Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse
Skarvheimen Traverse

Skarvheimen Traverse


Nordic Ski Touring

A Nordic ski touring trip in the Skarvheimen which offers a wonderful introduction to travelling from hut-to-hut. Eastern Norway meets western Norway at Skarveheimen in a beautiful mountain landscape of rolling hills, plateaux, and wide valleys scattered with frozen lakes and rocky crags. This is the perfect terrain for 'off-track' ski touring. 

Our route takes us from Finse, the highest railway station in Norway, to Breistolen, a lonely mountain hotel on the road between Gol and Laerdal.

When you step off the train at Finse you will feel as though you have been plunged into a world of snow and ice! Above this tiny hamlet is the impressive mass of the Hardanger icecap which added to the sense of Arctic wildness and wide open spaces. 

    • Ideal as a first hut-to-hut Nordic ski tour
    • South to north, point-to-point mountain journey
    • Guided by a professional Nordic Ski Instructor
    • Witness ancient glaciers rising from the snowy landscape
    • Experience the unique Norwegian mountain hut system
    • No need to carry fuel, food or bedding, it's all provided
    • A wilderness experience creating life-long memories

We travel on skis with all our needs in our rucksack, but with food, fuel and bedding awaiting us in each cosy mountain hut, we ski with lightweight sacks. Add to this fact that the days are around 15km long and you will understand that this is a relaxed trip. However, for the keen skiers there is usually the opportunity to ski more after we arrive at each overnight accommodation.  

 

Itinerary

  • From Oslo you will take the train north to the tiny hamlet of Finse on the edge of the Hardangervidda. Finse is the highest railway station in Norway. With the opening of the railway the proximity and easy access to both Bergen and Oslo made Finse a popular mountain resort, but during the 1960s and 1970s the tourist traffic declined, as did the village. Today Finse is a tiny community but the Station still operates the oldest and highest situated post office in Norway, founded on 1 March 1904.

    Your guide will meet you on the railway platform at Finse. There will then be a short trek of 500m (1640ft) across the lake of Finsevatnet to the DNT hut where we will spend the first two nights. Finsehytta is beautifully situated with a view of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier, the sixth largest glacier in Norway. This evening at your accommodation your ski guide will give a full briefing on the week ahead. 

    For 'Arrival & Departure' details please refer to the 'Trip Information' section. 

  • This morning we emerge from our cosy hut to our first sight of our surroundings on the edge of the Hardanger icecap. The geological history of the Hardangervidda’s goes all the way back to rocks that are older than 1500 million years, however, it was only in 1981 that the area was taken into the protection of National Park status. 

    After a session in the ski waxing room, preparing for our skis for the day, we will head out into the stunning landscape of the Skarvheimen. Our aim will be to do a gentle 'warm up' ski tour. We may visit the snout of the Blaissen glacier below the Hardanger or we might ski to the mountain hut at Klemsbu and take in some nearby hill tops.

    For fans of Star Wars today ski area is interesting as in 1979, the entire Star Wars crew stayed nearby including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and local film extras. “The Empire Strikes Back” was partially filmed in Finse and on the glacier. Finse represents the snow planet “Hoth” for thousands of Star Wars fans. 

    We are sure the force will be with us for a safe and enjoyable return to our hut at Finse for our second overnight in the snow.  

    Distance: 15km (9.4 miles) maximum

  • After a hearty Norwegian breakfast, we once again prepare our skis for our tour and contemplate new horizons. Today we leave the Finse hut and head for the hills to travel to Geiterygghytta, our next overnight. The 'hytta', Norwegian for 'hut', is known as the pearl of Skarvheimen and is one of the main gateways to the magnificent Aurlandsdalen. The well-known and historic Aurlandsdalen Valley, was once one of the main routes between the eastern and western parts of Norway. This area is known as Norway's Grand Canyon, a landscape that is often described as wild and breathtaking, rich in plant and animal life, cultural treasures, history and geological features. 

    We have two options to reach Geiterygghytta which sits at 1224m (4014ft) above sea level. There is the relaxed version via the Omnsbreen taking the main route to the hut, or if everyone is going well we will ski through the Kyrkjedori or ‘Church Door’.  This is a pass through the mountains leading to an intriguing area of frozen lakes, low passes and craggy hills. The hut is often surrounded by reindeer and a warm ‘Sami’ welcome is assured! 

