Luckily the best season for ski-mountaineering falls outside of our peak husky season. Hence, if you are looking to ski-mountaineer in popular arctic Scandinavian destinations like the Lyngen Alps, we can give advice, arrange guides for you or even guide ourselves.
Northern Scandinavia offers limitless possibilities for ski and mountain activities. The terrain varies from the white snow deserts of Lapland to the incredible combination of sea, snow and mountains of Norway's coasts. Added to this, the endless labyrinth of mountains and glaciers in Spitzbergen is every skier's dream. In these vast wilderness areas, there's something for everyone to climb or ski - from wide easy snowfields to narrow mountain ridges and challenging steep couloirs.
The common factor across all our options - whether heli-skiing, ski & boat journeys, ski touring or snowmobile & ski trips - is superb skiing in the breathtaking nature of the North.
Welcome to arctic mountains!!
In Finland, we not only guide on the routesa round Hetta but also in the Käsivarsi region of Kilpisjärvi and in Lapland’s various skiing centres.
Ski mountaineering refers to challenging ascents that are carried out on foot / using crampons / snowshoes and descents that are carried out by ski. Our routes are always selected so as to make the descents as rewarding as possible, within the skill-level of the group. However, on our ski-mountaineering courses, we also consider ascent options and provide some climbing instruction, as appropriate.
Free-skiing products refer to products in which the emphasis is very definitely on the descent. Some of the journey-based products may be less suitable for snow-boarders although in general it is possible to accommodate both skiers and snowboarders (who climb / trek using snowshoes) within each course.
The Northern Scandinavia offers an incredible heli skiing environment and a truly unique landscape. A white desert stretches out as far as you can see, broken only by the sharp lines of steep rock and mountain faces. On bright days you can see clearly out to the Arctic Ocean from the highest peaks and in mid-winter, the flaming Northern Lights splash colour across the night-time skies. It is an awe-inspiring place.
Don’t think, therefore, that heli-skiing is just for the professionals. So long as you have a reasonable level of on-piste skiing skills, we will be able to find slopes for you to enjoy. And, the beauty of heli-skiing is that you will be accessing superb mountain locations in a fast and easy way. Hence, all of your strength can go into your descents.
At the same time, for the more experienced off-piste skiers who may be used to the far greater elevation differentials of the C. European Alps, don’t worry about not finding sufficient challenge. There are slopes for all abilities. However, no matter how remarkable the skiing, what you are most likely to take away with you is the memory of one of the most unique landscapes on earth.
When moving in the mountains in winter you not only need the right equipment with you, but you need to know how to use it to be safe. At a bare minimum, in addition to standard mountain-safety equipment like headlamps and douvet jackets, all back-country skiers, boarders and mountaineers travelling into Scandinavian mountains should be carrying snow-safety gear (avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes).
We include the use of this specialist kit – and a rucksack to put them in – within the price of our products although you are welcome to use your own. Each of our ski days starts with a briefing about the use of safety equipment and at this time.
In addition, you will need to use your own ski-mountaineering equipment or normal skis with binding adapters / telemark skis with skins. Snowboarders ascend using snowshoes. We always recommend the use of helmets and back-armour for skiers and snowboarders, as well as additional knee protection for telemark skiers. All additional specialist kit (snowshoes, sleeping bags, binding-adapters, knee protection etc), can be hired from us, if necessary.
In Norway we guide in Lyngen, Tromsø and, occasionally, in the Narvik / Lofoten area.
SKI MOUNTAINEERING COURSES
From the slopes to the mountains.
This course is intended for those who want to improve their mountain skiing skills and is appropriate for anyone who can ski confidently on-piste, since its level can be tweaked to meet the needs of the group. Some groups have already done quite a bit of off-piste skiing and for these, the course is targeted at improving their skiing skills and safety knowledge. Other groups consist primarily of those hoping to gain the confidence and skills needed to transition away from the groomed slopes of downhill ski centres to the more challenging snow and terrain of the high mountains.
