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Sail-to-Ski Expedition - Svalbard, Norway
Our trip begins in the town of Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen in the archipelago of Svalbard, which is part of Norway. Svalbard sits between 74 and 81 degrees north, about half way between the mainland and the North Pole. The 60 percent of entire landmass of Svalbard is covered in ice, the landscape punctuated by 5,000 foot mountains and deep icy fjords. This is a truly remote and wild part of the world. Home to lots of wildlife including polar bear, walrus and the blue whale. This majestic setting will be our playground for 10 days of world-class skiing.
THE SKIING AT SVALBARD
Each day we begin our ski day by climbing in the zodiac and heading to shore. We spend most of our time along the stunningly picturesque and remote west coast line of the island of Spitsbergen. Once ashore, we will put skins on our skis, clip in and begin to hike. You can expect 6-8 hour days with 3-7 thousand vert of ascent. Of course what goes up, must come down… and your efforts will be reward with breathtaking views, wild ski terrain and with any luck a whole lot of powder turns. This is backcountry skiing and ski mountaineer like you’ve never had before.
LOW CLIENT:GUIDE RATIOS
Because this place is so remote, wild and the weather can change at anytime, we also staff the trip with 2 IFMGA guides. Furthermore, because it is alway possible to encounter a polar bear while skiing, the guide will always carry a gun..not to shoot the bear necessary, but more to try to scare it off. We have yet to discharge one of our guns, but we must be prepared should we encounter a polar bear too close.
Average temperatures range between 22 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and in May the sun never really goes down. We’ll try to keep on a normal schedule, but sometimes weather and travel nudge us to switch it up a bit. No biggie though, were in the land of mid night sun, and skiing down a couloir with the sea below at 2am in the Arctic makes for good stories.
THE NORWAY SAIL & SKI EXPERIENCE
Basing on a boat is a great way to enjoy a ski vacation. We have no commute. We wake up every morning only minutes from clipping into our skis. At the end of the day, we step on the boat to Apres Ski with all our friends as we motor to our next destination.
Our hosts, Nick and Estella are also a big part of the experience. The SkyDancer is their home, and aboard we are invited into their world. All the meals are outstanding and plentiful. Dinner is served family-style, and always plentiful and tasty. Breakfast is more buffet style, so we can all eat when we choose as we prepare for our day. Lunch is sandwiches and other snacks the each of us will choose and put together on our own from leftover breakfast and other goodies Estella sets out for us.
THE BOAT - Ulla Rinman
Ulla Rinman was built in 1970 as rescue vessel for the Swedish Rescue Society and had been in service for 35 years. It was built with an ice class for rescue missions in the frozen Baltic Sea during winter time. In 2005 Ulla Rinman was sold to a private owner, who refitted the vessel completely.
Since 2009 the vessel is registered in Longyearbyen (Svalbard) and has been used as charter vessel for research and touristic expeditions, as well as logistic vessel for photo & film productions.
In 2019 Ulla Rinman (Ulla Arctic AS) has been taken over by the Norlengs GmbH, Germany. The ship has a strengthened bow, an ice propeller and a strong hydraulic bow thruster which provides a save navigation through pack ice. In addition, the pitch propeller gives a great benefit while towing equipment.
The bridge contains, besides navigational equipment necessary for navigator and skipper, a seating area for 6-8 people. In addition, there is plenty of space for 4-5 people (standing). From the bridge you have access to the bridge deck and sky deck.
BRIDGE DECK AND SKY DECK
The bridge deck is equipped with different rescue gear, a 19ft rubber dinghy equipped with a 50hp outboard engine and a hydraulic crane with winch SWL 0,7t/4m. The sky deck (above the bridge) is a very suitable viewing platform of approximately 10m2
The galley is located on the main deck. It is equipped with all necessary facilities like fridge, freezer, oven with 4 hot plates, coffee machine and dishwasher. Next to the galley you will find the dining area where 6-7 people can be dining at a time. Entering from the aft deck you come into the dryroom equipped with a washing machine, a dryer, a work bench for processing samples and a sink. An extra toilet is located next to the dry room.
In the front compartment there are a total of three cabins with accommodation for 7 passengers/crew (2+2+3 banks). In the front, there is also a loungefor 6-10 people for dining and/or workspace (briefing) with 90inch TV and whiteboard. In the aft compartment there are two cabins with two bunkbeds and one cabin with 4 bunkbeds for passengers/crew (2+2+4 banks).
Ready to Join?
Space is limited, to request a spot for trip starting May 3, please click the "Book Now" to make your reservaation or send us a message for larger group sizes, different dates, or to ask any questions.
SAIL-TO-SKI SVALBARD ITINERARY
Date : May 3, 2024
Upon Arrival in Longyearbyen, a bus will take you directly to the public docks, where the Ulla Rinman will be waiting for you to board. Longyearbyen is a small village with limited services and hours of operation. If you need any supplies for the trip, coordinate with us so that we make the proper arrangements.
Transport to Sailboat
Move into your room, organize gear, briefing and dinner. Plan on moving onto the boat between 10 and 1pm. You should plan on using the morning to buy alcohol, specialty items or any last minute needs.
Day 2 - 10
Backcountry Skiing + Ski mountaineering
Boat living, high adventure skiing, hardy gormet meals, unreal scenery and wildlife. Good times with friends new and old.
Don’t plan on leaving until late afternoon or evening. We do not spend our last night in Longyearbyen so we cannot guarantee you will make an early flight.
Norway Skiing Gear List
- 2 IFMGA/AMGA certified Mountain Guides
- Ship Captain and Chef/Deckhand
- 7 nights accommodations on SkyDancer
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner during trip
- Towels and bedding
- Memories to last a life time
- Flight to and from Tromso
- Hotels before or after the trip
- Personal Insurance
- April 29th - May 6th
- May 27th - June 3rd
- Custom dates may be available, contact us for more information
- $7,800 per person
- Group rates may be available, contact us for more information