Cross-Country Skiing Expedition in the Arctic Circle
When Lucy Shepherd, the UK Adventurer, posted on Instagram that she was helping to lead a 9-day cross-country Arctic expedition in Norway, and there was room for 8 people, I immediately reached out to learn more.
I’ve never been cross-country skiing and I won’t know a soul on the trip, but it doesn’t matter. There is just something about this adventure that piqued my interest and I just felt like I just had to be part of it.
Adventure Overview – The Basics
What am I doing?
Cross-country skiing with dogs, pulling pulks (sled), across the Finnsmarkvidda Plateau above the Arctic circle in Norway, sleeping in tents with strangers, learning to ice fish, and getting to hang out with a small group of people that match my special sort of crazy.
- Northern Norway – above the Arctic Circle.
According to Forbes, “The vast mountain plateau of Finnsmarksvidda provides a perfect vantage point for Northern Lights viewing and its pine forest is populated with real-life reindeer.” They rank it as one of the top 5 scenic cross-country skiing locations in the world.
We’ll start in the city of Alta and ski across the Finnmark Plateau and finish our journey in the town of Karasjok.
- End of February
- 9 days total
- 7 day of skiing
- 4 to 15km a day (2.48 miles to 9.3 miles)
- 80 km ish total – about 50 miles in 9 days
How did you find out about it?
I follow Lucy Shephard, an impressive and inspiring British adventurer, on Instagram. Last March (2018) she posted about an arctic cross-country skiing expedition in Norway that she was going to help guide. There were spots available on the trip and she put out an open invitation to learn more and join the adventure.
Why would you do this?
I crave adventure like most people crave chocolate. This trip has all the makings of an epic adventure and I just couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass me by. Life is short and I get one shot. So why not?
Northern Lights + the Arctic + Norway + Huskies + Getting to learn from a professional adventurer = Once in a Lifetime Adventure
Who are you going with?
I am going alone but will meet up with 6 to 8 people, who I currently don’t know. I have no doubt that we’ll soon become fast friends. We’ll also have 2 guides to lead us safely across the Finnmark Plateau and I’ve been told there will be a few Alaskan Huskies join us to help pull some of the gear.
I know I’m a special sort of crazy to do these types of trips. But one of the many wonderful things about these types of trips, is that you meet people who are the same type of crazy and you instantly have something in common. Some of my dearest friends are from these adventures.
Are you using a guiding company?
Yes! Turgleder, a Norwegian adventure guiding company offers several types of arctic adventures and expeditions that make it possible for everyday people to experience a part of the world that few people ever get to.
They offer winter and summer adventures and are so great to work with. I highly recommend them. Visit their website at www.turgleder.com
Anything you’re worried about?
I have never really cross-country skied before.
I’ve downhill skied and I can hold my own on a snowboard, but cross-country skiing wasn’t an opportunity that came up until recently. Fortunately, I live where we get great snow, have so many beautiful and close places to go, and places where you can rent the gear and get a quick lesson. So I’ve been 4 times in the last few weeks, so I’m not a complete newbie.
BUT…this trip with Turgleder doesn’t require you to have to know how to ski or to have been before. They’ll teach us what we need to know and we’ll get to put it to use on the trip.
Are you worried about the cold?
No. I truly believe the saying, there’s no bad weather, just bad gear. I have some gear from previous trips that will work well for this adventure, but there were a few things I wanted to pick up specifically to make sure I had the right gear for cross-country skiing.
Rhodri with Nordiclife.co.uk has done trips like this in the past and offered such great advice and helped make sure I was properly outfitted for the trip. If you’re going on any type of outdoor adventure, his site is worth checking out, even if you aren’t from the UK. I had no issues at all ordering from the U.S. and his outstanding customer service will keep you coming back. I’m a customer for life.
Will you be posting updates?
Yes, but it will depend on Wifi. So, daily posts aren’t likely, but if you’d like to follow along, I will be posting photos and updates on both of my Instagram accounts: @adventure_cravers and @mjennings21
I will also write up a full report with photos, lessons learned, highlights, and behind the scene experiences, I will only share on the website.
Track My Journey
Russ over at Skycall Satellite has lent me a satellite phone and an Inreach Garmin GPS. Instead of buying a GPS or satellite phone, which can be a little pricy, Skycall rents out satellite phones and other GPS units that provides peace of mind not only for your family, but for you as well. He sells them too, if you’d rather have own one.
The map below shows all of the different trackers that have been lent out, but if you want to just see my tracks, here’s what to do:
- Click on the eyeball at the top, left of where it says ID. This will hide ALL of the units.
- Click on the eyeball next to MJ and it will show only my tracks.
- You can then click “Locate” and see where I am while on this journey.