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

Ski & Sail Lofoten, 7 days
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A Ski & Sail Adventure in Norway

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 and back to Svolvær

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, and mostly in protect calm waters without much waves. Here 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. However, we explore this area by sea, that means we are mostly to ourselves. We know the archipelago’s hidden gems 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 places 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 day’s rest 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 the boats into teams and ski groups according to ski 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!

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.

The ski and sail trip was absolutely amazing! Seil Norge has put together an awesome trip which is adjustable based on weather conditions at the time. Pretty hard not to have an incredible adventure exploring the beautiful fjords of Lofoten on a sailboat!

Jim MacDonald, 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, to spend the time going through the boat and equipment. That way we’ll be ready to set sail 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 is also Rundfjellet, Kvittind and many other possibilities. We start gently on 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 hill 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: Skiing in Raftsundet

We spend this day around the mountains surrounding Raftsundet. The channel divides Lofoten to the west from the next islands of Vesterålen to the east. Today’s program depends on the snow conditions and weather. If we want to go steep and long, we have that possibility, but we also find more mellow slopes and safer terrain in the forest, if that suits the conditions better. If we are lucky enough to get a clear sky this evening, we might spend the night looking for the northern lights.

Dag 6: Secret Lofoten

Lofoten is a famous skiing destination, and along the roads you probably meet people skitouring almost every day during the season. But as this week proceeds we will work our way further and further away from the known places and the other ski groups. The skipper and guide have their secret spot ready for you for this day! So we can enjoy a remote mountain and a descent with fresh, untouched snow, all free of tracks!

Day 7: Last skiing and back to Svolvær!

Short summit trip on the last day before returning home from Svolvær in the afternoon. We dock and finish at 16:00 at the latest, so those who have booked the regular boat to Bodø can catch it. Buses and scheduled boats depart directly from the marina, and it is not far from the airport, but please allow a little wiggle room when you book onward transport.

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 in Svolvær.

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

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:

Du finner mer om reise, utstyr og andre praktiske tips på vår side om “Praktisk informasjon”

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