Ski touring in Lofoten
Lofoten is an Eldorado for people who appreciate unique ski touring adventures and the good life.
Spectacular snow-capped mountains arranged like pearls on a string out at sea. Views that take your breath away. A rich cultural life that offers local food, comfortable accommodation, and varied activities when it’s time to rest tired thighs.
In Lofoten, you can ski in powder snow from mighty alpine peaks all the way down to the pebbles on the beach. There is a good reason why going on a ski touring adventure in the Lofoten islands is on the bucketlist of many ski enthusiasts.
It sounds like a romantic cliché but going ski touring on the mountain in powder snow and looking down on the boats taking part in the annual Lofoten fishery while an eagle sails over you is absolutely outstandingTINDEVEILEDER SETH HOBBY – NORTHERN ALPINE GUIDES
“Going skiing on an island where you are surrounded by the sea on all sides is a special experience,” says Mountain guide Seth Hobby, who has lived in Lofoten since 2010. He owns the guide company Northern Alpine Guides, which runs the Lofoten Ski Lodge at Nyvågar in Kabelvåg. This unique concept offers ski guiding, food and accommodation in one package.
Use a guide
Even if you have good skiing skills, it is still something else to ski off the beaten track. There are many factors to consider, including avalanche danger, route choice and where to find the best snow.
At Lofoten Ski Lodge, the guides gather for a daily morning meeting. Then the weather, the snow cover, choice of tour and other things are discussed. If you are on a trip with a guide, the trip will be both safer, educational and more efficient. One aspect that many people are not aware of is that an experienced guide takes the easiest track upwards. By not going too steeply, and by keeping a steady and calm pace, your energy is saved and can be used where you want it most, namely for the descent!
A Ski Touring destination with a diverse range of offerings
Most companies offering guided skiing in Lofoten are located in the east, in Svolvær, Kabelvåg and Henningsvær. And you can choose from a number of accommodation options in this region of Lofoten. However, some accommodations stand out, offering summit tours as part of their experience and are recommended for a magical social atmosphere throughout your stay:
Sail and Ski Experiences
Explore the magnificent island landscape in Lofoten with skiing from a sailboat – an unparalleled experience! Lofoten is known as one of the world’s most spectacular archipelagos, and the combination of powder snow and sailing offers you the ultimate winter magic.
Annual Winter Sports Events
Lofoten Skimo, a remarkable randonee race set in the snowy landscapes of Lofoten. Held in week 11, this true adventure race will take you across spectacular mountains and ridges. Additionally, a special children’s race is organized on Saturday. Click the link below to learn more about this extraordinary event and be part of an arctic adventure like no other!
Rapid weather changes
The ski season in Lofoten lasts from February to May. After a month of darkness, the sun rises again around January 6. This means bright days from the end of February, and hopefully a lot of snow. Due to its coastal location, it rarely gets very cold in Lofoten, and it can rain even at high altitude in the middle of winter. The weather might also change quickly. There can be big local differences, and you have to be prepared for violent weather changes that can change a day of sun and clear skies into blowing snow, strong winds and zero visibility.
Nature and culture go hand in hand
What sets Lofoten apart from other ski touring destinations is this special combination of easily accessible skiing in unique coastal nature and large selection of restaurants and accommodation. This creates a great atmosphere for your ski holiday. What makes a wonderful experience even richer is the fact that you can also surf, fish for the famous Northeast Arctic cod, go on a white-tailed eagle safari or enjoy a sauna and a refreshing dip in the sea. The skiing is not only of the highest quality, but a winter visit to Lofoten is a gift in its own right!
The Lofoten mountains are not the highest you can experience. Some of the skiing peaks edge over 1,000 m but most are only 700-800 m high. This means that you can reach several peaks in one day and plan wonderful excursions involving a lot of beautiful and varied terrain. If you only have 2-3 hours available, you can still enjoy a fully worthy ski tour.
Lofoten offers ski tours to suits every level and taste. Even though at first glance the mountains undeniably look steep, there are many wonderful options for beginners or those who prefer gentler slopes.
Frequently asked questions
By using a guide, safety is ensured, while the chance of finding good snow is higher. The guide is an expert in choosing suitable destinations. If you have equipment and experience, you can go on a trip on your own.
Avalanche warnings can be found at varsom.no. Remember to read the entire warning and familiarize yourself with what the avalanche problem is and where you can expect to encounter it. Don’t just look at the numbers.
Usually, the mountains around Svolvær and Laupstad on Austvågøy are the most snow-sure areas. Mountains such as Saufjellet, Pilan, Torskmannen and Småtindane are popular. In good snow conditions, there are also great hiking opportunities on Vestvågøy and Flakstadøy, such as Justadtind, Himmeltind and Stornappstind.
The main season for ski touring in Lofoten lasts from the beginning of February until the end of April. During this period there is plenty of daylight, and a high chance of good snow conditions. Lofoten has a mild coastal climate, so be prepared for periods of rain and mild weather even in the middle of winter. Some seasons might have great skiing opportunities from November to May.
It is great to use the off-days for kayaking, sea eagle safaris, winter-surfing, deep sea fishing or a visit to one of the many galleries or museums. The food scene is great too.
A Tinveveileder is a high mountain guide who is certified according to standards set by the international association IFMGA. These guides are experts in climbing, glacier walking, avalanche assessment and skiing in steep terrain.
The Norwegian association for mountain guides (Tindveileder) is called Nortind www.nortind.no
The international association is abbreviated IFMGA: www.ifmga.info
To go on a ski touring summit trip, you must bring avalanche equipment, which consists of a shovel, search pole and transmitter/receiver. For hiking equipment, you need skis with randonne bindings, top hiking boots, poles, helmet, rucksack and full winter clothing. First aid equipment must be included in the tour group. Good idea to bring a windbag too.