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Norway 78° North2018-12-08T09:24:36+00:00

Project Description

ARCTIC CHALLENGE
78° NORTH, NORWAY

ARCTIC CHALLENGE
78° NORTH
NORWAY

Arctic Challenge – Outstanding 7 day Expedition; unspoilt high arctic environment

No previous skiing or winter camping experience is required for this Arctic Challenge.

22 May – 2 Jun 2019 – Guaranteed to depart, only trip for 2019.

This Arctic Challenge take place on Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago. We fly into Longyearbyen (world’s most northerly settlement (Latitude 78° North)) and immerse ourselves in a remote, high arctic environment on this full on 7 day wilderness Arctic Challenge; this is Polar Bear territory. Whilst it is not essential to have previous cross country skiing and winter camping experience, it would be an advantage.

Our Arctic Challenge starts with a fast boat ride across the Fjord to your starting point on the sea ice. From here, the Arctic Challenge group is on its own, venturing into the unspoilt wilderness.

The Arctic Challenge will work its way over the pristine white glacial terrain assisted by your willing Alaskan Huskies. Progressing up onto the plateau, the Guides will teach you how to build a good, well functioning base camp. This is real freedom, plenty of flexibility, no fixed timings. There is some exploration days with plenty of wildlife to keep your eyes open for, including Ringed and Beared Seals and Polar Bears – yes, Polar Bears. It is a point to point route so the pick up is in a different place.

For Arctic Challenges at this time of year, it’s the land of the midnight sun; no full darkness! This sheer white, frozen landscape is spectacular and unspoilt.

This Arctic Challenge is for any aspiring adventurer, looking for something different, something spectacular and yet without the full skills of a cross country skier or winter camper. It’s a serious trip with resilience and flexibility and professional Guides to keep you on the right track.

See our other Arctic Challenges: Finnmark Challenge, Husky Safari

Home

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £4200
Land Only, from £3650
Trip Duration 12 Days UK - UK
Expedition Length 7 Days
Max Altitude Negligible
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Guesthouse, tents
Most meals, see itinerary

Arctic Challenge – Outstanding 7 day Expedition; unspoilt high arctic environment

No previous skiing or winter camping experience is required for this Arctic Challenge.

22 May – 2 Jun 2019 – Guaranteed to depart, only trip for 2019.

A short summary for mobile users … This Arctic Challenge take place on Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago. We fly into Longyearbyen (world’s most northerly settlement (Latitude 78° North)) and immerse ourselves in a remote, high arctic environment on this full on 7 day wilderness Arctic Challenge; this is Polar Bear territory. Whilst it is not essential to have previous cross country skiing and winter camping experience, it would be an advantage.

Our Arctic Challenge starts with a fast boat ride across the Fjord to set down on the sea ice. Progressing up onto the plateau, assisted by the willing Huskies, your Guides will teach you how to build a good, well functioning base camp. This is real freedom, plenty of flexibility, no fixed timings. There is some exploration days with plenty of wildlife to keep your eyes open for, including Ringed and Beared Seals and Polar Bears – yes, Polar Bears. It is a point to point route so the pick up is in a different place.

For Arctic Challenges at this time of year, it’s the land of the midnight sun; no full darkness! This sheer white, frozen landscape is spectacular and unspoilt.

This Arctic Challenge is for any aspiring adventurer, looking for something different, something spectacular and yet without the full skills of a cross country skier or winter camper. It’s a serious trip with resilience and flexibility and professional Guides to keep you on the right track.

See our other Arctic Challenges: Finnmark Challenge, Husky Safari

Home

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £4200
Land Only, from £3650
Trip Duration 12 Days UK - UK
Expedition Length 7 Days
Max Altitude Negligible
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Guesthouse, tents
Most meals, see itinerary

Superb full on 7 day Arctic Expedition

No previous experience needed

Specialist equipment included

Most food

Hotels/Guesthouse/Camping

ATOL Protected

Trip Information

Trip Information

Arctic Challenge – Brief Itinerary

No previous cross country skiing or winter camping experience is required but it will be an advantage.

Day 1, Depart UK, Arrive Oslo (overnight transit)

Day 2, Depart Oslo, Arrive Longyearbyen

Day 3, Full and Final Preparations

Day 4, Fast Boat to start point, Start skiing

Day 5, Expedition

Days 6 – 8, Expedition – 3 Full Days on the Glacier Plateau

Day 9, Expedition – The Nansen Pass and Bore Glacier

Day 10, Expedition – Last Day on ice, Fast Boat back to Longyearbyen

Day 11, Depart, fly to Oslo

Day 12, Depart Oslo, Arrive London

Arctic Challenge – Full Itinerary

No previous cross country skiing or winter camping experience is required but it will be an advantage.

