To the summit of Newtontoppen, Spitsbergen
The highest mountain on Svalbard is Newton peak, 1713 meters high, in the heart of Atomfjella.
Usually this trip is done in the spring, but our experience is that August is one of the best months for it. The wet snow in the lower parts are gone, weather is generally good, there is still midnight sun and transport in and out to the glacier system is much faster since you can use a boat.
In August 2014 we skied from Verlegenhuken and down to the Vonpost glacier. Along the way we climbed the Newton peak. It was literally the highlight of the trip. The journey towards the coast, over the big glacier systems between Von post glacier and the summit, was an equally great experience.
Apart from the boat trip, and some use of crampons at the start, it is a pure ski trip. We are constantly on glacier, camp sites are all on snow and even up to the summit we can use skis. Crevasses are easily visible and if there is any doubt about the conditions we go roped up. On Svalbard it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful ski trip or a better season to ascend the Newton peak on than this!
Food and equipment
Once booked and confirmed we will send a detailed equipment list, together with expedition booklet.
Day by day
We have arrived at Longyearbyen the same afternoon, (or the previous day if you want) and use the rest of this day to pack provisions and equipment. Any missing parts can be bought in the local sports store. Boat trip, route and overall trip are covered in detail.
Day 2. 15th August
An early rise is the first commandment for the one who will reach the top, said the poet Kristoffer Randers. The same shall we do, we want to get away from the coast and up the glacier first day. The boat ride is no more than a couple of hours, (56 km) and after we have off loaded, we begin to carry our equipment up towards the glacier. Since the Vonpost glacier has retreated far back in the past decades, there are a couple of kilometers to carry before we reach the glacier. Some smaller meltwater rivers must also be expected. The zone near the water is exposed to polar bears, and we want to get out of this and onto the glacier the first day.
This day is used to wrestle with ice, it is not directly crevasses, but because of the previous melting and runoff from the glacier the ice very uneven in the lower parts. We still try to get all the gear in the sled with us in one go. We strap on crampons and start pulling.
Past the Hampus mountain and up Potpesniggbreen. Perhaps we reach snow this day already. Glaciers meet and there is a dramatic and breathtaking terrain.
Now it's good snow, and well ski past the Malte Brunfjell mountains and across the vast glacier system, Lomonosovfonna. This eventually goes into the Veteran glacier, where we must turn upwards towards the Newton peak.
The Newton peak. We leave the sleds at the bottom of the hill and take only a daypack for the last strech, as well as ropes and safety equipment.
Day 9- (10) 11
Return, but not the same way. To get some variety and to experience the most of what this icy world can offer, we take a different route back. Large gentle slopes characterize the terrain here in the central parts of the glacier system, which is one of the twenty largest ice caps in the world. We ski down Aleksandrbreen, which merge with Rembebreen, and from there onto our initial route past the Hampus mountain. This is a gently sloping and fine ski area and we do not expect to use as much time on the way back.
Day (11) 12
We wrestle our way down to the coast again, same place as we were dropped off.
Day (12) 13
Pickup with fast boat at the Von Post glacier and back to Longyearbyen.
This program is conservative. Probably we will use somewhat shorter time than this, or that there be more summits in the area to concider, if time and weather permits.
Apart from the boat trip, and some use of crampons at the start, it is a pure ski trip. We are constantly on glacier, camp sites is on snow and even up to the summit we can use skis. Any crevasses are easily visible and if there is doubt about the conditions we go roped up. On Svalbard it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful ski trip or a better season to ascend the Newton peak on than this!
The route. The ski trip to & return VonPost glacier is 185 km. The boat trip is 56 km.
The guide: Vince Colliard, born 1986 in France, is the youngest in our team of excellent guides, but with already considerable amount of experience. Here is a bit of what he has been doing: Made this trip in 2014, two crossings of Nordaustlandet, Stikine glacier in Alaska with Borge last year, the Patagonia Icecap, in addition to some other tours. Clever and very nice guy!
Training and preparing
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 carry a 20 kg backpack for 8 hours for several days on a row. That’s a physical exercise that is easy to measure, but actual training can and will consist of various methods.
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.
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.
We also do a extended training trip: The Finnmarksvidda Crossing
Every February for 5 days and 4 nights around the time of full-moon.
Finnmarksvidda is in Northern parts of Norway, above the Arctic Circle. This trip is a great way to train and learn the ropes of basic winter survival. It is a 5 day mini expedition that is relevant, cold and stunning as we very often have the Northern lights at night. Timed with the full February moon we normally have enough natural light for skiing as well.
The Finnmark trip is one of our regular trips (refer to the complete overview for all trips) but if you already are booked on any of our other trips, you will receive a discount.
Rates, dates and booking
The Price & Invoice:
The price is 29.000,- NOK. for 2016, might change in the future
To be paid in full 90 days before departure, (minus the deposit). 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 of ocurse, and solving all your questions along the process.
The price does not include: Flight to Longyearbyen or back. Meals or lodging before or after the trip before start. Personal equipment like underwear, jacket, pants, hoods and mittens. Sleeping bag and mattress, personal bags, skis and boots. Plus travel- and cancellation insurance.
The Deposit: We will send you a Deposit Invoice of 5.000,- NOK at the time you make your booking. The system works as follows: Your Booking Form will give you a place in the ‘queue’. But it is not binding in any way. It only gets serious when you receive and pay a Deposit Invoice. This is refundable according to our Travel Conditions. But this means you are in and the trip is on!
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)
|Duration:||14 days. Date is NOT confirmed|
|Sheduled for:||2017, 2018|
|Participants:||5 plus guide|