Sail to the mountain, start at the beach and ski Lofoten’s alpine mountains!

Ski & Sail Lofoten, Easter weekend
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Ski & Sail Lofoten is an adventure for those who want to sail to the mountain, start at the beach and ski in the alpine Lofoten mountains. Austnesfjorden, Geitgaljertind, Trollfjorden and Raftsundet; some of the most spectacular mountains Norway has to offer. A trip for those who like challenges; being outside, explore and experience something unique, wild, raw and beautiful! Welcome on board on adventure!

From Svolvær to the mountains

This trip starts and ends in Svolvær. In Lofoten, the distances we need to sail in between the mountains are not too long. With only a few hours of sailing each afternoon. Mostly in protect waters without much waves. We are surrounded by many possible descents for different skill levels. Most tours offer between 700-1000 meters of altitude with a descent, right down to the shore! Our Lofoten trips go at the start of the Ski & Sail season, so if you are mostly looking for powder turns down to the sea, this could be the trip for you.

To Lofoten’s secret mountains by sailboat

Lofoten is a well-known skiing destination, but mostly from the land side. We, however, explore this area by sea! So we are mostly to ourselves. We know the archipelago’s secret places that are not in the guidebook and seek out the less visited areas. Where we can find untouched snow and wild anchorages all to ourselves. The possibilities are many, and the most spectacular skiing are only accessible by boat.

A normal day at Ski & Sail

We arrange all our Ski & Sail trips with a skipper and a ski guide per boat. We plan the ski touring together for each day, according to weather and conditions. If weather and snow conditions permit, we plan to ski every day on this trip (4 skiing days). Though if anyone still wants a rest day during the trip, that’s also completely fine! After the ski touring and during the day, we sail on to the next port or anchorage and prepare for a new peak the next day.

With varied groups on board

On most of our Ski & Sail trips, we sail two or more boats in tandem. Depending on the number of people registered. With several boats, we try to divide into boat teams and ski groups according to skill level, wishes and prior experience. We often also set up two different trips of different lengths per skiing day. So you can choose whether you want to go on the long or short trip that day. With open groups on board, there will of course be a difference in skiing level inside each group, but we quickly become a good team on board and we are all flexible!

New to ski touring?

Are you curious about Ski & Sail, but haven’t been backcountry skiing much before?

Ski & Sail is generally a fairly advanced type of ski trip, but on this trip we set up a beginner’s boat. This group will do easier and less steep ski trips, but sail with the rest of the boats. This is for those of you who have done some backcountry skiing already, but are not that tough down the steepest slopes. For you who enjoy nature and being out in the mountains on skis, and want to try Ski & Sail. You must still have some ski touring experience, and bring your own ski and avalanche equipment. Ask us about availability for specific departures with a beginner’s boat!

Blog articles

Check our blog articles about Ski & Sail here.

Ski & Sail video

Here is a video clip from one of our Ski & Sail trips, this one from Finnmark. The film is produced by Albert, one of our captains.

This trip was absolutely everything I expected but then a whole lot more. Waking up every morning in a new beautiful landscape on a sailboat and then getting to go ski what you are looking at...what more could you want! If you're on the fence about booking a trip like this...do it! You won't regret it!

Christopher D, Ski & Sail Lofoten

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome on board in Svolvær

We meet at the harbor in the center of Svolvær at 16:00. Here we check in at our boat and get to know each other. We go through the plan for the trip, safety information, boat and equipment. Before it gets too late in the evening we cast off and sail a short distance, to where we find a suitable anchorage for the night. We prepare supper on board, but recommend that you have eaten dinner before arriving. In order to use the time to go through the boat and equipment and be ready to set sails into the fjords already this first evening.

Day 2: Touring in Austnesfjorden

After an early breakfast, we do our morning commute with the dinghy ashore in Austnesfjorden. Together with the guide, we assess route choices for the day based on weather, snow conditions and wind. Austnesfjorden has many summits suitable for ski touring; Higravtinden and Geitgaljartind are the most famous and demanding, but there are also Rundfjellet, Kvittind and many other possibilities. We start more gently this first day. When we are back in the boat, we sail a little further towards the best possible starting point for next day’s skiing.

Day 3: We explore further

After breakfast, we head for today’s playground! Today’s weather, snow conditions and wind determine the destination. We might stay in Austnesfjorden and try a new mountain and lines here, or we sail further towards Raftsundet. If the weather gods are on our side, we could possibly ascend Geitgaljen, one of Lofoten’s most famous and spectacular peaks! If the snow is stable and good, this peak offers a magical descent all the way down to the rocky beach. We get back on board after skiing, eat and relax a bit before we sail out of Austnesfjorden towards our next destination.

