Spring ski trip across Hardangervidda
What about crossing the largest plateau of Northern Europe? Hardangervidda reach out for the stars between Oslo and Bergen, and springtime in Norway is such a great time of the year to enjoy the outdoors on skies. April means more sun and bright nights, with reasonable temperature and perfect conditions with lots of snow.
Apart from the scenery, challenge and once in a lifetime experiences, we aim at teaching you the basic routines of sled pulling and camping in the snow. This weeklong ski trip with sleds and skis across the Hardangervidda plateau is a trip you can join if you don’t feel like being away for too long but still want to get a feel for how its done on bigger trips. It’s not a very strenuous trip, but long enough for a good re-set and rewind of your mind and body that will boost your energy level.
Food and equipment
Joining a trip to the cold world, being outdoors for many days in a row, sleeping in a tent, skiing for about 8 hours on an average a day, still being able to keep up the pace, spirit, motivation, strength and also being able to enjoy it, obviously requires some attention to equipment.
Once you sign up for one of our trips, we will send you the complete and detailed equipmentlist that explains thoroughly what you need for the specific trip, why and how to use the equipment.
One of the main reasons we have had great success on our many trips, is because we supply the essential equipment that is not easy (nor practical) for you to get yourself. These items are essential in getting you through the day in a good way and ensure that you have a safe and trustworthy experience.
The equipment you need to get yourself might look like a lot, but this is usually items people will already have or could borrow from friends. You might have to buy some of it, but we will help you choosing the right equipment and all this will be discussed in detail with each and one of you. Then you should have a good set of usable equipment that you will be able to enjoy for many future trips as well.
The weight of the sled will depend on which trip you are going on as fuel and food adds up for each day with about 1,3 kilos. Some trips also require special equipment like climbing gear, polar bear protection, waterproof bags, etc. Sometimes we have to carry our stuff in backpacks to reach the glacier or good skiing ground, but we do not load to more than max 30 kilos, it is better to go two times.
On an average we can say that a sled weigh as follows:
- North Pole Last Degree 40 kg
- North Pole Full Length (with/without supplies) 75 kg /110 kilos
- South Pole Last Degree 40 kg
- Patagonia, Northern Icecap, 50 kg
- Greenland Spring 52 kg
- Greenland Fall 55 kg
- Svalbard – Nordaustlandet 40 kg
- Svalbard – Spisbergen crossing 40 kg
- Hardangervidda 25 Kg
- Finnmarksvidda 25 kg
- South Georgia 35 kg
To best prepare for pulling the sled and carrying in backpacks, refer to the training and preparations info. This topic will also be covered more into detail once you have signed up. If you are curious and want some more info either way, let us know.
We provide nutritious expedition food for each participant for all the days skiing. It will be enough calories for the trip, but if you feel like having some extra snacks, please feel free to bring it.
There will always be personal choices. We provide several types of freeze-dried dinners, and lunch with a mix of what you like best. Our selection of food to choose from is based on long experience where energy, taste and also preparation are key factors. We have limited time for breaks during the day, about 12-15 minutes at normally every 1,5 hours intervals.
Our normal day-to-day diet:
Børge’s homemade enriched oatmeal/porridge mix.
Choice of: Fruit soup or energy drink for hot water. Compressed biscuits rations and/or Flapjack (oatmeal cakes).
And/or potatochips, nuts and dried fruit.100-150 g chocolate per day. About 100 g piece of dried meat.
Choise of freeze dried dinners. Our partner for dinner is Real Turmat www.real.no. Instant soup, hot chocolate, coffee or tea as you wish.
All the food will be packed by you in daily rations and stored in bags provided by us prior to departure. There is always a day or so with packing and organizing before we start the trip. You will carry your own food and be responsible for it during the expedition.
Food- allergies or intolerances:
If you have any food- intolerances or allergies, we will together with you (and possibly with your doctor) advice the different ingredients you need to ensure the best nutrition but which is adapted to the diet you follow. You should test this beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the way.
If you need to be on a special diet, we recommend that you yourself prepare most of your food at home before we leave, so that you are sure to get what you need. It will in most cases be a possibility to ship the food to the destination beforehand together with the rest of the equipment.
Please let us know if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.
Day by day
Day 1 – Saturday 15th of April – From Oslo to Haukeliseter by bus
We take the 01.40 pm Haukeliekspressen bus from Oslo bus terminal (Oslo S) and spent the whole afternoon traveling and enjoying the beautiful countryside of Norway. We arrive in Haukeliseter at 07.15pm and continue few kilometres until the bus drop us off at Haukeli Fjellstue where we spend the night in cosy mountain cabins. Here we finalize our equipment and get ready for the next day. Then it’s time to enjoy a warm dinner!
