Satisfy your inner arctic explorer and experience the white wilderness of Svalbard. We offer a 5-day skiing expedition across glaciers and ice, to the secluded and remote east-coast of Spitsbergen.
Experience Svalbard without the sound of snowmobiles and engines as this expedition takes you trough an area that is remote and mostly restricted from snowmobiles. On skis we travel from Jansondalen across glaciers and tundra all the way to Ulvebreen located on the east coast of Spitsbergen (roughly 80 km over 5 days). For the most part, we are completely on our own and pave our own tracks through the snow. The expedition will take you through a varied type of terrain with everything from glaciers and nunataks, to river valley, canyons and sea-ice.
Click here for a map of the route. Scroll further down for a day to day description of the route.
For this trip you should be physically fit and have some prior experience with skiing. Distances may be up to 20km a day with packed pulkas. As with all travel in the arctic, route may be changed due to weather and other conditions that arise, including adjustments to physical fitness and speed of the group.
Included in the price is
- Guide with all required safety gear
- Camping gear (not including sleeping bag)
- Food and snacks
- Harness and pulka
- Dinner on return
Each participant will have to bring their own personal equipment, sleeping bag and skiing-equipment. Sleeping bags are available for rent on request. We recommend good mountain skis with steel-edges and skins. Click here for our recommended packing-list
Expedition – day to day
Day 1 – A kingdom of ice
We will start in Jansondalen, just east of Longyearbyen. After an easy start, we say goodbye to the reindeer and ptarmigans of the lowland as we enter the glacial domain and our first challenge – Møysalbreen. Slowly, we will ascend this glacier up to 800 meters above sea level. On top, we will get to celebrate our first victory and prepare for our very first night. We establish our camp using tents suitable for these high-arctic conditions.
Situated on the glacial-ice, surrounded by nunataks, we will prepare some well-deserved dinner and share good stories. However, as tempting as the sleeping bag will be, we will have to take our precautions against polar bears. Each night we will therefore have to take turns to do polar bear guard. While scary at first, many of our guests experience this as the most meditative part of the trip, enjoying the solitude and silence of the midnight sun.
Day 2 – The final climb
Waking up on the glacier, you will soon hear the sound of the stoves burning, tents opening up and the hint of coffee spreading through the camp. After breakfast, we pack down our camp and keep our heading east. In good weather, the surrounding nunataks will cast long shadows on this vast white landscape. As we ski across the glaciers, you will meet the challenge of the day – a short, but steep rise up to the mountainpass seperating Drønbreen from Bergmesterbreen. Burning legs and chocolate-breaks are guaranteed as you make it up.
On top we meet our reward with the remainder of the day being a long descent on the glacier down to the valleyfloor. There, we will be crossing the paths of reindeer and the arctic fox following the rivers and canyons. Our second night will be on the frozen riverbank in the heart of Spitsbergen – we are close to halfway across.
Day 3 – Crossing east
On day three, we are halfway to the east, but on this day we will face Hellefonna – the final barrier, separating the Spitsbergen east-coast from the west. After breakfast we will start the climb up Såtebreen. It is less steep than Møysalbreen, reaching only 400 meters above sea level, but the reward is higher as from here-on we will finally be crossing over to the east. On days with good weather we can already now see the sea-ice and perhaps some of the gigantic icebergs that occupy the bay in Agardh.
On our way down Sveigbreen, we keep to the middle of the glacier to avvoid the large meltwater-channels present close to the margins of this glacier. The descent is comfortable however, with almost 12 km down the glacier to the valley-floor. This will be our first night on the east-coast and we are now entering the domain of the polar bears.
Day 4 – Meeting the bear..?
Waking up will be a little bit different than the previous days.The winter is much stronger here on the eastcoast with denser, more wind-packed snow and lower temperatures. The landscape will change as we move onto a wide strandflat, surrounded by perfectly stratified tabletop-mountains. Thick moraines border the valleys. Everything will feel larger. In the distance you will see ocean and the sea-ice. This valley will truly give you a feeling of being small in a very grand arctic wilderness.
We now leave the glaciers behind and spend close to a day traversing the bay of Agardh. Coming across, we will enter Væringsdalen and prepare our final camp.
Day 5 – Reaching Dùner
After breakfast in Væringsdalen we will head north towards Ulvedalen and the bay of Dùner. The mighty glacier Ulvebreen with its blue-colored ice drops straight into the bay with a 2,5 km wide front. This is the final destination.
Our crew from town will meet us on the sea-ice to pick us up. On the return trip we go through a different route, via Sassendalen, where we pass by Tempelfjorden in the distance. Back at our offices at Kuhaugen we will pack out our gear and do a debrief of the trip. Later in the evening, the expedition will come to an end with a proper, well-deserved steak at Kroa.
- Available on request from March to May
- Duration 5 days
3 person minimun