Day 4: Trollheimen

We start the day in Trollfjorden! With its steep mountain sides and remote location, this is a fjord accessible only to us who arrive by boat. Early in the morning, before the sun starts to warm the mountain sides, we find a suitable mountain that is not among the steepest. We assess the conditions and go out touring after a good breakfast. In the afternoon we might light the bonfire after a swim in the sea!

Day 5: Last skiing and bye for now!

We do a short skitour to a smal summit this last morning, before returning home to Svolvær in the afternoon. We clean, tidy and pack ourselves out of the boat and finish latest at 16:00. Buses and scheduled boats depart directly from the marina, and the airport is not far away. Please allow a little wiggle room when you book onward transport. Thanks for a great adventure!

Changes to the program

The program is an indication of what the days will look like. Though it might change according to weather and snow conditions. We start each day with a good breakfast and pack lunch before we go out ski touring. Some days we eat dinner straight after skiing. Other days we just eat a little when we get down to the boat again, and sail further before we cook a later dinner. Some days we put in time to fish, or time to look around. Should the weather be really bad for skiing in the mountains, we do a sailing day or something else fun, instead!

What is included?

  • A trip experience with sailboat – experienced skipper and guide with local knowledge on board
  • Guided backcountry skiing trips every day
  • Small groups – 6 participants per ski guide
  • All food you eat on board during the trip
  • Our Comfort Package which consists of accommodation onboard in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our shared equipment: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc. when possible
  • All boat-related costs such as diesel, propane and harbor fees
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Instruction, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Ski and avalanche equipment (beacon, shovel, probe)
  • Personal goodies for the evening and hiking snacks for excursions on land
  • Optional meals at a cafes/restaurants during the trip
  • Entrance to galleries, museums, or other alternative activities that you/we may come up with
  • Rental of equipment, transport or activities from external operators if you want to do things outside the program
  • Drinks such as wine, beer or exclusive apple juice and other luxuries (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel insurance and/or cancellation insurance – (up to you, but recommended!)

Important info

Departure and arrival

This trip starts and ends i Svolvær, Lofoten.

You find more information on travel, equipment and other tips under Practical info.

Deposit and payment

You only pay a deposit (NOK 6000) upon registration, the remainder of the payment is due 60 days prior to departure.

Safety and risk onboard

We are all about people, and so we also take safety very seriously. On our trips we practice sail- and boat handling also for safety, and we spend time going through various situations that can arise at sea, how to handle them and how to avoid them.

Onboard a boat everyone must know what to do in critical situations and in the event of an emergency. Our philosophy is that partaking and participation builds safety. It is important for the safety of the whole boat that you are a participant onboard, not just a passenger.

Therefore all our trips are to be considered sailing courses in addition to being great  holidays and adventures: You are trained to make up the crew onboard and so we build a capable team onboard.

Feel free to contact us for a chat about safety and risk on our adventures.

Level of the trip

No sailing experience? No problem! Our sailing adventures welcome both novices and seasoned sailors for an inclusive and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re new to sailing or a salty sea dog, our trips cater to all levels.

We aim to transform beginners into sailors quickly while offering experienced participants greater responsibilities and challenges. Our mainland sailing journeys involve 44-50 feet boats navigating coastal and protected waters, occasionally crossing open stretches for excitement. Route adjustments based on weather and conditions ensure a safe and adaptable voyage.

Trips are not overly strenuous; with rotating positions, participants can balance sailing and relaxation. Active engagement minimizes seasickness, and if it occurs, it passes swiftly. Weather, however, is unpredictable, with the potential for stronger winds and various conditions in northern Norway and the Arctic, making each trip a true sailing adventure. Be prepared for calm winds and rough weather—embracing the elements for an unforgettable experience.

What we expect from you

Our trips require a little effort from you who are joining – everyone on board must be ready to contribute and to give of themselves also socially; the more you open up, share and interest yourself in the others onboard, the more enjoyable it gets. 

When you’re sailing with us you are invited to take part in the running of the ship and all that comes with it. You will be sailing, docking, navigating, looking out for whales and icebergs, but also making food, serving others, doing dishes and helping clean the boat during the trip, and contributing in other ways when needed. Onboard we are all in the same boat and when all help out, the ship is most happy. 

Our experience is that doing things together with others out in nature, and not least cooperating and doing activities with new people and different personalities than you might have around you normally, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable moments and stories:)

Equipment and packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of special equipment and clothing for sailing. If you don’t have any of this, you will get very far with normal hiking/outdoor equipment. You do not need to buy a lot of new equipment to join our trips. Use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment – buy quality items that will last! What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered warm clothing underneath.