    In Norway there are approximately 2,600 Sami people making their living from herding reindeer. Traditionally, most Sami people have also supported themselves through fishing, farming and hunting, on the coast and on the larger inland rivers.

    Ascent: 360m (1180ft) OR 520m (1705ft) Distance: 16km (10 miles) or 20 km (12.5 miles)

  • This morning we wake up to the wide open white spaces that surround Geiterygghytta. We have quite a short and relaxed ski tour today which allows time to consolidate skills and work on technique. Putting on our skis we will head for a mountain lodge which is perched in a wonderfully wild and exposed position on the Arctic plateau.

    The Hardangervidda is Northern Europe's largest mountain plateau and Norway's largest national park. In winter there is a network of trails which connect the mountain lodges. Our overnight accommodation is a 'self-service' hut where you will join in the wood-chopping, water collection, and cooking. This is the true Norwegian hut experience! Skiing through the wilderness to reach a cosy wooden hut with the prospect of a wood-burning stove and a large pot of tea at the end of it. It's all great for building team spirit! Once we are settled in there will be time for the more energetic to tick off a nearby highpoint such as Kongshellernuten. 

     Ascent: 370m (1213ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles)

  • Teamwork to start our day as we all help prepare breakfast and organise our lunches. It's lovely to get the wood-burning stove fired up early, and to wake up to the sound of the kettle boiling! The great thing about the self-service huts is that they have a 'help yourself' store of dried and tinned foods. They also have a store of wood, and come with pillows and blankets. It really is an amazing system based on trust and honesty as we make a list of what we use and pay many months later when the DNT Trekking Association send a someone round the huts to collect the 'slips' that list our details and use of food. 

    Once we have tidied up at Kongshelleren we put on our skis, and head off across the plateau. After we have warmed up our ski legs on the plateau we then have a long descent cruising our way down to a frozen lake, and our next overnight stop at Lungsdalshytta. As before we will have time for more local skiing in the afternoon or you might choose to simply relax and gaze out of the window at the wild open spaces of Norway. 

    Ascent: 60m (197ft) Distance: 14km (8.7 miles)

  • We awake to see the immense expanse of the lake of Lungsdalsvatnet stretching towards the far distance. The word 'vatnet' means 'lake' and you will see many 'vatnet' marked on the local maps as they are very much a feature of the plateau. Putting on our skis we head away from the lakeside to follow a valley which is running north which will take us once more onto the high plateau. By now you should be well used to skiing with the weight of your rucksack on your back, and your ski legs are developing. 

    After reaching the plateau we head for a series of small lakes which lead us to our second 'self-service' DNT hut. Once again its tea-making and firing up the stove that occupy us on arrival. After a 'cuppa' we can head back out into our white world with the aim of skiing to the top of some of the small summits which are to be found in the area around Bjordalsbu. If the weather is good we should have excellent views all the way to the imposing Jotunheimen mountains. Twenty-nine of the highest mountains in Norway are in the Jotunheimen, including the highest Galdhøpiggen which sits at 2469m (8098ft). Once again our overnight hut is 'self-service' and we will all participate in wood chopping, food preparation and other housework. 

    Ascent: 510m (1672ft) Distance: 16 km (10 miles)

  • Today we have a relaxed ski as we follow a narrow valley and glide down to the remote hotel at Breistolen. The hotel is open in the summer months, but in winter the remoteness and snow cover prevent the tourists from arriving. Except, of course, for our hardy team who will have skied from Finse! Breistolen sits on one of the very few all-season roads linking the west coast of Norway to the capital city of Oslo. It's a great destination to aim for on our last day of Nordic 'off-track' ski touring. Here we will catch the bus to Oslo arriving in the city at approximately 1820hrs. The bus fare is included and we will book this on your behalf. Tonight we stay in the city centre which makes departing tomorrow for the airport very easy. Our accommodation will be on a Bed & Breakfast basis, and dinner is not included. 
     

