Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted.
Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions, for example, we may not be able to stop and have lunch at a mountain farm as stated in the itinerary, because the farm has had to react to new rules with regard to serving food and drinks. We imagine that there will be many scenarios which might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.
When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.
Norway is easily reached, with various international airlines offering direct flights from the UK and Europe to Oslo Gardermoen airport. Flights can also be taken to Torp, but please note you will need to allow enough time to transfer to Oslo Gardermoen for your train journey north.
The train station at Gardermoen is located inside the airport terminal and is just a few minutes from the arrivals area. It makes connecting to your train for your journey to Vinstra very easy.
Tickets are easily purchased on line at Vy.no and if you book in advance there is a considerable discount for the return journey. You can choose to tickets on the train which makes taking the train north very easy.
At Oslo Gardermoen the train station is within the airport building and you should aim to catch the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen airport to Vinstra, arriving at Vinstra at 1712 hrs. This group pick-up at 1712 hrs is included in your trip fee. You can, of course, take alternative trains both on the arrival and departure days, but this may incur a supplement of 500 NOK if it requires a special journey by the hotel taxi. Please ask for details if this is the case.
Today you will transfer to Vinstra station for the train journey to Oslo airport. The group transfer included in your trip fee will arrive at Vinstra in time for the train departing at 1152hrs and arriving at Oslo airport at 1432hrs. There is an earlier train at 0613hrs, arriving at Oslo airport at 0901hrs.
If you wish to take the early train, the taxi cost in 2019 was 500 NOK. If there are other guests also taking the early train you will be able to share this cost. Please check all travel arrangements with us before you book your flights and trains. Please contact us if you wish to confirm details.
Please ensure you reserve your ticket as early as possible. The trains can be fully booked and you will not be permitted to travel.
When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:
Mountain Rescue Insurance
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.
Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance
You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.
As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.
Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.
All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions.
If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.
For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.
Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' warmer in recent years than previously which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as March and April. Even in January when the daylight hours are short we find that we have more than enough time for skiing. We have never yet had guests feeling they were losing out in terms of ski hours by booking in January or February. There is a special pleasure to starting your ski day in the sunrise, and skiing back with the sunset.
Historically temperatures in December have averaged -8°Celsius (17.4°F), in January -9.7°Celsius (14.5°F), in February -9.2°Celsius (15.4°F), in March -6.6°Celsius (20.1°F), and in April -2.3°Celsius (27.9°). Clearly there is the potential for temperatures to drop much lower, but rarely lower than -15°C (5°F).
We have found over the years that these temperatures have not been unpleasant nor have any guests had problems dealing with the weather as it is generally a 'dry' cold, and of course this helps create great snow and therefore great ski tracks. If we do experience a cold snap where temperatures drop then we ensure that everyone is appropriately clothed and kitted out for the ski day. In this respect energy snacks and a thermos with a hot drink are a great comfort!
If you are booked on one of our 'Advanced' or 'Challenging' point-to-point journeys and we experience very cold temperatures eg -15°Celsius (5°F) then we would expect you to be able to be efficient and keep moving and to manage your comfort.
Our hotel sits at around 1000m (3280ft) and the skiing ranges from 800m (2624ft) of altitude to 1150m (3772ft). We regularly ski in this area, and so far we have only been met with good snow conditions. King Bore - 'King of Winter' - from Nordic mythology says he can't promise anything, but in Gålå they begin to prepare the tracks as soon as they have enough snow in December and continue until mid-April or after Easter. Gålå also has a small downhill ski area which means that we sometimes make use of the ski tows to save our legs on the climb back to the hotel. It does mean that if you feel the urge you could do a day of alpine skiing. However, the overall 'feel' of Gålå is one of being a great cross country ski area, rather than an alpine resort.
