The Northwest Passage. Across the sea ice from Cambridge Bay to Gjoa Haven

  • Is this the ultimate mix of historic and Polar travel? very possibly so !

    Join us for this unique 400km trek along the route that propelled Roald Amundsen for fame. Explorers had for centuries tried to find the sea way between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean with horrible consequences. So, when Amundsen on the small vessel ‘Gjøa’ made it through in 1906 it was world news.

    Now we invite you to experience this beauty of a landscape first hand. We are doing the stretch that has it all: Thundra, packice, pressureridges, polar history, Inuit culture and beautiful people.  From Cambridge Bay to Goa Haven.

    And how do we know? Ousland Polar Exploration’s own Bengt Rotmo was one of the first to ski the whole North West passage! So we do know the beauty of this land from the eyes of a polar explorer.

  • Food and equipment

    Once booked and confirmed we will send a detailed equipment list, together with expedition booklet.

  • Day by day

    We will start the trip from Cambridge Bay, although depending on logistics the trip might be on the opposite direction. The first days on ice we familiarize to the challenge and settle into a good routine. We learn, adapt and adjust, in order to make our experience as good as possible. The following day we will walk trough a valley before we enter the sea ice and make our way towards Jenny Lind island. This will be a nice celebration point before we move back to the sea ice and prepare to navigate trough the pressure ridges. We can expect at least 3 days with pressure ridges, maybe more, we really never know before we are in it.

    The following days we ski ever closer to Gjoa Haven. These will be long days, but we can ensure you that on the ice, time flies. To challenge the ice is like a huge game of chess – and we are up against Mother Earth herself. She is a cunning player and we will meet her many challenges along the way. It will enjoyable, frustrating and rewarding. The evenings in our comfortable tent are social, with good food and chats. After long days of skiing and so many impressions, you will sleep like a baby.

  • Expedition details

    We start out in Cambridge Bay, a small village of 1600 in the Nunavut territory in Canada. You may have heard of this place recently, as this summer another of Roald Amundsen’s polar ships, ‘Maud’ was rescued from the bottom of the harbor, to be brought back to Norway.

    We, on the other hand, ski with our sledges in bright, cold polar air. On the way we follow the sea ice, cross Jenny Lind Island, traverse real pressure ridges like those you find on the North Pole, before entering King William Island and the last bit on tundra in to Goa Haven. This is the place Amundsen and his men spent two years frozen in the ice on the way trough the passage.

    Along the way we encounter lots of different terrain, maybe caribous, muskox and Arctic foxes. It is a journey where the cold, the sea ice, the animals, the history and the locals make an impression for life.

    This trip is a perfect alternative to the North Pole if you don’t have the money for the last degree trip and your reason for traveling is to be in a polar environment.

  • 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.

    Related article: The fine art of pulling rubber tyres

    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.


    WHEN: mid January (6 places) - other weekend if necessary

    WHERE: Pick up is planned at Trondheim Airport Vaernes on Friday around 17:30, back at the Airport around 15:00 on Sunday.

    COST: 950 Nok/person. Maximum 6 person per weekend.

    As part of the preparations, we organize a series of training weekends in the Verdal area, Norway, close to Trondheim, late in 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 has a low cost, basically what we will expend ourselves.

    We will cover all of the basic equipment, breakfast and dinner, pulkas, tents, etc, but not the personal equipment (clothes, skis, poles, boots, sleeping bag and mattress) 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 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 6 days and 5 nights around the time of full-moon when possible.

    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. If 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

    Dates for 2020: still 2 places left

    Meeting in Cambridge Bay latest on 26th April April, 1-2 days packing before heading out on the field on the 18th April.  Moving towards Cambridge bay where arrival is planned for the 18th May, you can fly out the 19th

    Price 2020 - 48.500 NOK

    Price 2021:  will change for 2021,  but not sure how much yet

    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 course, and solving all your questions along the process.

    The price does not include: Flight to Cambridge Bay, and back to civilization. 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.  Travel- and cancellation insurance is not included, but SAR would be on Canadian Police side so we are well covered

    The Deposit: We will send you a Deposit Invoice of  8.000 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 the deposit invoice.  This means your place on the trip is guaranteed and you are on the team ! Please note this deposit is non refundable in case of cancellation.


    Booking - How to proceed

    1. 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.
    2. You will then receive our expedition-booklet that gives you more information about the trip, insurance, safety, personal training tips towards the trip, as well as info on the training (for more info, refer to the training and preparations menu)
    3. 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.
    4. Personal/medical 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 if outside Norway- and insurance info as well as next-of-kin details.
    5. 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 has been settled, you are on your way !
    Continue to booking | View terms and conditions
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Quick facts

Date: 26.04.2020
Duration: 20 days+packing+travel days.
Price: 48.500 Nok
Sheduled for: 2020, 2021, 2022
Participants: 6 + guide. Bookings open for 2020, dates CONFIRMED
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