    Ascent: 30m (98ft) Distance: 11km (6.8 miles)

    NB: If you are choosing to fly tonight then do check with us before booking any flights as the bus times can change. At the time of writing the time for winter 2020 is yet to be published. Any evening flight should be no earlier than 2hrs after this arrival time. 

  • Today is your departure day. The airport at Gardermoen is easily reached from Oslo city centre by bus or train. Full details under 'Arrival & Departure' in the 'Trip Information' section. 

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

On all of our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, comfortable, characterful, family run accommodation. 

We take time to research, update and view the best options available to us. On this trip we will be staying in Norwegian mountain huts for six of the seven nights. 'Hut' is a misnomer as they are more like cosy mountain lodges. They are either privately owned and run, or more likely they are owned and operated by Den Norske Turistforening, which is the Norwegian Trekking Association. 

All of the huts have shared bedrooms with either 2-3, or 4-6 beds. All meals, which are excellent in quantity and quality are provided and you make up your packed lunch from the breakfast buffet. There are hot showers which cost around 10 NOK, drying rooms, a small shop and bar.

We will also be using 'self-service' lodges for only two of these nights; these are excellent timber-built buildings set in remote surroundings, with bunk rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, wood-burning stoves, a stockpile of wood (ready for chopping!), chemical toilets and a food store where we help ourselves to supplies. As a group, we will share the tasks of wood-chopping, water collection, cooking, clearing up, etc. We would like to point out that we aim to arrive early in the day at these 'self-service' cabins to ensure that we have a bed. If we arrive late and the cabin is busy it is possible that you will sleep on the floor on a mattress. Consider it a Norwegian form of 'glamping'!  

Our final night in Oslo will be in a city hotel on a Bed and Breakfast arrangement. The evening meal on the last night is not included. Our hotel is convenient for the railway and bus stations. 

Twin rooms MAY be available on some nights for a supplementary fee, but at staffed huts only. It may also be possible to secure a single room on the final night in Oslo. Please contact us if you wish to discuss the rooming on this trip. 

Finsehytta

DNT Staffed Cabin

The DNT hut at Finse is a fabulous starting point or base for ski tours into the beautiful Skarvheimen. With the railway station just 500m (1640ft) from the hut door it is easily reached on foot or by ski! It is a comfortable serviced DNT hut, cosy and well run, looking after skiers from all over the world. The DNT hut at Finse is fully 'catered' and therefore you do not have to prepare any meals while staying here.

Bedrooms, which require early booking, are normally for between 2 to 3 people, although there are some rooms which have between 4 to 6 beds. It may be that we will use dormitories if necessary. Twin rooms may be available for a supplement. Single bedroom are not possible. The meals are hearty and there are showers available (10 Kroner). For each of the huts you will need a 'sleeping bag liner', and this will be on your kit list. The hut also has a lounge area, a ski store, waxing room, drying room and a small shop.

 

Geiterygghytta

DNT Staffed Cabin

Geiterygg DNT hut sits at 1224m (4014ft) above sea level, in the middle of Skarvheimen. The hut was opened in 1914 and has become a vital hub in an extensive network of trails, connecting routes from Hol, Aurland, Finse and Hallingskeid. Geiterygg is known as the pearl of Skarvheimen and is one of the main gateways to the area known as Norway's Grand Canyon. The mountains around the hut are breathtaking, wild, rugged and remote.

The hut at Geiterygg is a 'serviced or catered' hut and has a total of 88 beds. You will not be required to prepare meals, it will all be done for you. There are a few rooms with 2 bunk beds, or 4 bunk beds, and there are 44 bunks in a dormitory annex. Both the main hut at Geiterygg and the annex have toilets, showers (10 Kroner) and a drying room. There is also a comfortable lounge area and a small shop.

Kongshelleren

DNT Self-Service Cabin

The hut at Kongshelleren is a DNT self-service hut. This means that the hut is supplied with dried and tinned foods, wood, and bedding. The hut has 12 beds available and offers a cosy night. As with all the DNT huts it is usually clean and tidy and a great place to stay. This is the true Norwegian mountain experience, skiing over the snowy landscape, arriving at a remote hut, opening it up and making ourselves at home. We love it!