Regardless of your starting level, each participant will leave the 5 day course with more confidence in ascending as well as in descending and with a far higher level of knowledge of snow-safety, winter glacier movement, mountain navigation and emergency shelters. We tend to start on fairly easy ground on the first day and then progress through the appropriate skills needed for more challenging terrain on the following days.
Since many mountain and back-country trips last for several days, and mountain weather is notoriously unstable, we believe that it is important for participants to gain confidence in their ability to build emergency shelters.
All of the technical equipment needed, (snow-safety and glacial-safety equipment) is provided as part of the course.
Location: Lyngen Alps, Northern Norway
Best Time of Year: Feb - May
Course Length: 5 days
Number of Participants: 3- 8
Price: €525 per person
Price Includes: guiding, avalanche and glacier gear
Lyngen’s enormous mountainous peninsula, situated between two fjords, is located c. 50km east of Tromso and 50km west of Kilpisjarvi. The area is so spectactular and Alpine in aspect that it is known, in mountaineering circles, as the ‘Lyngen Alps’. Mountains and glaciers rise directly from the sea to heights of around 1500m. The highest summit - - Jiehkkevárri – rises to 1834 m and is known as the ‘Mont Blanc of the North’. The region arguably offers the best possibilities for mountain skiing and trekking in Northern Scandinavia.
AMG offers mountain-skiing, trekking, glacier-treks and customized mountain-skill courses in Lyngen, with products lasting anything from a few hours to a number of days.
Tromsø, "Ishavsby", is a vibrant city with a population of 65,000. It is situated right beside the Arctic Ocean and is surrounded by mountains and fjords. Historically, the city functioned as an important base for adventurers, climbers and Arctic researchers. Nowadays, Tromsø is a lively and bustling city, where you can arguably find the world’s northernmost university, brewery, planetarium and much more!
Tromsø offers excellent opportunities for outdoor activities, in both the summer and winter. Skiing in all it's modes is winter’s obligatory pastime. During the winter, the city usually experiences a snow-fall of 1-1,5 meters although the record set on 31.4.1997 was 2,5 meters. The plentiful snow and the northerly location enables skiing through until mid/late June, although the best conditions are generally found in March, April and May. In the summer there are excellent places for hiking, climbing and glacier-trekking, all within an hour’s drive of the city.
The vibrant city also offers some more relaxing holiday options to the outdoor challenges on its doorstep. In-between souvenir and outdoor equipment shopping, its numerous cafés and restaurants – many of which spill out onto its main street in a manner which has earned the town the epithet of ‘The Paris of the North’ – can easily satisfy the most discerning pallet. You will find not only Scandinavian and western cuisine but also a variety of Asian restaurants – and even an ‘extreme sports café’.
There are also a number of places to visit – including the behind-the-scenes working of the Brewery! If you prefer a more arctic theme, then the Polaria museum provides a captivating presentation of the area’s flora and fauna and also displays one of the boats used in early exploration of the region. The Polar Museum is also truly unique. This showcases the Arctic expeditions of the past and offers a fascinating insight both into the hardy souls who first journeyed into the frozen wastes and into the way in which native peoples managed to live in such regions, historically.
In essence, Tromsø is everything that an outdoor person could wish for as a base from which to enjoy an active outdoor holiday.
Jiehkevarri is known as the ‘Mont Blanc of the North’. It is an amazing mountain, rising 1834m out of the sea. When you summit it you are completely surrounded by glaciers and have an unbelievable selection of descent options. The skiing is just great and the scenery, breathtaking.
We provide all of the equipment needed for glacier travel and snow-safety.
Place: Lyngen Alps, northern Norway (nearest airport: Tromso).
Time: February – May
Duration: 1 day
Number of participants in each group: 3 – 10
Price: 120 Euros per person
Price includes: guiding, snow-safety equipment, glacier travel equipment
Ski Mountaineering / Free-skiing Day
Using the knowledge of a local guide for a day of skiing is the easiest and safest way to not only find the best snow, but also to choose the most suitable downhill spots for your ability and aspirations. It is by far the easiest way of maximising your time in the mountains.
