The Narvik ski touring region offers the widest variety of backcountry skiing of any area in Arctic Norway. There’s lift accessed backcountry skiing available right above town, coastal day touring in stunning fjord scenery, higher glaciated summits and couloirs up to 1200m long.
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.
Skiing In Narvik
Our plan is to enjoy week of day touring based at our comfortable hotel in Narvik. The area lies midway between the coastal and inland mountain ranges, which gives us access to a wide variety of different terrain and micro climates. This unique combination means that it’s possible to find good skiing conditions around Narvik just about all of the time, with plenty of higher and lower altitude options to work around the weather.
The peaks in this area are also significantly larger than those found on coastal islands in Northern Norway, giving the potential for some bigger tours and longer days. Daily ascents are typically in the region of 1000-1400m, but we tailor each week to the speed and fitness of the group.
This trip travels on Friday out/Friday return, to give a wider range of flight options from the UK.
This is an intermediate to advanced level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3-4 and Tech Level 3 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines). You need previous ski touring experience to join this tour. The week includes 5-6 hour days, with steeper terrain involving kick turns and the odd short boot track to reach summits. Typically we’ll be doing 1000-1400m of ascent a day (but this is at sea level, with day packs on) – so you can expect to be skinning for 3-4 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use 100% skinning on this tour – approx 6-7000m of skinning up, 6-7000m of skiing down, all at sea level.
One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.
Included in price
- 6 days of guiding
- All guides expenses
- 7 nights accommodation in hotels, including breakfast.
- Travel during the trip in shared hire vehicle
Excluded from price (see factsheet for cost estimates)
- Evening meals in valleys
- Drinks and hill snacks
- Equipment hire
Accommodation in Narvik is at the excellent Scandic*** Hotel – conveniently situated in town for evening meals out and other facilities, but just a short drive to the ski touring venues each day.
Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.
Fly from UK to Evenes airport (between Harstad and Narvik) in Northern Norway. Drive to Narvik with a late-ish arrival (take an evening meal in Oslo airport). 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 to Thursday
Day touring around Narvik
A wide variety of day tours are available, skiing from summit to sea.
Some of the most scenic ski tours in this part of Norway are found in the Ofoten region, which is also home to Norway’s National Mountain, the Stetind.
This area lies about an hours drive from Narvik and the scenery and touring round here are excellent – with amazing fjord scenery and dramatic granite peaks rising straight out of the sea.
Outings are selected to cater for group interest, ski ability and the current snow and weather conditions.
During the trip, we stay at a comfortable hotel in Narvik.
The Aurora Borealis – or Northern Lights – are one of the elusive, magical sights of the Arctic.
There are plenty of opportunities to view the Northern Lights if they appear during the trip. Don’t forget to bring a warm down jacket, as it gets very chilly on a clear, cold night!
Caused by high energy particles from the Sun interacting with Earth’s magnetic field, they are most likely to occur in the first part of the night in the northern half of the sky. Nowadays there are Aurora forecasts available on the internet, in order to increase your chances of witnessing this unearthly natural phenomenon.
AM Drive to Evenes airport, flights home.
Your course meeting point is Evenes airport (EVE), between Harstad and Narvik: the gateway to the Lofoten Islands and Ofoten/Narvik region. Fly to Oslo, with connecting flights on to Evenes (use the same airline). Your guide will collect you from Evenes airport at 20:00 on Friday 19th March 2021, please do not book flights arriving later than the pickup, to avoid the rest of the team having to wait too long! For transfer to our hotel (approx 1.30 hours) and travel during the trip, your guide will drive the team in a 9 seater minibus.
You will be dropped off the following Friday morning 26th March, in time for return flights from approx 6.30am. Your guide will make one drop-off for the early flights, so if you wish to take a later flight you will need to travel with the group and wait in the airport, or make your own way there.
Norwegian offer flights from the UK from London Gatwick (11.20) and Manchester (12.45) via Oslo, which all arrive in Evenes at 19.35. SAS offer flights from Heathrow, which arrive in Evenes at 17.45 (don’t book on the later 22.05 arrival, unless you are happy making you own way to Narvik!) Check the Sky Scanner flight comparison site for your best option.
Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3/4, 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)
Fitness Level 4
You do 4+ hours CV training/sport per week. A 70+ mile cycle ride, or 20+ mile hillwalk on a weekend would hold no fears. If so inclined, you might be the kind of person who has done longer road sportives/challenge rides, a ~3.30hr marathon or other similar endurance events. Keen hillwalkers who happily knock off 3-4+ munros in a day also have this kind of fitness and endurance. On skis: you can skin at 400m/hr or could handle 4-6hrs skinning a day. (ie 1000-1400m+ 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.
Hut to Hut Touring 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!
- Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
- Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
- Fleece mid layer – or equivalent
- 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
- Spare fleece/lightweight duvet jacket
- Water container – at least 1 litre
- Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
- Lightweight head torch
- Ski goggles
- Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
- Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
- Wallet, passport, Alpine Club/BMC card (hut discount) and insurance docs
Hut Overnight Items
- Small wash kit
- Spare lightweight t-shirt/socks/pants
- Silk sheet liner
- Ear plugs
- (Hut slippers for indoor use, blankets/duvets and pillows are provided by the huts)
- Rucsac 35/45l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
- Ski mountaineering boots
- Skis with touring bindings – some ‘freeride’ bindings are also suitable
- 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 – lightweight model
- Ice Axe – lightweight model
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!
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.
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list (safety equipment is provided free of charge on certain courses – please consult price inclusions).
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.