Lungsdalshytta

DNT Staffed Cabin

Lungsdalshytta like all the DNT huts is located in a stunning location in the mountains. This is a 'serviced' hut and the hut staff will prepare our meals which are normally three courses. Meals are cooked by the chefs and made from locally produced ingredients. The hut staff say "Food is always served with a smile at Lungsdalshytta! :)" 

 

The hut can sleep 48 people in rooms of 2, 4 and 6 bunk beds. Bedding is supplied and you just need to bring a 'sleeping bag liner'. The hut has electricity supplied by its own generator.

Bjordalsbu

DNT Self-Service Cabin

Bjordalsbu is a 'self-service' hut which means that it is supplied with wood, and dried and tinned food. As always the huts are located in the mountains in beautiful locations. There are many place names in Norway ending in 'bu' which generally means a mountain cottage or shelter. Bjordalsbu sleeps up to 26 people in rooms of various size. We will all participate in preparing meals, chopping wood for the stove, and generally doing some housework! 

Thon Hotel Spectrum, Oslo

Hotel

The Thon Hotel Spectrum is our overnight in Oslo, the capital city of Norway. The hotel is in the city centre and just a short distance from Oslo Central Train Station, the Flytoget shuttle to the airport,and the bus station. It is also near the Oslo Spektrum arena, Oslo City and Gunerius shopping centres, and Karl Johan High Street. Tonight dinner is not included as we are booked on a Bed & Breakfast arrangement. 

Dinner is eaten in town and you will have plenty of restaurants to choose from. We do not include dinner simply because out hotel only offers B&B. Indeed, many of the city centre hotels do not offer dinner as they expect you to eat in the local restaurants. 

The hotel has a gym in case you have not had enough exercise this week! Complimentary coffee is served in the lounge area.

 


  • Arrival

    We recommend flying to Gardermoen airport, Oslo. This is the main airport and is easily accessible from Oslo city. It is also possible to fly to Oslo Torp or Oslo Rygge with Ryanair, but you will need to allow more time between Olso city centre and these airports. Transfer links to Oslo are to be found on the Torp airport website. Arrival times should be approx 2hrs before departure time of the train to Finse to allow you to prepare and to store any excess luggage at the airport.

    You will require to book your own train ticket for the train to Finse which departs from Oslo Gardermoen airport at 1513 hrs, a journey of 4 hours 44 minutes. Please check with us before booking flights as these timings may be subject to change. 

    Your guide will meet you at the train station at Finse at the arrival time stated on your Joining Instructions which are sent to you four weeks prior to your trip departure date. You must meet your guide at Finse Railway Station. On no account should you attempt to walk to the mountain hut on your own. It is possible to get lost in the dark!

    When you arrive in Finse you need to be ready to step off the train ready to walk to the hut which takes about 10 minutes. Please be prepared for the walk with warm clothes, gloves, hats and ski boots on.

    Departure

    Following our overnight in Oslo city centre you are free to depart. You can, if necessary, leave on the evening of Day 7 if your travel plans require it. Contact us to discuss this option as your flight must be at least 2 hours after the arrival time in Oslo. We would advise that it is safer to plan on departing on Day 8. 

    From Oslo city centre you can make your way to Gardermoen airport by bus or train:  

    By Train

    The “Flytoget” airport express train takes twenty minutes from the city centre to Gardermoen airport. You can also take the normal train operated by Vy which is cheaper, but takes a little longer. 

    By Bus

    There are various bus services between the city centre and the various airports. Gardermoen airport can be reached by bus with Ruter. Transfer links to Torp are to be found on the airport website

     

  • You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity including emergency helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. 

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run. 

    The insurance clause set out in our Terms and Conditions is below:

    Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details.

    You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.

    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.

  • Please refer to 'Type of Skis' for rental information. There is no ski pass required for this trip. 

  • The skis and boots required for this trip are metal-edged Nordic touring skis similar in width to the Fischer E99, or Fischer E109. Boots should be leather or soft plastic, such as the Garmont Excursion, with Vibram soles. Poles should be of touring length and fit snugly into the armpit with the basket on the snow surface. It is not convenient to hire equipment in Norway, and indeed is very difficult. This is largely because there is little demand as almost all Norwegians skiers have their own touring skis and boots.

