Blog post by Sophie Nicholson

Our Top Three Summit To Sea Ski Touring Destinations

This part of the world is a paradise for backcountry skiers of all levels and abilities and what makes it so special is the ‘summit to sea’ ski experience – you quite literally ski from the top of the mountain right down to the shoreline. The ability to combine mountains with the ocean is unique and the sensation of skiing in perfect corn snow with a sparkling blue ocean as your backdrop is hugely addictive. No matter whether you opt to stay on land in a lodge or on board a floating vessel, the opportunity to ski in a remote part of the world with no restriction in terms of daylight hours, walk along the beach in your ski boots at the end of the day, go fishing on your rest days, catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights and truly connect with the elements offers the ultimate adventure for skiers with a penchant for wild places and extraordinary experiences.

Here are three fantastic summit-to-sea ski touring destinations to explore this spring:

The Lyngen Alps, Northern Norway

There’s a reason why the Lyngen Alps have become synonymous with summit-to-sea ski touring – the mountains are high and dramatic, the fjords are spectacular, the potential for ski touring is endless, and you can get there relatively easily from the UK (2.5 hour drive from Tromsø airport which is served by numerous airlines).

This is a ski touring paradise and if you’re looking to do it in luxury then you simply have to stay at the infamous Lyngen Lodge – a unique fjord-side boutique wooden lodge with geothermic heating, grass roof, fully licensed bar, library, sauna and outdoor jacuzzi. With just 8 ensuite bedrooms catering for 16 guests in total, this is an intimate retreat from which to absorb the enormity of your surroundings.

The Westfjords, Iceland

Ask anyone who’s been to Iceland and they’ll tell you it’s a magical, mythical kind of place. Tales of trolls and elves abound in a fascinating landscape but it is the legendary ski touring on offer here that really captures our imagination.

The Westfjords are a remote and beautiful region located on the Northwestern tip of Iceland. Perfect ski touring terrain for those who are looking for wilderness and to escape the often over-crowded skin tracks in the Alps. With the beautiful oak sailing ship – the Donna Wood – as your floating base for our Glacier Fjords Ski and Sail week, you will enjoy the ultimate freedom of being able to cruise around the fjords and choose the very best skiing conditions and most aesthetic lines.

The Donna Wood was originally built as a lighthouse ship but underwent massive restoration in 1990 and is now equipped with rigging and sails. She is a spacious ship with seating for 24 in the deck saloon and accommodates 12 people in 7 cabins with washbasins and closets.

The Sunnmøre Alps and Hjorundfjord, Western Norway

The Suunmøre Alps may not receive the level of international exposure enjoyed by the Lyngen Peninsula but the skiing in this area is every bit as impressive as that found to the north. The mountains in this area in the West of Norway are high (up to 2,000m) and enjoy endless fjord views. It’s well known within Norway as one of the best areas for ski touring in the country – in fact 6 of the Norwegian Mountain Guides Association’s ‘top 10 Norwegian ski tours’ are located in the Suunmøre Alps.

The location may be special but it’s the HMS Gassten that makes our Fjord Ski Touring Adventure trip really unique. With a luxuriously restored old navy minesweeper as your accommodation for the week, you’ve got a real hidden gem on your hands. The Gassten sleeps 10 in a combination of double and twin berths, has a beautiful deck for relaxing and sundowners and a private chef on board serving up the highest quality of food imaginable. Picture a smorgasbord of freshly baked soda bread, yoghurts and berries for breakfast, prawn marie rose sandwiches and gruyere tart for lunch and a three course dinner of freshly caught grilled lemon sole, baked halibut or reindeer with lingonberries to round off the perfect day.

NB – Wine and beer is included in the price – a major plus if you’ve experienced Norway’s prohibitively expensive approach to alcohol!

In addition to the adventures outlined below we can also arrange summit-to-sea ski trips to a range of destinations including Greenland, Lofoten and Finnmark. Just let us know where you want to go and what kind of experience you’re looking for and we’ll organise the rest.

 

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