Day 1, Depart UK, Arrive Oslo (overnight transit)

Fly from London direct to Oslo for an overnight transit stop (airport hotel), en route to Longbearbyen.

Day 2, Depart Oslo, Arrive Longyearbyen

Fly from Oslo direct to Longbearbyen and transfer to the Guesthouse. Your Guide will meet you there. You will stay for 2 nights here. Dinner this evening is the official first gathering of the group. The Guide will go through the program for the trip and the skiing route. Your guide will also go through your personal outdoor equipment with you to make sure you have everything you need for the trip and that the equipment meets the standards that the Arctic environment requires. BD

Day 3, Full and Final Preparations

Today is dedicated to making final preparations and the packing of all of the equipment. It is essential that all team members know what equipment is with them. You will be teamed up with 1 or 2 other expedition members with whom you will work together and share a tent on the trip. Training will be given on the tents and other equipment being used.  There will be time to make your final personal preparations and adjustments. Your guide will go through safety routines, skiing routines and how to handle the dogs in the best way possible. There will be some spare time for any last minute shopping and look around the town. B

Day 4, Fast Boat to start point, Start skiing

After breakfast and an introduction to our four-legged friends who will accompany us on the trip, it’s onto the fast open boat across the Isfjorden towards Ymerbukten. This scenic fjord on the northern side of the great Isfjorden is our gateway into the real Arctic wilderness. When we arrive in the Ymerbukten fjord, the boatman will put us safely onto the  sea ice in front of the glacier. From here we will work our way towards land and up onto the glacier. On the way up the glacier, the dogs will help us pull some of the equipment; they love it! This evening will be the first night in tents. BLD

Day 5, Expedition

Wake to a stunning white wilderness view from the glacier over Ymerbukta and the surrounding mountains. Most of the day is an easy uphill, until we reach the plateau at about 500 meters above sea level. BLD

Days 6 – 8, Expedition – 3 Full Days on the Glacier Plateau

We will make our way across this vast and flat glacier landscape. Up here, the winter is still strong, we can get hard winds and low temperatures, or we can get fabulous mild and sunny days. No matter what kind of weather, this great landscape will give us a real taste of how big and impressive Arctic nature can be. We hope to spend 2 nights in the same camp. This will give us the opportunity to do a daytrip without the pulks. Depending on the weather, skiing conditions and the group, we have several different possibilities for daytrips – getting high onto a mountain top or swooping down into the St. Jons fjorde to explore the sea ice and the wildlife associated with it. BLD

Day 9, Expedition – The Nansen Pass and Bore Glacier

Today we start the descent off of the glacier and camp close to the Nansen pass, the mountain pass that separates the Nansen glacier and the Bore glacier. When we are down from the pass we come out onto the mighty Bore glacier where we once again get the spectacular view over Isfjorden and we can even spot the mountains around Longyearbyen 50km away. We make our last camp above the glacier front. BLD

Day 10, Expedition – Last Day on ice, Fast Boat back to Longyearbyen

Last day on the ice. We pack up our camp as usual and start our way down the glacier front, through the moraine landscapes and onto the sea ice of Borebukta. Around lunch time the boat will be back to pick us up and we travel back to Longyearbyen. After arriving at the port we will all be transported back to the guest house for a hot shower and a good dinner. BLD

Day 11, Depart, fly to Oslo

Breakfast and depart for Oslo, overnight airport hotel.

Due to the nature of this trip, we cannot guarantee that it will return to Longyearbyen on schedule. We therefore recommend you add at least 1 night onto the end of your trip.

Day 12, Depart Oslo, Arrive London

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
22 May - 2 Jun 2019 £4200 £3650

Deposit, flight inclusive – £950 – The high deposit reflects the requirement to secure the specific services key to this trip as early as possible. This includes international & domestic flights.

Deposit, Land Only – £350

Group Size: 2 – 8 + the Guide(s). There will be a max of 2 Guides + Husky dog(s).

Sole Occupation – see tab below.

There is only 1 trip running in 2019.