    You can hire from the United Kingdom from Braemar Mountain Sports. They will post the skis, boot and poles to you five working days before your departure date by registered courier with next day delivery. The cost is around £140 per week, plus postage in 2020. This system has been used for many years without difficulty. 

    It is important that you ORDER your skis, boots and poles as soon as your trip is guaranteed to run. It is also important to discuss with the hire shop your normal shoe size and how this will relate to the type of boots they will supply you with. You may have time to exchange your boots before you leave but the hire shop cannot guaranteed they will have the size you require in stock. 

  • 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. 

    When you leave Oslo you will take everything you need for the trip in your rucksack. Allow sufficient time between your arrival in Oslo and your connecting travel to ensure you have your rucksack packed and ready for the week.

    You can leave any extra luggage in Oslo in the left luggage lockers at the airport. For example you might want to fly wearing footwear other than your ski boots and those and a fresh change of clothing in the left luggage lockers? However, you can leave home ready to ski and arrive at Oslo ready to go. It has been done many times, and it works. To avoid the need to pay to leave a ski bag at the airport you can arrive with your skis simply taped together. At Oslo airport the luggage desk will wrap them for free for your return flight home. 

    Group equipment - we share out waxes, 2/3 snow shovels, emergency lightweight shelters, a snow probe, and any repair kit amongst the group members. 

    Equipment

    The skis and boots required for this trip are metal-edged Nordic touring skis similar in width to the Fischer E99, side cut 66-54-61, or Fischer E109, side cut 82-60-70. The 'sidecut' refers to the width of the ski in millimetres; at the tip, the middle, and the tail. You should avoid any skis that are narrower than the E99, so less than 54mm in the middle or 'waist'. Any narrower and the skis are not appropriate for off-track skiing.

    Boots should be leather or soft plastic, such as the Garmont Excursion, with vibram soles.  Poles should be of touring length and fit snugly into the armpit with the basket on the snow surface. If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.

    Skis, boots, and poles - can be hired in the UK. They cannot be easily hired in Norway. For more information on ski hire consult the 'Type of Skis' section of the 'Trip Information' page. 

    • Wax Cork and Ski Scraper - only if using 'waxing' skis
    • Ski ties - to hold your skis together
    • Waxes - if required, these will be supplied by Tracks and Trails
    • Rucksack - 40 to 50 litres with waist and chest strap. You need space to carry your kit for 6 days of touring, and an item of group kit
    • Rucksack waterproof cover or liner to keep contents dry
    • Water container - 1 litre, drink tubes and bottles stowed on the outside of your rucksack usually freeze in winter
    • Snow shovel - check with us before packing one as we may already have sufficient within the group
    • Whistle
    • Climbing skins - these will be supplied by Tracks and Trails
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries

    Clothing

    • Waterproof jacket - essential, this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you!
    • Waterproof trousers - in case of heavy snowfall
    • Trousers - lightweight, windproof and warm
    • Thermal top - long sleeves
    • Thermal leggings
    • Thin fleece - long sleeves
    • Waistcoat - fleece/wind stopper 
    • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin)
    • Over-mittens for colder days can be useful
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Head/ear band 
    • Duvet jacket (or second warm layer)
    • Scarf or 'Buff' for neck
    • Socks - 2 or 3 pairs
    • Gaiters - to deal with fresh snow

    Comfort

    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen 
    • Sunglasses 
    • Goggles - or Nordic Ski Visor 
    • Snack bars/chocolate
    • Small mat for sitting on snow at lunch
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash
    • Tissues - we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Sleeping bag liner, also known as a 'sheet sleeping bag' 
    • Small 'Pack' towel 
    • Slippers for use at accommodation

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray

    Documentation

    • Mountain Rescue/Ski Insurance documents - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Norwegian Kroner

    Additional Items

    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Minimalist Toiletries – soap/toothpaste etc
    • Ear plugs 
    • Small thermos for hot drinks

    **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 there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The 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.

