Skiing at the
Edge of the World
Skiing at the Edge of the World
Svalbard, the edge of the world
Svalbard is a Norweigian archipelago 6 degrees south from the North Pole, 1,050 km (650 mi) away. Almost 60 percent of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.
This chunk of land in the middle of the Arctic Ocean is where you’ll be skiing & sailing for 8 to 10 days. When you’re that north, we’re no longer talking about a ski & sail trip, we’re talking about a ski & sail expedition. It is one of those places where your imagination wanders to when you’re looking at the world map.
- 79° to 84° north
- ENDLESS SUMMITS
- COBALT SKY
- DEEP-BLUE SEA
- 24 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT
Unlimited terrain under
the Midnight Sun
Unlimited terrain under the
UNLIMITED PEAKS FOR UNLIMITED SKIING
Be the first — or one of the first— to ascend and descend epic peaks jutting into the cobalt sky. The endless terrain is remarkably accessible.
Most of the skiing is consistent with low 30-degree angles, but steeper skiing can be found for anyone looking to challenge themselves.
Snow and ski conditions for every taste
During the week, snow covering the untracked lines can vary from dry Arctic powder to perfect spring corn. Committed ski-tourers will find beautiful runs within sight of the town, under 24 hours of daylight.
Ski slopes vary from low-angle open bowls to technical chutes — unique terrain offers something for every ski level.
A surreal experience awaits
A modern expedition on a traditional ship
Sail on a Floating Polar Basecamp
While ski touring out of Longyearbyen is easy, getting deeper into the Svalbard wilderness takes some planning. Boats — sail or otherwise — are key for an adventure like this, providing flexibility and safety.
The boat sleeps up to 25, including a four-member crew, a chef, a couple of guides, and a bunch of hearty guests who love ski touring, good food, and epic scenery!
Scenic climbs give way to long, beautiful runs back to the water, where a comfortable boat and a warm meal await you at the end of each day.
A MODERN EXPEDITION ON A TRADITIONAL SHIP
Rob Coppolillo is an AMGA and IFMGA Mountain Guide. In fact, Rob’s one of the first 100 Americans to have earned international certification through the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA).
Tom Wolfe is an ACMG and IFMGA Mountain Guide. He guides year-round, with winters being a mix of ski guiding at lodges, heli-ski operations, and remote backcountry destinations.
Your expert guiding team (up to 4 guides) is experienced in avalanche terrain and trained to handle any medical emergencies. Let your hospitable hosts ensure you have the best experience possible on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Tom Wolfe coordinated a fabulous ski and sail trip to Svalbard. It was an amazing trip that took into consideration the goals and capabilities of each of the guests, while keeping safety top of mind. Tom is not only a professional guide, he’s a really nice guy too. I look forward to skiing with him (and the other guides) again in the future.
Rob organized and led a great trip. Skiing, sailing on a tall ship, polar bears, 24hrs of daylight and great people–doesn’t get any better.
When Tom asked me if I wanted to go to the Arctic and ski from a steel hulled yacht I said yes without thinking… Good call. Svalbard was mind-boggling. We always enjoy skiing with Tom, classic Canadian mountain guide, and Phil Wickens ,who was the expedition leader, was also fantastic and a wealth of knowledge! Save your pennies and sign up for 2020 – you won’t regret it…..
I went on two trips with Tom last winter: to Carlyle Lodge in the interior of BC and to Svalbard. The skiing and snow conditions at Carlyle were great and Svalbard was definitely the experience of a lifetime in terms of the terrain, scenery and wildlife. It totally exceeded my expectations. Tom has a knack for picking great destinations and putting together fun, well organized trips.
My family and I had the adventure of a lifetime. It was an incredible experience and Sawback did an excellent job. We would highly recommend the trip and Tom to everyone.
After your arrival at the airport in Longyearbyen from Oslo, your guides will transfer you to the hotel. Spend the day exploring the town and Polarmuseum, and learn about the history of Svalbard.
Spend your second day ski touring close to town and return to the hotel.
Your third day will be spent discovering the area around Longyearbyen on skis or try out a snowmobile tour to the town of Barensburg, a small Russian mining town!
If this is your fourth day in Longyearbyen, take another shorter ski touring trip from town or a visit to an ice cave. If not, after arrival at the airport in Longyearbyen from Oslo, your guides will transfer you to the hotel. Around 4 pm, board the yacht and go through the safety briefing with your group and guides. The departure is usually around 6 pm.
It usually takes only one hour to sail in the Isfjord to the first ski tour. From there, you will be sailing along the West Coast of Spitzbergen to sample the best ski touring and peak ascent the group of islands. In May and June the sun shines for 24 hours in Svalbard, which leaves a lot of flexibility for departures. Discover harbours like Ymerbukta or visit the small pubs nestled in industrial arctic harbour towns north of 79°.
