Norway, thanks to an excellent snow cover due to her northern latitude, and to a winter climate softened by the Gulf Stream, offers many good mountain ranges for classic ski touring, with nights in mountain huts. But, thanks to the multiplicity of fjords of her coasts, navigation is the fastest way to have access to the most beautiful slopes, avoiding any tiring travel.
Sail and ski, or ski and sail, has been created in Norway around 15 years ago. A comfortable 65 feet aluminium yacht, "Paradise", welcomes a skipper, a crew member, a Mountain Guide and 7 or 8 skiers in Tromso harbor. This floating base camp, comfortable and efficient even when the sea is heavy, is equipped with all the required equipments: radars, fixed and mobiles radios, two GPS, fax, generator, outboard motors, dinghy.
"Paradise" will be your open sea hut, as it has been especially equipped for navigation in polar areas: central heating, cabins with 2 or 3 personal berths, hot shower (to use in moderation as the stocks of fresh water are limited), 2 toilets, a wide kitchen-room and a small living room to relax after skiing. Regarded as a crew member, you will give a hand for life on board, being on watch and taking part in the manoeuvre, following the skipper's advices. You will also give a hand to prepare meals and to do the washing-up.
Each morning, the yacht's dinghy will drop you on the shore of one of the thousands of islands or fjords of Norway coastline, on a little beach covered with birchs. From there, going up in ski touring, you will climb the slopes of Ullstinden (1093 meters), Blatinden (1142 meters), Uloytinden (1114 meters), Kjelvagtinden (1164 meters), Storgalten (1219 meters), Arnöya (1050 meters), Stein-Fjellet (797 meters) or Björnskard (703 meters), ascending a side of the peak, and skiing down another side to meet there your yacht, which during your ski tour has sailed around the island or to another fjord to pick you up with its dinghy at the end of your descent.
As these sites are rarely frequented by skiers, blank tracks descents are usual. The atmosphere is fantastic, with sceneries where sea and snow flow into each other, offering some blissfully happy moments. Group of 7 or 8 skiers, with a French mountain guide, expert of sail and ski in Norway, speaking fluently English, with a near-native comprehension.
Day 1: After your flight, you will meet your guide by Tromso airport, in the Arrivals hall. Transfer in taxi or bus from airport to Tromso harbor. Boarding in "Paradise" where you are welcomed by the skipper. Night on board, by the harbor.
Day 2: Ullstinden (3586 feet above sea level). At dawn, the yacht goes under way to Lyngen Alps. After 3 hours sailing, we anchor at Snarbybukta anchoring. A short transfer in the dinghy brings us on the beach, surrounded by silver birchs. Ascent in ski touring in a beautiful wooded small valley, then trough coombs till the final ridge which leads us to Ullstinden Peak (meaning the "Wolf peak") 3586 feet.
During our ascent, the yacht has moved to Oldervik anchoring on the other side of the island. We ski down on the South face, till a shingle beach, where the dinghy will pick us. Short sailing till Sandneset anchoring where we will spend the night. Duration of the stage is 4 to 5 hours. Difference of level is 3586 feet up, 3586 feet down.
Day 3: Uloyä Island summits, crossing from North to South. Very early in the morning, we go under way to Uloybukta, on the North-East shore of Uloya island. Transfer in the dinghy. Ascent in a steep forest then through alps till a small pass height 2600 feet. Fantastic panorama on islands, fjords and mountains in all directions. A short and steep ascent will be made walking, before to ski up the nice ridge leading to Blatinden (3747 feet), Uloytinden (3655 feet) and Kjelvagtinden (3819 feet). We ski down just before sunset on a huge spur till Haynnes anchoring, where we will spend the night. Duration of the stage is 5 to 6 hours. Difference of level is 3937 feet up, 3937 feet down.
Day 4: Crossing Storgalten from East to West. After a short sailing to Skipperneset beach we climb up through the alps and lakes of Gammvikdalen slope, till the summit dome named Storgalten 3999 feet. We ski down on its West slope till the shore. Short transfer to Sandneset anchoring, where we spend a second night. Duration of the stage is 5 hours. Difference of level is 3999 feet up, 3999 feet down.
Day 5: Arnoya. Short sailing to Neset harbor. Easy ascent of Arnoya 3445 feet where stands a television relay station. The summit dome offers an astonishing view on North Atlantic. We ski down the ascent route till Neset. Boarding and night on board. Duration of the stage is 3 to 4 hours. Difference of level is 3445 feet up, 3445 feet down.
Day 6: Crossing Renoya Island from East to South. Short sailing to Soreidet anchoring. Up through the small valleys of Soreiddalen and Grotnesdalen, we come up to Stein-Fjellet 2615 feet. We ski down the South slope of the peak, between small rock faces, till our floating hotel, "Paradise". Duration of the stage is 4 hours. Difference of level is 2615 feet up, 2615 feet down.
Day 7: Bjornskard. Short sailing to the starting point of this ascent. The track goes on a frozen lake, then up through a wooded cirque and a long ridge with cornices, till Bjornskard peak 2306 feet. A final steep descent will end this technically quite difficult day. Sailing to Tromso. Night on board, by the harbor. Duration of the stage is 4 hours. Difference of level is 2306 feet up, 2306 feet down.
Day 8: After breakfast, we disembark, and we catch a taxi for Tromso airport. Flight back home.
Note: Your mountain guide will do everything possible to make this tour being a success. But, in Lyngen Alps, like in all mountains, exceptional risks may exist: storms, avalanches. Your guide, responsible for your life, may change the program of this tour for your safety.
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