Finnmark Ski Touring

Fitness level
Tech level
Number of guiding days
6
Guiding ratio
1:6

Finnmark is the northernmost county in Arctic Norway.  The Finnmark Alps surrounding Oksfjord and Langfjord are home to many great alpine peaks with a long and reliable ski season, making this a perfect venue for late season arctic ski touring. The area lies northeast of the well known Lyngen Peninsula, but it’s a far quieter venue and is accessed from Alta in the far north, rather than Tromso.

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We go to Norway for the experience and this week didn’t disappoint – great company, Al’s routes and navigation were as ninja as ever, spectacular views and mostly great snow.  The communal area in the lodge was particularly good and self catering allowed more time to chat and get to know folk.
Rich Bloomfield

The area is amazing and the guiding was first class. Al was very safety conscious and was constantly looking out for potential dangers and safest route. I felt in very safe hands. Start times were good and were always based around getting the best snow conditions. All the routes were good but the Fjord to Fjord route was easily the best – lots of variety and stunning views.

John Cook

Trip overview

Finnmark is the northernmost county in Arctic Norway.  The Finnmark Alps surrounding Oksfjord and Langfjord are home to many great alpine peaks with a long and reliable ski season, making this a perfect venue for late season arctic ski touring. The area lies northeast of the well known Lyngen Peninsula, but it’s a far quieter venue and is accessed from Alta in the far north, rather than Tromso.

Please visit our Covid-19 Ski Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.

Download factsheet (PDF)

Skiing in Finmark

Finnmark is the northernmost county in Arctic Norway, lying between 70 and 71 degrees north.  The Finnmark Alps lie some 80km northeast of the popular Lyngen Peninsula – but Finnmark is a much quieter area for ski touring. The area has a unique micro climate, which results in much heavier snowfalls than surrounding regions – and being so far north, it enjoys a very long ski season. These ingredients make Finnmark a perfect venue for late season ski touring.

There are numerous excellent ski peaks with summit to sea descents in the region and at this time of year the snow pack is generally well stabilized, with powder still common on north facing slopes and good spring snow on other aspects. Most ski summits in the region are 800-1000m in height, starting straight from sea level.

Langfjord and Oksfjord are our main venues, but it is also possible to do some great traverses and multi peak link ups during the week, to make longer days.  Travel time to the area is one hours drive from Alta, with daily ski venues being reached in 5-45 mins from our accommodation.

This is a remote area, so our accommodation in the Finnmark Alps is at a self catering lodge in an idyllic location looking out over Burfjord, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

This trip travels on Friday out/Friday return, in order to make use of the best flight combinations.

Trip reports >> Two weeks in Finnmark


Suitability

This is an intermediate/advanced level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3 and Tech Level 3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). You need previous ski touring experience to join this tour – if you are a strong/fit skier, just a few previous days will be enough. The week includes 5-7 hour days with generally steady climbs, but also some steeper terrain involving kick turns and the odd short boot track to reach summits. Typically we’ll be doing 900-1300m of ascent a day (but this is at at sea level, with day packs on) – so you can expect to be skinning for 3-5 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use 100% skinning on this tour – approx 6000m+ of skinning up, 6000m+ of skiing down, all at sea level.


Guiding ratio

One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.


Included in price

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All guides expenses
  • 2 nights accommodation in Alta, including breakfast
  • 5 nights accommodation in the Finnmark Alps (self catering, food included)
  • Travel during the trip in shared hire vehicle

Excluded from price (see course factsheet for extra cost estimates)

  • Evening meals in Alta
  • Drinks and Hill Snacks
  • Flights
  • Taxi to Airport
  • Insurance
  • Equipment hire

Accommodation

Our hotel in Alta is the excellent 4 star Scandic Alta Hotel, situated in the centre of town and just 10 mins from the airport. The Scandic is one of the best hotels in town, providing a great breakfast and is very close to shops, services and local bars and restaurants.