Gradual, scenic climbs give way to long, beautiful runs back to the water. And best of all, the warm, comfortable boat awaits tired skiers at the end of the day. After each day of skiing, return from the shoreline by a Zodiac motor boat back to the yacht, with the smell of delicious dinner welcoming you.
Finish off your day on the deck with a glass of wine, enjoying the contrast of the sea and the magnificent mountainscape with the everlasting sun above the horizon. Arrival back in Longyearbyen is usually around 4 pm. Enjoy your last evening and join your group for a farewell dinner on the boat.
Bid farewell to the yacht and crew in the morning after breakfast and head back to the airport.
To ensure your place, reserve the dates you want with a 30% deposit on next year’s adventure. Read about our cancellation policy on our FAQ page.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Svalbard, please refer to Visit Svalbard.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- Experienced, certified ski guides with extensive knowledge of the area
- Eight days of backcountry ski touring and sailing
- Seven-night yacht rental with crew (harbour fees and permit fees)
- Breakfast and multi-course dinners on board, lunch supplies
For 2022 dates, book before Sept 2021 and enjoy the pre-trip extension at no additional cost. The three-day extension includes:
- 3 additional days of town based ski touring and excursions
- 2x hotel B&B in Longyearbyen
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Air travel
- Alcoholic beverages
- Dinners in Longyearbyen
- Hotel in Oslo en route
This adventure is ideal for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers. Every day, you will travel 10-20km, with tour lengths ranging from 1100-1500m+. All participants should feel comfortable on black level resort runs as you will be skiing on glaciated terrain with variable snow conditions.
Due to the terrain, location and length of tour, this adventure is for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers. If you’re just starting out, we recommend heading out for some intro touring with a guide and gaining some backcountry experience.
- Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
- Long underwear top — synthetic or wool
- Light fleece or wool sweater
- Wind shell — nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
- Waterproof breathable jacket
- Warm insulated jacket — down or synthetic
- Long underwear bottoms — synthetic or wool
- Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
- Waterproof breathable pants
- Warm hat — wool or synthetic
- Brimmed cap for sun protection
- Face warmer — scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
- Light gloves — wool, synthetic or leather
- Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
- Spare gloves or mitts
- Handkerchief for blocking the sun (optional)
Snow Safety Equipment
- Avalanche beacon with good batteries (and spares)
- Probe (2.4m or longer preferred)
- Skis or split board
- Ski strap
- Ski or snowboard boots
- Climbing skins
- Skin wax (or a candle)
- Ski crampons — mandatory
- Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup
- Ski helmet — optional
- Pack (30-40 litres)
- Sunglasses (both orange and dark lenses help a lot for travel in all conditions)
- Goggles (orange lenses)
- Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
- Head lamp with good batteries
- Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
- Lunch bag or container
- Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed/Second Skin blister pads)
- Pocket knife — optional
- Camera — optional
- Binoculars — optional
Glacier Gear list
- Harness — fitted for over your ski clothing
- Locking carabiners (x2)
- Non-locking carabiners (x2)
- Prussik cord (5m x 6mm) —optional
- Sewn sling (120cm) — optional
- Lightweight ice axe — optional, don’t bring if you don’t have one or don’t like steep skiing
If you have any questions regarding the equipment list, feel free to contact us prior to booking.
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Longyearbyen and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
A certified ski guide will take all of the guesswork out of your time in the backcountry. From tour planning to route selection, terrain management, avalanche safety, and gear knowledge, your guide’s expertise and backcountry experience will ensure you have an unforgettable ski touring adventure.
It doesn’t matter your skill level, whether you’ve never backcountry skied or you’re seasoned on the slopes, skiing with a guide has its advantages. Your techniques will sharpen, you’ll learn how to navigate terrain safely, make smart decisions, and most of all, you’ll remain safe in unfamiliar terrain.
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
For this adventure, the max number of participants is 17. You can join this adventure on your own or in bigger groups until all the spots are taken.
All pricing is per person. A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The balance of payment is due February 1, 2022.
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this ski tour adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join the tour on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Expedition Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen(119) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations seventy five (75) to eighty nine (89) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
Note: Please note that all payments are absolutely non-refundable. Therefore we strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
To get to Svalbard, most people fly into Longyearbyen, the largest city on the Norwegian archipelago where your adventure begins. There are daily flights to Longyearbyen from Oslo, Norway, but we encourage you to book early. Norwegian Air flies from Oslo, while SAS arrives from Stockholm.
Your guide will transfer you from the airport to your accommodation. During the evening you will have a briefing with your guides and find out the rest of the details.