Some jackets may not be waterproof “enough”, or might not perform too well in salt water, so you can consider a set of oilskin for the wettest days (available for rent or purchase onboard). A pair of higher rubber boots for disembarking from the dinghy is very good to have, as well as indoor shoes below deck. Out at sea and in the Arctic it can be cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. Well before departure, we will send you a detailed recommended packing list.

Read more and see our packing tips here:

PS: In a sailboat, you pack in a bag or sack, not in a rigid suitcase. 🙂

Food & cooking onboard

On our trips, you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all tasks for the operation of the boat. This includes cooking and preparing food – everyone take turns in the galley! Skippers and crew assist as much as they can along the way.

We have great menus with tasty, healthy and “boat-friendly” food, and for each trip we order provisions for all meals onboard. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account as best as we can. You are also most welcome to bring any special food or drink with you. Why not bring some specialities from your country or region for the boat to enjoy? 

During a weeklong trip we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we can have dinner on land. Some places we need to pre-book and we will then need to choose a menu before we arrive. More about all of this when you come onboard!

Life onboard & accommodation

Life on a sailboat is super social and fun, but it might feel a bit intimate at first. No worries though, that vibe usually fades after the first hour. Everyone chips in to run the boat, and we’re all part of the crew, which means quick bonding.

We’re keen to get to know you and hope you’ll connect with the rest of the crew. It takes some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but soon you’ll be focused on making new friends and enjoying raw nature experiences once sea life feels like home.

Sleeping arrangements in shared cabins with double or bunk beds can be a bit of a puzzle, but we’re pretty good at figuring it out. Let us know if you have preferences. You’re on your own for land accommodations before or after the trip.

The boat provides heating and good food, but fresh water isn’t always abundant. Water conservation means not showering every day, but when near freshwater sources, we make the most of it. But nothing beats a morning sea swim for that fresh feeling.

Safety and risk on Ski & Sail trips

For ski touring on land, we keep the same high focus on safety. On the first skiing day, we go through avalanche awareness, use of our avalanche equipment and the necessary search and rescue techniques. Many factors determine the safety of a ski touring trip, where us, the human factor, is the triggering factor in most accidents in the mountains. Good planning, awareness of the weather and avalanche risk, and a coherent group are important. In addition, it is crucial that you listen to the guide and follow his instructions in the mountains.

Backcountry skiing in the mountains involves a certain amount of risk, as does sailing. However, as an operator, with our highly skilled and trained skippers and ski guides, we do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. We all benefit from that, as we have nobody to lose.

Level of our Ski & Sail trips

On all of our Ski & Sail trips you must have some previous experience with ski touring and skiing in general. You must have done some ski touring before and you need to bring your own touring equipment. Having said that, we mostly have open groups on our Ski & Sail trips, with participants at different levels. We usually sail several boats together and divide into boat teams and ski groups based on previous experience, skill level and individual expectation, as best we can.

Our various Ski & Sail concepts are on a slightly different level. The shorter trips in Lofoten and Lyngen are less advanced, while the longer departures as in Lyngen and Finnmark and the Ski & Sail expeditions on Svalbard, are more advanced.
Read more about our various Ski & Sail concepts here.

On some selected departures, we set up a specific beginner’s boat. Feel free to ask us about availability for this and which tour might suit you!

Snow conditions

We have locally known guides onboard, that is experts in finding the best snow for us to ski at any condition throughout the season. What is certain about the snow conditions here in northern Norway, is that it’s usually very varied. Often with several types of snow on each single mountain, from fluffy powder or hard packed slabs to spring crust or slush. Depending on the season, how far into the fjords we sail, and of course exposition and height above sea level. We plan the skiing trips along the way based on the latest updated knowledge of the snow conditions and local forecasts.

If we are somewhere without less good snow, we sail to where the better snow is! With the sailboat, we are flexible in finding the best snow, and this can mean that we can go to places that are not on the program or that we ourselves may not have tested beforehand. Then it’s extra exciting and a true adventure for all of us!

Equipment and packing - Ski & Sail

Normal ski touring equipment is required for this trip: Skis with touring bindings and skins (alternatively split board), touring boots and poles. Ski crampons are highly recommended, and mandatory for split board, as this is always needed at some point during a week in our coastal Norwegian mountains. Furthermore standard avalanche equipment is mandatory for everyone to bring: beacon, shovel and probe (this can be rented from us if needed).

On our open Ski & Sail trips, boot crampons and ice axe (or further mountaineering equipment) is usually not needed, except on our Ski & Sail expeditions in Svalbard. More about this in the info-letters you receive after booking.

Avalanche equipment can be rented through us and ski equipment can be rented through our partners, but our best experience is that you bring your own equipment from home. Without too short transfers, flying with a ski bag these days is often as easy as with any other checked in luggage with most airlines.

Read more and see our packing tips here:

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