Day 2- Sunday – Start of the trip. From Haukeli fjellstue to Hellevasbu skiing and pulling sleds.
The good thing about starting in Haukeli Fjellstue is that we can get on our skies straight away. The plan for the day is to ski 18 kilometres – and establish our first camp in between Simletind (1511m) mountain and the lake of Hellevatnet.
Day 3 – Monday -From Hellevasbu to Litlos
16 kilometres separate Hellevasbu to Litlos. The itinerary may vary day to day depending of the strength of our team and of the will of Mother Nature. In case of bad weather, we either head to the North West towards the lake of Litlosvatnet (6hours), or we ski up North for 7-8 hours and set the camp somewhere in the middle of the Hardangervidda plateau.
Day 4 – Tuesday – From Litlos to Sandhaug
We have 25 kilometres ahead of us today! A beautiful day of skiing where we progressively leave the mountains behind us and enter a flatter part of the plateau by the end of the day when we reach Sandhaug. Nansen and Amundsen used to train near Sandhaug before going on their own expeditions.
Day 5 – Wednesday - From Sandhaug to Kjeldebu
What about making a record day and setting the counter above 30 kilometres? We are now on a flatter area of Hardangervidda, the option to ski all the way to Kjeldebu is arguably possible if we feel good. By the end of the day, we go down for about 6 kilometres and have the chance to admire the ice of Hardangerjøkulen glacier. This is normally our last night camping out!
Day 6 – Thursday – From Kjeldebu to Finse -
Entering the mountains again, we get around the glaciers before heading north. 9 hours and 26 kilometres will take us to the village of Finse. We ski all the way to the Hotel Finse 1222m. It is time to enjoy a well deserved meal, toast the adventure and plan the futur projects !
(Day 7 – Friday - extra day in case of weather)
Day 7 (or day 8) – Friday (or Saturday) – From Finse to Oslo by train
After the breakfast, we pack our gear. The train stops right in front of the hotel so we don’t need to travel far with the equipment. From here, we then travel for 4 hours back to Oslo main train station (Oslo S). We get there 1445, which normally will be enough time to reach your connection back home, unless you prefer to see more of Oslo. We can recommend the Fram, Viking, Kon-Tiki and the ski museum.
NB : either we ski from Haukeli to Finse or the opposite way depending on the weather forecast (mainly wind direction).
Located in the Southern Norway, Hardangervidda stretches out more than 100 km in all directions. The whole trip is above the tree line, with quite some variety with rocky terrain on the west side, as it drops down thousand metres to the fjords, and flatter areas to the east. It is a good combination with up and down hills, crossing numerous of frozen lakes, rivers and streams.
Distance to be covered is about 120 km and should take us about 6 days. Nights are spent in tents, and we will be pulling sleds. This trip could be used as training trip if you have bigger targets in mind, or just for the personal experience. We will focus on teaching navigation, camp routines, equipment and all the small little details that is needed for safe and comfortable travels on snow. Due to an average elevation of 1100 meters on this wide-open plateau, the alpine climate can at times be challenging. Even in springtime, the wind can play us some tricks and we need to be prepared for all eventualities.
This trip will be as a mini Greenland crossing. Its not very strenuous trip but we will be skiing 8-9 hours a day including breaks, pulling an approx. 25 kilo heavy sled, and you should be in reasonable good shape before showing up. Please read our training chapter for advice and also the equipment list carefully. If in doubt contact us. Its better that you contact us two times too much than not. We are here to help if you have any questions or concerns.
Training and preparing
Some words about training and preparing
Many wonder how to prepare physically for a polar expedition. This will vary from trip to trip and also for each individual. We will therefore provide individual training programs and advice for each participant if needed.
In general we expect people to be able to carry a 20 kg backpack for 8 hours for several days on a row. Most trips involves pulling sleds, so carry a back pack like this is just an example since it is easier to relate to. Actual training can and will consist of various methods, and it also depends which trip you have signed up for.
Training and physical preparation for these trips typically consist of at least 3 training sessions a week for at least one hour each. Gradually this should be increased to 4 sessions a week, three months before departure, including one or two longer sessions lasting for more than two hours.
A combination of cycling, jogging, workout in the gym, walking with backpack or pulling rubber tyres is what we recommend. Its not where you do it that matters, but that you do it. Remember that a cycling session in the gym or a hard work out on the walking machine can be equally as efficient as a session outdoors.
