of Northern Norway
Find fresh tracks on Norway’s remote arctic island of Seiland
NOW BOOKING April 2023
Northern Norway is famous for its ski touring above fjords, from mountain tops to the seashore. Seiland is an arctic island located north of 70 degrees latitude in the Norwegian Sea. Seiland House, which offers cozy accommodation and excellent access to the surrounding mountains, is accessed by boat from Alta. Alta is accessed by daily flights from Oslo.
Our Seiland House trip features fantastic skiing accessible only by boat. It also offers an opportunity to experience Norwegian culture and traditions. Unlike Svalbard, which had no indigenous population or for that matter no history at all until the whaling expeditions a few hundred years ago, Northern Norway has been home to the Norse and indigenous Samí people for thousands of years. Archaeological records indicate that Tromsø has been inhabited for over 9,000 years! And whereas Svalbard is home to less than 3,000 inhabitants, Northern Norway has a population of close to 500,000. Most of the population lives in major towns such as Tromsø (capital of Troms County), Bodø (the capital of Nordland) and Vadsø (the capital of Finnmark), but there are many other small towns and villages especially along the coastline such as Alta, which is our staging point for this incredible trip of a lifetime.
Ski touring in northern Norway have become very popular in recent years. The traditional routes are very busy and sometimes the crowding and tracked-out snow make it seem like you’re skiing in the Alps!
A 3 hour boat trip to Seiland House, a remote ski lodge on Seiland island, makes all the difference. Seiland House is an ideal departure point for excursions, ascents and descents on untracked slopes many of which are accessed by a short motorboat ride from the lodge’s dock.
SKI TOURING DAYS
Our excursions all set off from the sea and reach the peaks of a spectacular landscape of the fjords of Seiland Islands with the taste of the North, often with excellent snow cover.
A typical ski mountaineering excursion sets off in the morning from Seiland House’s landing by motorboat. We usually cover altitude differences of (3-5 hours in ascent) and normally descend along a different route, sometimes even to a different return point.
THE LODGE: SEILAND HOUSE
Seiland House is a guesthouse located in the middle of a fantastic fjord landscape and just in the limits of Seiland National Park. The house is surrounded by stunning nature where steep mountains plunge into the sea.
Here you can find everything from steep, demanding skiing to easy tours in the birch forest. Seiland is, despite its fantastic scenery, a relatively new peak trip destination.
You can go for days in Seiland without seeing people or other ski tracks. A completely unique and different experience than the other big top tour destinations places in Norway.
Seiland House provides the boat transfer to access to the different locations, with endless possibilities for authentic “sea to summit” experiences far away from the crowd.
We will enjoy local and international dinners in Seiland House’s restaurant and fresh cocktails and drinks in the Caribbean Bar. Yes you read that right! Our hosts are a mixed nationality Norwegian and Cuban couple, Stig and Diamela.
After skiing, you can take a relaxing time in the outdoor bath and enjoy the fjord and river view from the sauna and hot tub. Despite this not being the high season for Northern Lights — in early April nights are short — we might get surprised by a spectacular show.
Tom Wolfe (Mountain Guide ACMG/IFMGA) – Based in Canmore, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies since 1994 Tom guides year around, with winters being a mix of ski guiding at lodges, heli-ski operations, and remote backcountry destinations throughout western Canada. He speaks English, German, and enough French and Spanish to get by.
Itinerary subject to change. 2023 Dates shown.
Seiland House Ski Touring (April 17-22)
Ski touring out of Seiland House Lodge in Seiland National Park. Includes guiding, accommodation (full board), and transportation including airport shuttle.
Day 01 (April 17)
Meet in Alta, hotel stay.
Day 02 (April 18)
Transfer to Seiland Island, pickup at hotel at 10:00 am.
Day 03-07 (April 18-23)
Every day — ski touring and sailing.
There is a wide range of ski touring options, with several tours above Seland House and others accessible via motorboat in adjacent fjords.
Day 08 (April 24)
Airport transfer in the a.m.
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHTS & OSLO HOTEL
There are several flights daily from Oslo to Alta.
For your flight to Oslo, look for flights with shorter durations and the fewest connections. Direct flights to Oslo from North America are only available from New York City.
