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Ski touring in the Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands in northern Norway are renowned for their natural beauty and winter sports potential. Ski touring is one of the region's favourite sports. The region is renowned for its snow-capped mountains, icy fjords, breathtaking views and wild environment. They offer a unique experience for ski touring enthusiasts.

In this article, we explain what ski touring is and why the Lofoten Islands are an ideal location for this activity. Finally, we'll look at how to plan a ski touring excursion in this region.

All about ski touring

Characteristics of ski touring

Ski touring, also known as ski mountaineering or ski-mo, involves climbing snow-covered slopes on skis, to ski them down. The principle is to use "sealskins" glued to the underside of the skis to prevent them from sliding backwards, and then to ski back down following a predefined - or an improvised - itinerary.

This activity requires good physical condition, solid skiing technique and a basic knowledge of mountain safety. It differs from traditional downhill skiing in that it allows you to get away from the ski lifts and ski in remote areas, away from the crowds.

Ski touring can be practised in different conditions, such as powder snow, hard snow or transformed snow. It can also be practised on different slopes, from gentle to steeper, depending on the skier's level of experience and skill.

Ski touring equipment

Touring skis are generally lighter than traditional piste skis, which makes them easier to carry when climbing. Touring ski bindings are designed to allow the heel to lift when climbing, making it easier to walk. Seal skins, which are attached to the base of the skis, prevent the skis from sliding backwards during ascent.

Ski touring is often practised outside marked ski areas, which means that skiers must be aware of the risks associated with avalanches and have the necessary safety equipment, such as avalanche detectors, shovels and probes. It is also important to be familiar with avalanche victim search techniques and to know which areas are safe for this activity.

Ski touring in the Lofoten Islands

Skiing conditions in the Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands offer an ideal playground for ski touring, with mountains peaking at over 1,000 metres, deep valleys and spectacular fjords. The Lofoten Islands also lie inside the Arctic Circle. However skiers can enjoy natural light for most of the day in the middle of winter. At mid-March, you can expect around 12 hours of daylight to ski and explore this wild region.

Weather conditions can be changeable, with frequent snowstorms and strong winds, but experienced ski tourers know how to adapt to these conditions and how to deal with them safely.

Plan an excursion to Lofoten

Planning a ski touring excursion in the Lofoten Islands requires a certain amount of preparation. First of all, it's important to find out about the weather conditions and avalanche danger levels before setting off. Skiers also need to be well equipped to cope with the weather, with warm clothing, sunglasses, gloves, hats and ski touring boots.

It's also important to plan an itinerary suited to your level of skiing and physical condition. The Lofoten Islands offer a variety of routes, from technical high mountain climbs to easier snowy valley crossings. Beginner ski tourers might consider joining an organised group or taking on an experienced mountain guide to help plan their route and provide safety advice.

Once there, ski tourers can enjoy the natural beauty of the Lofoten Islands while exploring the surrounding mountains. Popular routes include:

  • Ryten Mountain, which offers stunning views of the surrounding fjords;

  • The Bunesdalen valley, with its vast snowfields;

  • The Geitgallien, with its majestic southern couloir.

In short, ski touring is an exciting outdoor activity that allows skiers to get away from the crowds and ski in remote mountain areas. This activity requires good physical condition, experience and specific equipment for optimum safety.

Skiing in the Lofoten Islands is a unique mountain experience with spectacular views and ideal snow conditions. Skiers should be aware of the risks of avalanches and be equipped with the appropriate safety equipment.

With its majestic landscapes, rugged peaks and picturesque valleys, the Lofoten Islands are a destination of choice. They offer an unforgettable skiing experience in Norway.

As a general rule, it is highly recommended to be accompanied by a mountain professional. This could be a ski instructor specialising in off-piste skiing or a high mountain guide. A number of organisations offer the services of such professionals, and organise ski trips to Lofoten, such as PowderWeGo.

PowderWeGo is an agency specialising in off-piste skiing, heli-skiing, ski-sailing and ski touring. It can take you to the four corners of the world.

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