We arrange ski mountaineering / free-skiing days in Kilpisjarvi, Lyngen and Tromso. In Kilpisjarvi, we can supplement our muscle power, if we choose, by using helicopters or snow-mobiles for transport – although these are not included in the price.
During the day, we will spend some time discussing basic snow safety tips (appropriate to your knowledge level and the conditions) but the focus will be on skiing itself.
Place: Lyngen Alps, northern Norway
Time: February – May
Duration: 1 day
Number of participants: 1 – 5
Price: 360 Euros per group
Price includes: guiding and snow-safety gear.
In Sweden, we offer courses in Riksgränsen and we also, of course, offer products in Svalbard (Spitsbergen).
The ski season in this part of Lapland is long and guaranteed. Last winter, for instance, the heli-ski season started in January and we completed our last runs with clients in June. The snow depth passes the 1m mark at the end of February, and there is fresh powder as late as mid-May.
We offer heli-skiing only by request since we tailor-make each package to suit the wishes of the client. Having said that, however, it is worth noting that the helicopter we typically use can carry the pilot, guide and four skiers, so it is most economical to ski as a group of four - although other group sizes are obviously possible.
During a typical heli-ski day, we have the use of the helicopter for 4 – 6 hours. Within that time, we tend to use about 1 - 1½ hour of flying time. Depending on the location, this means that we get 5 – 10 lifts and therefore ski something like 3000 - 5000m of vertical descent.
We start each day with easy runs so that the guide has an opportunity to really gauge the levels within the group. We then select the most appropriate runs, based on snow conditions and group aspirations, for the remainder of the day.
When heli-skiing you are welcome to your own snowboarding, down-hill or ski-mountaineering equipment. If you have a choice of skis, it is wise to take the widest ones that you have. However, please note that we sometimes need to ascend by ski and for this you will need either skins – and, maybe, binding adapters – or snowshoes. Telescopic poles also make the ascent easier. When we head out onto the glaciers we also pack glacier equipment - crampons, ice axes, harnesses, ice screws and ropes. All specialist equipment, including snow-safety gear, is included in the price of the skiing days.
Since it is always wise to protect yourself against impact falls, we recommend the use of helmets and back-armour for skiers and snowboarders, as well as additional knee protection for telemark skiers. You can hire any additional protective equipment you need from us.
Corporate Group Options
We are used to running heli-ski programmes for international corporate groups. When we have large groups we often incorporate snow mobile rides to and from the day’s skiing area into the programme so as to maximise flying time in the mountains themselves.
We can also include evening products such as cultural evenings, management training, sessions, team-work sessions, etc, upon request. One of our regular guides has worked a lot in this arena and, as well as having been a world-class athlete, ran one of GE’s European businesses for a number of years. Hence, we are confident that our management training package can challenge and stimulate any group.
There are a number of kite-skiing destinations in Lapland that are a kite-skier’s paradise. However, it is best to start practicing this unique sport on flat icy lakes. Luckily there are also a number of these to choose from.
Our most popular starting places are Kilpisjärvi’s Kilpis Lake or the Ounas Lakes of Hetta. If a little more advanced, you will be able to kite-ski in the fells, on a one-day trip or longer. Most choose to either head to the treeless wilderness area of Käsivarsi (‘Finland’s arm’) or to the Pallas-Ounas mountain chain where, with adequate wind, one can easily travel tens of kilometers a day, in spectacular surroundings.
In order to participate in a kite-skiing day, you will need your downhill-, telemark-skiing or snow-boarding equipment and a helmet. We can rent out helmets as well as back-protective equipment. Arctic Mountain Guides uses Ozone kites and equipment.
Place: Kilpisjärvi or Hetta
Time: February – May
Duration: 5 hours
Number of participants: 1 - 4
Price: 100 Euros
Price includes: instructing, kites and harnesses