  • Your ski guide will be a professionally qualified BASI Nordic Instructor at the least and may also be a BASI Telemark Instructor. They will hold the Winter Mountain Leader Award, or the International Mountain Leader Award or have the ability and relevant experience to navigate in winter conditions. While in no way interfering with the tour, coaching along the way in ski technique and waxing will help you ski more effectively and with less effort. We are always mindful of safety in cold conditions and wilderness areas. 

  • 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.

  • The DNT system of cabins in Norway is a wonderful concept. 'DNT' stands for Den Norske Turistforening, which translates to the 'Norwegian Trekking Association'. 

    According to the DNT local member associations operate 550 cabins across Norway. They maintain a network of about 22,000 km (13,730 miles) of marked hiking trails and about 7000 km (4375 miles) of branch-marked ski tracks. Each year, volunteers work a total of more than 800,000 hours maintaining this system. 

    A number of our trips such as our Geilo & Finse Introduction to hut-to-hut touring, Skarvheimen Traverse, Jotunheimen Pines to Peaks, and the Hardanger Classic Crossing require you to be a member of the DNT. Please check the 'Dates & Prices' section of the your trip itinerary. To become a member click here

    DNT Cabins are either 'staffed' or 'self-service':

    Staffed cabins

    Staffed cabins serve all meals; breakfast, dinner and a picnic lunch which is made up from the breakfast buffet. Meals are excellent in both quality and quantity! Many have showers (for a 10 Kroner fee) and electricity, either from the power grid or from a local generator. Staffed cabins are open only in certain seasons.

    Self-service cabins

    The self-service cabins are equipped with all that we need for cooking and sleeping. Firewood, gas, kitchen utensils, table linen and bunks with blanks or duvets and pillows. We do require you to bring a 'sheet sleeping bag liner' for reasons of hygiene. The cabins are also stocked with tinned and dried food which means we do not have to carry provisions! It is not possible to 'reserve' beds in self-service cabins and it is a case of 'first come, first served'. We aim to arrive in good time to secure the necessary number of beds which are usually in rooms with between 2 - 8 bunk beds. If we arrive late in the day and the cabin is already crowded then as 'members of the DNT' you will have priority over non-members in terms of acquiring a mattress. Please note this may be a mattress on the floor, think of it as camping, but with a roof!

    In the self-service cabins we look after ourselves: fetch water, cook food, wash up and chop wood. At the cabin we fill out a payment form which details everything we have used. The DNT then contact us on our email addresses and we make payment for your stay. 

  • During this trip you will experience 'touring' in its purest form as you will set off from Oslo with everything you need for the week in your rucksack. It's a great feeling to have everything on your back, a de-cluttering of life and stripping down to the basics. 

    With this in mind you might like to leave extra luggage for your flight or any onward travel in Oslo. The preferred option is that you leave luggage in a locker at Gardemoen airport for approximately 630 NOK per week. When you come through the 'Arrivals' door at Gardermoen airport gate you should turn left and walk to the end of the building and you will find the baggage service.

    There are also luggage lockers at Oslo central railway station from 350 NOK per week, though cost does depend on the size of locker you use. We have, however, found that on occasion these are unreliable in that they can be fully booked.

  • 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:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    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. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2020

Spaces available Book

What's Included

  • 4 Nights full board staffed DNT hut accommodation; bed, breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
  • 2 Nights full board self service DNT hut accommodation; bed, breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
  • 1 Night bed and breakfast hotel accommodation in Oslo
  • Services of a professional Nordic Ski Instructor
  • Bus travel from the end of the trip on day 7 to Oslo
  • Use of ski waxes
  • Use of ski climbing skins
  • Tracks and Trails memento to take home

What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Ski hire
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Rail travel in Norway
  • Left luggage lockers in Oslo
  • Extra drinks and snacks
  • Dinner on the last night in Oslo
  • DNT membership: Our prices are based on you having DNT membership; it is, therefore, essential that you arrange membership via this link: https://english.dnt.no/join/ Membership cards will be needed when we are staying at the huts.
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Advanced

READ GRADE DESCRIPTION

At a Glance

From Price £1495
Holiday Type Nordic Touring 'Off Track'
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2000m (5560ft)
Countries Visited Norway
Meet In Finse, Norway
View all Nordic Touring 'Off Track' Holidays

Skarvheimen Ski Touring

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
Read More