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.
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.
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.
Skins need to be in good condition and cut to fit your ski.
Boots need to be compatible with your bindings. Boots must have a walk mode.
Ski Crampons must be compatible with you bindings and ski waist width.
We highly recommend aluminum crampons. Make sure they work with your ski boots.
Harness must fit over ski clothing, be light weight and in good condition. You should also have 2 locking carabiners and a belay device.
Ice Axe needs to be light weight and short (Less than 55cm).
A good ski pack should be light weight and have a dedicated pocket for your avalanche rescue gear and be between 35-50 liters.
Your beacon should be a modern digital beacon. Come with new batteries in your beacon.
While we don’t require you to ski with a helmet we do highly recommend it.
Light or medium weight beanie.
We recommend a lightweight buff as it has many uses.
We really like goggles with changeable lenses for use in bright and low light. They should also be compatible with your helmet.
Even if you always prefer to ski in goggles, sun glasses are needed for the up. Goggles will get fogged with sweat.
How warm depends on you. We recommend a durable well fitting ski glove.
Lighter weight gloves are recommended for hiking up to reduce sweating.
Waterproof/breathable jacket with ventilation.
Breathable light insulating jacket.
When temps are cold, you will be happy for a nice warm jacket.
We really like sun hoodies.
We prefer light weight socks.
50 SPF or greater. Make sure your tube is not old as sunscreen can lose it’s effectiveness over time.
Make sure it has SPF.
This should contain blister repair material, over the counter pain killers and a few bandaids. We will have a full sized med kit on the boat as well as field kits with the guides.
10 days / 10 nights (May 13-23, 2020)
Ideally you should arrive the evening before the the scheduled start day. We recommend the Radisson Blu Polar. Although it is not mandatory to arrive the day before the start date, it does give a bit of a buffer incase luggage or flights are delayed.
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.
Boat living, all meals, scenery and 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 Tromso so we cannot guarantee you will make an early flight.
You may also be interested in: Sail to Ski Lyngen Alps
Sail to Ski Svalbard Pricing: $7,800 per person. Contact us for group pricing.