Svalbard, one of the most remote group of islands on planet Earth, yet surprisingly accessible. Svalbard is a place of extremes and offers a wonderland for skiers during the winter months. You can find some amazing powder and steep lines, but perhaps more importantly you will experience a unique and mystical place with a myriad of mountains to choose from and potential for first descents!
For any inquires regarding ski guiding in Svalbard please contact us via email.
How do I get to Svalbard / Longyearbyen?
When is the best time to come?
For optimal ski touring the best time would be between February and early May, though in Longyearbyen local area the season can start in late November/December. It varies due to snow conditions, daylight and general access in the terrain. In February/March there are amazing blue twilights and April/May there is the midnight sun and in general good skiing conditions all over.
Where can I stay in Longyearbyen?
There are several hotels and guesthouses in Longyearbyen and prices vary. It is best to book in advance since it gets full quite quickly during the high season. Search engines such a www.booking.com show most of the available places.
How do I get around?
During winter pretty much the only way to get around effectively is to use snowmobiles. Longyearbyen has only around 40 km of road and the rest is terrain. We recommend renting snowmobiles well in advance, as capacity is limited.
What safety issues should I keep in mind? Polar bears?
Svalbard has around 2600 inhabitants and 3000 polar bears. Polar bears are a big safety issue so when outside of the town everyone is required to have a rifle and a method of scaring away bears such as flare guns. Camps need to be either trip wired or guarded during nighttime.
In the terrain there is no cellphone reception so a satellite phone is necessary if an emergency situation should arise.
What kind of equipment do I need for the Arctic?
Your equipment should be durable, of high quality and generally warm. For gear related questions and equipment list please e-mail us.
How is the weather?
The coldest months are on average February/March/April. Temperatures can fluctuate heavily, but in general you should be prepared for temperatures around -10°C to -20°C. You will also need to factor in the wind chill effect, both when driving a snowmobile and when the weather takes a turn for the worse. You might find yourself out in -20°C but with wind chill the effective temperature might easily be -30°C.
Snowfall is relatively even throughout the winter period, but frequent winds might blow it away leaving the mountainsides windswept. This is the time when you need to hunt for the good snow, which is always found somewhere.
For recent weather statistics in Longyearbyen see www.yr.no
Where can I find information on Svalbard?
Svalbard is governed by the Norwegian government, but special rules apply. The governors website is very important source of information on what to do and not do in Svalbard.
Svalbard tourism board also has useful information on their website.