East Coast Nordic Skiing Expedition
Day 1 Flight to Longyearbyen
Welcome to Longyearbyen, we will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the city under the light of the midnight sun.
Day 2 Longyearbyen
Distribution, verification, and familiarization with our equipment ready for tomorrows departure by tank. Today is a chance to meet everyone, to prepare for our adventure and to explore the northernmost city on the planet, Longyearbyen.
Day 3 Rabotbreen Glacier
Into the wilderness. We load our expedition material and set off in a tank towards Rabotbreen glacier, the starting point of our expedition, far from civilization...
Days 4 to 5 Glacier de Rabotbreen et d'Ulvebreen.
Today, the great crossing can begin. Once our equipment is loaded into our pulkas, we leave camp and head towards the east coast of the island which is covered with pack ice for much of the year. Over two days, we travel along glaciers in an Arctic atmosphere, immersed in infinite and limpid landscapes which only stop at the silhouettes of mountains ...
Days 6 to 10 Across the Pack Ice to Ingelfield Bay
The valley finally opens up onto the frozen sea, a grandiose spectacle of the pack ice which covers the east coast of Spitsbergen. Depending on the weather we move on the snow or ice, past seals basking in the sun. This is Polar bear territory, we may have the chance to see the magnificant bears which dominate these lands.
Our progression over the pack ice is very playful, what an incredible feeling to be able to move across this frozen sea between icebergs seized by ice.
We arrive in Ingelfield Bay where the imposing bluish ice front 3 kilometers wide of the Nordsysselbreen glacier creates a special atmosphere. We set up our camp near this ice giant.
Days 11 to 13 Traversing glaciers to the valley of reindeer
Next, we leave the pack ice and head up onto the Nordsyssel glacier. We cross a pass at 230 m which overlooks the surrounding valleys and offers a magnificent views of the area. Then we head down to the Kjellström valley and spend the night near a frozen lake. Over the following days, each valley is an opportunity to discover a unique world: Kjellström, Lundström, and finally Reindalen, an isolated valley where many reindeer come to spend the winter.
Day 14 Reindalen - Longyearbyen
We finish our descent into the largest valley of Svalbard - it is more than 40 km long - and we set up camp there for one final night.
The tank will then join us to drive us to Longyearbyen where we will find the comfort of our guesthouse.
Day 15 Longyearbyen
Relax and visit Longyearbyen and the Polar Museum. Other activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling
or ice cave exploration are also possible (subject to availability).
Day 16 Final day
Airport transfer in the very early morning
Dates & prices
Departures for French-speaking groups:
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Departures for English-speaking groups:
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Trip code: ENSPSK2
- All transfers as detailed in the itinerary
- Accommodation including three nights in a guesthouse in Longyearbyen
- Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
- Full board except for a last evening meal in Longyearbyen
- Cold weather technical equipment - please see 'trip details' for more information about the high quality equipment we provide on this trip ('practical info' / 'equipment')
- Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
- The final evening meal in Longyearbyen (~ 30€)
- Svalbard museum: from €9
Level 5/5: Extreme
Terms and conditions
Budget & exchange
- Any additional activities
- Drinks and personal expenses
- One evening meal in Longyearbyen, kitchen facilities, shops and restaurants available*
- Food and perhaps accommodation during your transfer in Oslo
- A 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
- A Sarsat beacon
- A VHF radio
- A heavy caliber rifle
- An alarm gun
- Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
- A copy of Spitsbergens animal records
- A first aid kit
- Books about local flora and fauna
- Cooking stove
- Thermos flasks
- A large warm down jacket for when you are not participating in activities
- Polar overalls
- A suitable tent per two people (a 3 man dome tent for maximum space and comfort)
- A self-inflating sleeping mat
- A suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -25°C)
- Nordic cross country skis
- Ski poles
- Warm snow boots for walking around camp (Sorel)
- Pulks (mini sledges for carrying your gear)
- Your travelling clothes
- A bathing suit
- A Long waterproof jacket (with a hood, Gore-Tex, Nikwax or equivilent)
- Waterproof trousers/salopettes (Gore-Tex, Nikwax or equivilent)
- A down jacket
- At least two pairs of good under gloves and over gloves
- Sunglasses (UV 400)
- A ski mask (mandatory)
- A thick balaclava (fleece)
- Appropriate warm neck wear
- A warm hat (wool)
- A warm jacket (synthetic down)
- Several sets of warm thermal underwear (long johns & long sleeved tops)
- Thin socks and 3 or 4 pairs of thick socks
- Sun cream and protective lipsal (not water-based - water freezes)
- Any personal medication
- Mini toiletary kit and toilet roll
- A thermos flask
- Head torch & spare batteries
Our advice for keeping warm
- No cotton
- Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
- Wear multiple layers including:
- A warm breathable base layer
- A second thermal layer
- Wind and waterproof protective out layers
- Head torch and spare batteries (+ March)
- Toilet paper and a lighter
- Your camera (with suitable protective case)
- A comfortable evening outfit for Longyearbyen
- A small inflatable pillow
- A knife
- A notepad and pencil
- Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
Health information & recommendations
- The weather in the Svalbard archipelago is very changeable.
- The average annual rainfall in Longyearbyen is only 200mm (7.87 inches), in London, England, the annual average is 594mm (23.4 inches) - Spitsbergen is a cold desert!
- Average temperatures in Longyearbyen range from -16°C to -9°C (3.2°F - 15.8°F) in April and -3°C to -7°C (26.6°F - 19.4°F) in May.
- Strong katabatic winds can occur here, particularly near to high glaciers but winds can generally be described as moderate and localised.
- Dark polar nights occur from 14th November to 29th January, the full moon shines across the snow creating a beautiful gliterring winter landscape. Then, from 19th April to 23rd August, the sun shines constantly, uninterrupted, high in the sky.
- The Norweigian Svalbard archipelago is the closest territory to the North Pole; Spitsbergen is the name of the largest island.
- Svalbard covers an area of around 39146 square miles (63000km2) and two thirds of this polar world are constantly covered by ice.
- The archipelago was deserted by human civilisation for a very long time but today has over 2600 inhabitants.
- The archipelago has 3 National Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 15 Ornithological Reserves (bird reserves) and 3 Botanical Reserves.