I recommend you use one of the big airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, United or Air Canada all the way to Oslo, aiming to arrive in Oslo in the early afternoon. Remember to account for baggage costs. Iceland Air offers a slightly different schedule and is worth checking out — not to mention they allow a free “stopover” option for those thinking of checking out Iceland as part of this trip!
From Oslo you may need to overnight and catch the next morning’s flight to Alta (with SAS, Widerøe or Norwegian airlines).
In Oslo, the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel Hotel is a quick walk from the airport, very comfortable, and my recommendation for efficiency. If you want something a bit cheaper there’s the Sandic Gardermoen. But it’s a 7-min cab ride away — which closes the price gap significantly.
Oslo is a great world class city to visit. There are also great hotels in downtown Oslo if you want to spend a night or a few days there before or after the trip. I recommend storing your bulky gear at the Gardermoen airport (See Avinor Baggage Check for details & pricing) and taking the train into town with a light overnight bag. Here are a few to consider:
Hotel Continental Oslo – Owned by the same family for four generations, Continental is the only Norwegian member of “Leading Hotels of the World”. The hotel is home to the renowned restaurants Eik Annen Etage and Theatercafeen, and BAR BOMAN, a lobby bar with Munch’s art on the walls. $$$
Scandic Victoria – Central hotel in Oslo, only a short walk from Karl Johans gate, Stortinget parliament and Spikersuppa ice skating rink. Vibrant Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen are only a 5 minute walk from the hotel, with many trendy bars and restaurants right on the waterfront of Oslo. Akershus Fortress is also within walking distance. $$
Comfort Hotel Grand Central – The Comfort Hotel Grand Central is one of Oslo’s most centrally-located hotels and is found in the main train station, just a 30-minute transfer from Oslo airport.
Hotel Rosencrantz – Design hotel in the centre of Oslo, just around the corner from Karl Johans gate, public transport and many of the city’s biggest attractions.
OSL – cheap eats
If you need a fast bite to eat before heading to your hotel, “cheap” pizza is the way to go, located at airport arrivals level. Peppes Pizza, grab it before you leave! Large pizza about 300 NOK ($42 CAD)
Alta is a remote arctic town in Northern Norway, and a popular tourist destination. Here’s a few suggestions of things to do while you’re there.
Altafjord Gjestegaard – a boutique hotel overlooking the ocean. Featuring a Jacuzzi and sauna facilities, this 4-star Altafjord Gjestegaard Hotel is a 25 minute stroll from the superb Alta Museum. Guests who stay in the hotel can park their car onsite. The property is set in the old part of Alta, 1.9 km of the Northern Lights Cathedral. It will take about 25 minutes to get to Alta Rock Carvings on foot.
Prehistoric Rock Art – If you are passing through Alta in northern Norway, a trip to the World Heritage Rock Art Centre is an absolute must. Alta is home to the greatest concentration of pictographs in Europe.
On the way back, if you want to return as soon as possible book a flight on April 23 to Oslo. If you are heading to a European city as your final destination you should be able to continue on same day. If you are heading across the Atlantic, you may need to stay in Oslo again that night and catch an early flight back home, again with one of the big airlines.
You need to bring all of the following personal equipment. Please don’t bring extra equipment. If you have any questions at all about gear please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ski crampons are a must for spring ski touring on Seiland. They are specific to your binding type. Order well in advance as this is something that’s often not available at the last minute. If you can’t find a crampon to fit your binding, G3 crampons have an attachment system that works for many bindings. Again, do this well in advance of the trip.
There are no eqiupment rentals on Seiland. We do rent ski gear if arranged in advance. If you need to rent from us the fee is $550 CAD for this trip, and you must sign a rental waiver. In any event it is highly recommended you bring your own equipment and that you make sure it is in top condition.
- Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
- Long underwear top – synthetic or wool
- Light fleece or wool sweater
- Wind shell – nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
- Waterproof breathable jacket
- Warm insulated jacket – down or synthetic
- Long underwear bottoms – synthetic or wool
- Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
- Waterproof breathable pants
- Warm hat – wool or synthetic
- Brimmed cap for sun protection
- Face warmer – scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
- Light gloves – wool, synthetic or leather
- Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
- Spare gloves or mitts
- Handkerchief for blocking the sun (optional)
Snow Safety Equipment
- Avalanche beacon with good batteries (and spares)
- Probe (2.4m or longer preferred)
- Skis or split board
- Ski strap
- Ski or snowboard boots
- Climbing skins
- Skin wax (or a simple wax candle) — pre-treat your skins ahead of time and bring extra skin wax. Spray-on wax (e.g. mountainFLOW eco-Wax Skin Wax) is a great idea too for field treatments.