Our accommodation in the Finnmark Alps is at a self catering holiday house in an idyllic location overlooking Burfjord, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.  It’s in an ideal location for exploring the area, with the nearest ski venues being just 5 mins drive away.

Free wifi is available, together with a well equipped kitchen, an outside terrace offering great views out across the ocean and a large lounge for hanging out in the evenings.  We will self cater and buy most of our food for the trip in Alta, plus there are 2 supermarkets in the village down the road for obtaining fresh bread and extra supplies during the week. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.  Duvets and pillows are provided, but you need to bring your own sleeping bag liner.

Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.


ABTOT Protected

This trip is protected by ABTOT – Alpine Guides Ltd, Membership Number 5394.  For further information, please visit our Financial Protection page.

Detailed Itinerary

Friday

Fly from UK to Alta in Northern Norway. Overnight in Alta. Evening Briefing – your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans. We’ll have maps and information on the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up.


Saturday

AM – Drive to the Finnmark Alps and drop our kit off at accommodation.  PM Day Tour close to our accommodation.


Sunday to Thursday

Ski touring in Finnmark. A wide variety of day tours are on offer, skiing from summit to sea. Outings are selected to cater for group interest, ski ability and the current snow and weather conditions. Possible outings include:

  • Laslletind – great warm up peak, close to our accommodation.
  • Koppartind – excellent views to Reinfjord and Arnoya, this peak can be skied from both north and south.
  • Stortinden – local classic overlooking Langfjord, reliable snow and a good variety of descents.
  • Middagstinden – lovely peak overlooking Oksfjord, great views and numerous descent options.
  • Some summits involve boot tracking to reach the highest point. The scenery in the area is outstanding.

Thursday PM Drive back to Alta, overnight at hotel in Alta.


Friday

Drive to Alta airport, flights home.

Location and Travel

Your meeting point for this trip is Alta (ALF), situated on the northern coast of Arctic Norway, reached via flights to Oslo, with connecting flights on to Alta airport.

Your guide will collect you from Alta airport late evening Friday 23rd April 2021 (for the 22.45 flight) and drop off the following Friday morning 30th April, in time for the morning 7am flight (for later return flights, it’s a bus or 10 min taxi to the airport).

For transfer to the Finnmark Alps and travel during the trip, your guide will transport the team in a 9 seater minibus.


Flights

Norwegian offer flights from the UK, from Gatwick and Edinburgh to Alta via Oslo:

Outward –  departing Gatwick (15.00) or Edinburgh (12.00) Fri 23rd Apr. Other departures/connections are possible flying via Oslo and Tromso. Check Skyscanner or Google Flights for your best option.

Return –  7am flight for Gatwick, 11.50 flight for Edinburgh on Fri 30th Apr.

Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.


Fitness and Experience

To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3, and Ski Tech Level 3:

Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day).


Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.

To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.

If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.

Equipment

Day Touring/BC Ski Course Equipment List

Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!

Technical Clothing

  • Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
  • Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
  • Fleece mid layer or equivalent
  • Spare fleece or lightweight insulated duvet jacket
  • Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
  • Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
  • Thermal leggings or ski pants
  • Thin inner gloves
  • Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
  • Warm hat

Personal Items

  • Water container – at least 1 litre
  • Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
  • Ski goggles
  • Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
  • Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
  • Wallet, passport and insurance docs

Technical Equipment

  • Rucsac 25/35l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
  • Freeride boots or ski mountaineering boots – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred boots
  • Skis with touring bindings – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred skis and bindings
  • Velcro ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
  • Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
  • Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
  • Harness, with 120cm sling and locking karabiner
  • Crampons – bring them if you have them
  • Ice Axe – bring if you have one

Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.


Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!

Purchasing Equipment
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent ski boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.

Hiring Equipment
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list.


Insurance

For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for off piste skiing and ski touring, as outlined in the trip itinerary. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury. Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.

Further details can be found on our insurance info page.

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from £1550