The mountaintop Trollsteinen (850m) is close to Longyearbyen and is a popular peak to ski by the locals. If the conditions are good it can be skied from the middle of December until the beginning of June. Conditions vary, anywhere from ‘deepish’ powder to ice and sastrugi. In order to reach the summit one must pass through moraine territory and cross the Larsbreen glacier. Total distance is around 4km one way and elevation gain is around 750m (starting elevation is 100m).
On average you may do a round trip in about 2-2.5 hours, while the well trained ones do it in little under an hour. Every year in the end of January there is a competition called Spitsbergen Up & Down and the competitors try to reach the summit and ski back down in the shortest possible time. Last year (2013) the winner did it in about 45 minutes, the best time in the history of the competition and most likely will not be easily beaten this year. See: http://www.spitsbergenupanddown.no/
1st of January brought heavy snowfall in the area and made skiing on the 2nd a joyous occasion. Touring up in the polar darkness, cold, starry skies lit with Northern lights. The downhill is only possible with the aid of a headlamp in the otherwise pitch black darkness. Truly a unique experience in Svalbard and only possible until the end of February. From the end of February the long twilight’s take over and in April the full blown midnight sun.