- Ski crampons (mandatory)
- Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup
- Ski helmet
- Ski scraper
- Pack (30-40 litres)
- Sunglasses (both orange and dark lenses help a lot for travel in all conditions)
- Goggles (orange lenses)
- Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
- Head lamp with good batteries
- Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
- Lunch bag or container
- Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed, blister pads). Be sure to pre-tape problem spots on your feet with Leukotape, prevention is the best medicine!
- Tincture of Benzoin (see this how-to for an explanation) or a medical product by 3M called Cavilon — these products help the Leukotape stick for the whole week if necessary.
- Pocket knife (optional)
- Camera (optional)
- Binoculars (optional)
- Utility cord for hanging stuff to dry (helps if you want to hang personal items in your cabin)
- Harness – fitted for over your ski clothing
- Locking carabiners (x2)
- Non-locking carabiners (x2)
- Prussik cord – 5m x 6mm (optional)
- Sewn sling – 120cm (optional)
- Lightweight ice axe (optional, don’t bring if you don’t have one or don’t like steep skiing)
at seiland house
- Duffle bag for clothes and gear is better than a suitcase or roller bag
- Micro-spikes — especially the early season (late April / early May) trips as melt-freeze cycles can create very slippery conditions in the town
- High rubber boots for entering/exiting the motorboat (optional; the vast majority of exits/entries do not require this and we can always get by without)
- Comfortable clothing
- Personal medications and toiletries
- Ear plugs
- Reading material
- Chargers & adapters for electronic devices (normal AC power is available as 220V Euro plug)
- Norwegian cash in NOK or Euros to pay for your beer tab, souvenirs, and tips/gratuities (for both guiding staff and boat crew)
Note the following:
- Beer and wine are available to purchase at Seiland House at a reasonable price.
- Pillows, duvets, bed linen and towels supplied at the lodge
Group Gear (supplied by the guides)
- Map and compass
- Snow study kit
- Snow and/or bush saw
- First aid kit
- Emergency tarp
- Emergency toboggan
- Group repair kit
- Radio & satellite phone
- Ropes for glacier travel
April is the month for Northern Norway Ski and Sail trips. The temperatures are mild and stable, with lows typically around -5°C and highs around +2°C. The snowpack is typically stable and skiing of the spring corn variety for the most part, although often Arctic Pow can be found on the steep norths.
This is categorized as a Classic Pace trip.
- Day trips boat-based
- Peaks between 700m – 1200m asl
- Up to 1500 m climbs / descents / day
- Glaciated terrain
- Often variable snow conditions
Our Trip Ratings Page outlines more specifically how we rate our trips.
What is included with the trip fee?
Included: Please see Seiland House website for details re lodge stay. All meals are included. Motor boat access to ski terrain. Mountain guide and boat services.
Not included: Flights to Norway; alcoholic beverages; Ski touring and mountaineering equipment; Personal insurance for accidents, medical, cancellation and baggage; and everything not written in “what’s included”
“Will we get a chance to take photos of Polar Bears?” / or: “Will we be attacked by Polar Bears?”
The answer to both questions is “No”. Our itinerary is far from the polar bear’s classic habitat, which is on the pack ice far to the north, e.g. Svalbard.
Will we see the Aurora Borealis?
Mid April is the end of northern lights season, so it’s possible but not as likely as during the winter months.
Our standard booking conditions apply. Please read our Payment and Booking Conditions page carefully.
DATES AND PRICING:
Monday April 17 to Monday April 24, 2023 $3450 CAD p.p. (About $2,655 USD / €2,419 / £2,135)
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: 60% payment secures your booking; 100% due February 1, 2023
INCLUDED: 7 nights lodging, full board, guiding. See description for full details.
NOT INCLUDED: Air travel, alcoholic beverages, hotel in Oslo en route, gratuities.