I spent the final part of my season this year guiding 2 weeks of ski touring in Finnmark, the most northerly alpine touring region in Norway. Being so far north, the area has a very long ski season and the Finnmark Alps in particular have a local micro climate that produces far more snow that surrounding regions, so it’s a very reliable venue for late spring touring.
As there are no hotels in the region, it’s normal to self cater on trips up here, so we hired a cozy holiday house in a remote spot overlooking Burfjord. With great views of the sea, this is a perfect place to hang out and also being just 10 minutes’ drive from the nearest tours made it super convenient. The first week when we arrived there was a tricky avalanche situation in Northern Norway, so careful planning was required. However there’s a wide variety of terrain in the area and plenty of good, safe tours – so with diligent planning we enjoyed an excellent first week, notching up over 7000m of ascent. Most of the days we skied good spring snow, with descents right to the sea and even a few bits of powder on northerly aspects.
Apart from the skiing, my personal highlight was a spot of dolphin watching in the fjord – this is not the sort of thing you get to do every day on a ski tour! The lodge proved a great place to hang out after skiing, facing west so we enjoyed great evenings exploring the beach and watching the sun go down. All too soon it was time to head back to Alta for flights home though and changeover day, as Rich flew up with the second team for week two.
This was Rich’s first time on skis for a while – but being a Guide it didn’t take him long to get back in the swing of things; skiing like a pro again after Day one! Over the weekend we’d had also had a bit of weather come through, which mean’t a fresh top up of powder to enjoy – so we made the most of it, getting as many laps in as possible on the good stuff.
Week two therefore mixed spring snow skiing on southerly slopes and powder on northerly slopes for the most part, as we explored some new tours around the region, as well as classics from the week before. Like the first week, we only saw a few local skiers at the weekend, then had the hills to ourselves for the rest of the time. Being a bit off the radar, Finnmark is less frequented by visiting skiers – so it’s a good spot for escaping the crowds to enjoy a final trip of the season.