There are two main issues with specific training. One is the physical shape needed to endure the trip you have signed up for and secondly to make your muscles, tendons and ligaments, basically the whole body, prepared for the load on the way. Not to forget the third reason, that physical training in general is very positive, something you will benefit from after the expedition as well. So, its only one thing to do when the goal is set, start training!
Note: Be careful in the beginning, start at a level you feel comfortable with and increase gradually. If you start out too hard you might experience overtraining and injuries. Consult a doctor or physician if you experience injuries. Don’t forget to stretch out well after each session. Eating well and healthy will also help preparing your body for the upcoming adventure. The trips are not super hard, but you will enjoy it more when you have done your homework and taken training and preparation serious.
You can read Borges recipe and training program for his big trips here, there might be a few useful tips for you as well!
As part of the preparations, we organize a weekend of training in Verdal, Norway late in late January or early February. The aim is to go through the basic skills for winter survival in order to be as well prepared as possible. We go through all the equipment and routines. During this training weekend we also get to know each other a bit beforehand, as becoming a team is an important part of the whole concept. We also open for one-on-one talks with those who would like to get some personal advise.
Joining the training weekend is free of charge.
We will cover most of the basic equipment, some food, tents etc, except personal equipment like clothes ski boots etc. This is also a great time to go to the sport shop, since some of the equipment needed for trips like this can be hard to find outside Norway. We can assist you with this as well.
You need to cover your flight tickets coming here, food and lodging before and after the training outdoors (if any, as the nights mainly will be spent in tents outdoors).
The training is voluntarily but highly recommended. This will help you and us to evaluate your assumptions and to put focus on the key points for further exercise and practice
More info on the training trip will be distributed when signing up for one of our trips.
Rates, dates and booking
We are going to Hardangervidda both in 2018 and 2019. Contact us for more details or if you have any questions, or complete the booking if you know which year you can go.
The Price & Invoice:
The price is 11.900,- NOK. If you book one of our other regular "long" trips (Greenland, NP, Patagonia, etc) the price is reduced to NOK 9.500,- (These are 2016 prices with possible change for 2017). And we offer a 10% discount for our returning customers on any other trip.
To be paid in full 90 days before departure. Refunding / pulling out clauses are dealt with in our Travel Conditions.
The price includes: Food while on the trip, rigged sledges, tents and camp equipment, stoves, pots and fuel, navigation tools, emergency beacon and Iridium phone. Guide & advice. The guide for the 2017 trip will be Vincent Colliard.
The price does not include: flights to Norway, HaukeliEkspressen bus from Oslo to Haukeli, train between Finse and Oslo. Food and shelter before and after start (we normally stay in Haukeli Fjellstue and in Finse 1222 Hotel, but you are free to choose accommodation of your liking, for instance if you prefer staying in the tent). Personal equipment like underwear, jacket, pants, hoods and mittens, sleeping bag and mattress, personal bags and ski boots. Insurance. We recommend travel- and cancellation insurance. Most people prefer to bring your own skis and ski poles, but we can help you with this if needed, if our binding system corresponds with your skiboots.
The Deposit: When booking this trip we will send you a Deposit Invoice of 3.000,- NOK. The system works as follows: your Booking Form will give you a place in the ‘queue’ and your place is secured when we have received the deposit. This means you are in and the trip is on! The deposit is refundable according to our Travel Conditions, depending on when you change your mind.
Booking - How to proceed
- If this is something for you, - send us the booking for your desired trip and your place is reserved. This will be kept for you until you have paid the deposit invoice. Then your place is guaranteed until the remaining amount is due.
- You will then receive our expedition-booklet that gives you more information about the trip, insurances, safety, personal training tips towards the trip, as well as info on the training in Oslo (for more info, refer to the training and preparations menu)
- We will also supply you with the complete equipmentlist and work with you to ensure that you know what is needed and included from both your- and our side.
- Personal information-form. By signing up on a trip, we need you to fill in a form for our records regarding health issues, your recent outdoor experiences- and background, passport- and insurance info as well as next-of-kin details.
- The invoice for the remaining amount will be sent to you about 3 months prior to departure (for some destinations the due-dates might be more than 90 days prior to departure. After full payment have been settled, you are guaranteed to get your place for your desired trip. You still have the right to cancel at this point, but depending on how close we are to the departure, some of our basic costs will have to be deducted from the deposit. (For more details on this refer to our terms & conditions)
|Price:||From 9500 NOK / 1150 €|
|Sheduled for:||2018, 2019, 2020|
|Participants:||7 maximum, plus guide. Fully booked on 2017|