We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip. You can choose to bring your own, however do check with us first to ensure they are the correct type of ski and boot and are suitable. At Gålå we do things the Norwegian way, and our hire skis from the hotel are 'waxing' skis, which provides a great opportunity to learn the art of waxing. Your instructor will provide daily waxing sessions to ensure you get the best out of the skis. Grip waxes are the traditional way of travelling on skis, and give greater glide than 'fishscales'. Don't be confused by all of this, just ask your instructor! We are always delighted to help you enjoy the whole Nordic experience. If you own 'fishscales' or 'skintec' skis it is quite acceptable for you to use them, but please note you may find them slower than the 'waxing' skis. However, on any days when the waxing is tricky you may find you have the advantage!
Your instructor will help with organising ski rental on the morning of your first ski day at Gålå. Please note that the hire skis at Gålå are NOT metal edged which is why it is appropriate for you to bring your own 'classic' non metal-edged track skis. The total ski hire is expected to be 775 NOK for 6 days. Please make your payment directly to the rental shop at the hotel (credit cards are accepted). To ensure we get the correct sizes equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits for ski pole hire.
In Norway it is not necessary to purchase a ski pass as there is no charge to use the tracks.
Your safety while skiing is our top priority. All skiers are requested to adhere to the Code of Conduct published by the International Ski Federation, or FIS. The aim is to make you, the skier, aware of how to avoid risks, take responsibility and act thoughtfully while on the cross-country ski tracks.
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in.
This trip uses ‘classic’ style track skis. If you are bringing your own skis they must fit in the tracks, so should be a maximum of 66mm at their widest point. You can use track skis which are 'waxing', 'fishscale' or 'skintec'. You can also use track skis with a metal edge, or half metal edge. If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.
Skis, boots, and poles - can be hired at the start of the trip. The cost of hire is indicated in 'Trip Information'. If you are intending to hire you must inform us as soon as possible as equipment must be booked in advance. The type of ski supplied by the hire shop is provided in the 'Ski Rental' section of the Trip Information page.
Personal First Aid
**Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**
Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit
On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened.
Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.
For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.
When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £225.
We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.
Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment.
For our hiking trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader and on our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader who it also an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.
For our snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader and for cross country ski trips you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.
These holidays are designed for those who can confidently get on their skis and go! You should already have done multi-day journeys on cross-country skis and enjoy spending the day travelling from point to point while carrying a small daypack. We would expect you to be able to ski at a steady pace over a variety of terrain and snow conditions, including icy tracks when necessary. As a minimum we expect you to have good control of speed and direction, and have a very effective snowplough. You should be familiar with the colour coding system for trails, and be able to assure us you can ski ‘red’ tracks with confidence. On any point-to-point journey we can expect to deal with a variety of weather from heavy snowfall to strong winds, and for this reason we expect a degree of self-sufficiency in terms of keeping yourself warm, and dry. It is possible that these tours may encounter sections of 'untracked' snow or old prepared trails, therefore making the distance covered more strenuous. Further tuition will be given at these stages if required. You should be at a very good fitness level and be able to ski approximately 6-7 hours and cover 20 (12.5 miles) – 35 km(18.7 miles) per day.
However, due to the shorter daylight hours at New Year we usually ski for about 5 hrs per day on this trip, and cover around 20 km (12.5 miles).
For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.
On this trip your lunches are included in your trip fee. In Norway it is traditional to make up your own packed lunch from the breakfast ingredients. Breakfast is normally a buffet with a large range of food on offer with more than enough interesting items to prepare a tasty sandwich. You will be supplied with paper to wrap them in. You can also ask to have a thermos flask filled with a hot drink.
On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip.
We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day.
The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required.
It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card.
On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.
There are currency exchange facilities/banks in Oslo Airport or you can obtain Norwegian Kroner prior to your arrival. Credit cards will be accepted in the hotels. Oslo airport has a left luggage store available if needed, which is at the east end of the arrivals hall.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region.
If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.
If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.
If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.
The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.
You can read our full policy here.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.
There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners.
We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same.
We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
Prices may vary depending on date.