What the price includes

  • International flights London – Longyearbyen, including 2 x overnight hotel stops in Oslo en route in both directions
  • Guesthouse in Longyearbyen, 3 nts, twin share
  • All meals from Day 2 dinner to Day 11 b’fast, except lunch and dinner on Day 3. B’fast only in Oslo hotels en route.
  • Vehicle and boat transport to/from start of expedition
  • English speaking qualified Guide
  • Provision of snow shovels, pulks, cooking stoves
  • Hire of cross country touring skis, poles, boots and skins

What the price does not include

  • Transport to/from Longyearbyen Guesthouse (see later in this document)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending

What the price includes

  • Guesthouse in Longyearbyen, 3 nts, twin share
  • All meals from Day 2 dinner to Day 11 b’fast, except lunch and dinner on Day 3. B’fast only in Oslo hotels en route.
  • Vehicle and boat transport to/from start of expedition
  • English speaking qualified Guide
  • Provision of snow shovels, pulks, cooking stoves
  • Hire of cross country touring skis, poles, boots and skins

What the price does not include

  • International and domestic flights and any required overnight accommodation en route to Longyearbyen
  • Transport to/from Longyearbyen Guesthouse
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending

If Sole Occupation is requested – £210 (this only applies to the Guesthouse in Longyearbyen).

If sole occupation is requested during transit from London to Longyearbyen (2 nights) – an additional £100.

It does not apply to tents on the expedition (it is impractical and you would not want to be in a tent on your own; too cold!).

If you a lone traveller, you will be not be charged any form of ‘single supplement’ by default but placed into a twin room (same sex). If there happens to be an odd one out, someone gets sole occupation at no cost.

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key information

Arctic Challenge – It’s All In The Detail

Passport – Must be valid for the duration of your visit. Information source is the FCO Travel Advice Norway.

Visa – No visa is required for Norway.

Flight Tickets – paper tickets are rare these days; all e-tickets. All you need to check in is your passport and PNR Reference No (which we provide you with). From that your boarding passes are provided. We either provide your boarding passes (by email) or you check in on line yourself (or at the airport).

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

This Arctic Challenge is graded as ‘Tough’. For 7 days, you will be living on ice. Your tent is your home. Expect -20°C up on the plateau so your equipment must be geared accordingly. Should the weather close in, you have no choice but to ‘batten down the hatches’ and wait for it to clear.

This Arctic Challenge entails moving on cross country touring skis, pulling a pulk (lightweight fibreglass sled) behind you weighing 25 – 30kg fully loaded (using a harness around the waist). The skiing is generally a shuffling action in order to pull the pulk along so a good degree of strength is required. This is in addition to the physical effort required to set up camp, cook and break camp the following day. This may be conducted in very cold weather.

A good level of fitness is required, primarily endurance combined with a certain amount of robustness. This trip is designed to be enjoyable within a challenging framework. No one is trying to kill you! If you are struggling with the weight of the pulk or the skiing technique, teamwork will take hold and adjustments made. For example, some of the weight can be re-distributed to other expedition members and/or the dogs.

As part of the booking process, you will be asked about any relevant issues of your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • All meals supplied  from Day 2 dinner to Day 11 b’fast, except lunch and dinner on Day 3. B’fast only in hotels in Oslo en route.
  • On expedition – All meals are primarily freeze dried due to the nature of the environment.
  • You will be required to take a 1 litre thermos flask.

Please inform us if you are vegetarian.

Accommodation

  • Oslo – good quality airport hotel en route, twin share, same sex.
  • Longyearbyen – Guesthouse, twin share, same sex.
  • On expedition – high quality tents designed for the environment.

Getting to/from Longyearbyen generally requires an overnight stop in Oslo in both directions due to flight schedules. The itinerary in this document shows this and the costs are included. This may change from time to time.

The cost of those overnight stops is included in the price unless you are on a Land Only trip. The overnight accommodation will be a good quality airport hotel, close enough to use an airport shuttle bus.

Practicalities in Longyearbyen dictate that it is more efficient for you to make your way to the Guesthouse by bus or taxi. Regular buses go straight passed the Guesthouse. The airport is just 3km from the town. The cost of the bus is approx £7.

Our default flights are:

International Flights – London (can be any of the airports) – Oslo. Direct flights.

Domestic Flights – Oslo – Longyearbyen. Usually direct flights. They may exceptionally stop of at Tromso or similar.

London not convenient? – Other UK regional airport options are possible to Oslo. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Please ask for advice on 01529 488159.

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations:

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

You need very little spending money on this trip, save for any time you wish to spend in the town.

Norwegian Kroner (NKR) is readily available in the UK prior to travel.

There are ATM’s available. Be aware that Longyearbyen can be expensive for general everyday things such as meals.

We recommend either carrying additional spare cash OR a debit/credit card as a back up. The latter (credit card) should always be carried for emergencies.

Further generic information on subjects such as travel insurance and high altitude trekking can be found on our Information webpage.

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