Arctic Circle Ski Expedition

Ski hut-to-hut through the Käsivarsi wilderness and reach the highest point in Finland

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Trip Ref #9048

Arctic Circle Ski Expedition

Ski hut-to-hut through the Käsivarsi wilderness and reach the highest point in Finland

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Finland

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 week off work

SEASON

Jan-Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Tromsø Airport, Norway

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Cabin · Mountain hut

OVERALL RATING

5.0

Based on 8 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Challenging

This is a true wilderness challenge, so you’ll need cross-country skiing experience and a decent level of fitness.

Traverse the Arctic fells of Finland – an extremely remote area of untouched wilderness

Master Nordic skis and use them to travel to frozen waterfalls and search for Arctic wildlife

Chase the incredible Northern Lights – wildfire in the sky

Day 1

To Lapland

Fly into Tromso – the Paris of the north - and cross the border into Lapland and the remote village of Kilpisjärvi. Once you've settled into your cabin and gone through your gear, meet the rest of your team for dinner.

Day 2

Kuonjarjoki wilderness hut

Skiing

8hrs · 21km · 465m up · 100m down

Strap on a pair of Nordic Skis and follow the snowmobile tracks up the fells. It won't take long before you lose phone reception and that’s how it will stay for the rest of the week! Take lunch from thermoses provided en route, and then continue on to the Kuonjarjoki wilderness hut. This will be a relatively hard day due to the distance and elevation gain, but the powder is always good and the skiing worth it. Tonight, you can either sleep in the hut or try your hand at camping outside.

Day 3

The Pihtsusjärvi hut

Skiing

7hrs · 20km · 313m up · 377m down

Continue through the beautiful, snow-covered Arctic landscape to the next hut, this time located just 10km from the famous Halti Fell. Descend below the treeline for lunch and stop by a cascade for a drink of fresh mountain water before spending the night on the shore of Lake Pihtsus.

Day 4

Halti hut

Skiing

6hrs · 16km · 678m up · 466m down

Ski to the Halti hut in time for lunch and then leave most of your gear, except for a daypack, before continuing up Halti Fell - the highest point in Finland (1,324m). Follow a fast powder route back down and settle into your hut for the night.

Day 5

Meekonjärvi Hut

Skiing

5.5hrs · 17km

Follow a flat route back to Kilpisjärv and then on to the scenic Meekonjärvi Hut in time for a hot dinner and some much needed down time.

Day 6

Termisjärvi Wilderness Hut

Skiing

9hrs · 23km · 300m up

Enjoy your penultimate day of skiing by tackling the trail-less landscape between fells - the perfect way to complete your Arctic experience. Ski through wide canyons surrounded by magnificent scenery and end the day at the Termisjärvi Wilderness Hut.

Day 7

Back to Kilpisjärvi

Skiing

4hrs · 15km · 150m up · 250m down

Ski out of the wilderness and follow the snowmobile tracks back to Kilpisjärvi. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your team at the Kilpisjärven Hiking Centre and then spend your final evening at the sauna before heading to the local pub for a well-deserved beer.

Day 8

Back to the airport and home

Enjoy a last breakfast at the Kilpisjärven Retkeilykeskus and then head back to Tromso and home.

Included

Guides

Experienced, English speaking ski guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a cabin and 5 nights in wilderness huts

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

Fischer E109 Easyskin Xtralite skis and Rottefella NNN BC bindings

Permits

All permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

At Kilpisjärvi, you’ll enjoy continental buffet dinners and breakfasts. Out in the wilderness access to fresh foods is quite limited, so meals are typically dehydrated expedition food.

Vegetarian, vegan and most other dietary requirements can be accommodated.

What is the accommodation like?

Kilpisjärvi

You’ll stay in a twin-room at the Kilpisjärvi Hiking Centre. Amenities include showers, free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, sauna and hiking gear shop.

The Wilderness

You’ll stay in simple huts deep in the Finnish wilderness. Huts have no electricity and only basic amenities but the locations are unbelievable. You can also stay in a tent for a night if you'd prefer.

Please note that since this is a remote wilderness tour, some changes to the itinerary are possible on the location due to weather conditions. Therefore thr group will carry tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mattresses as a safety precaution.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tromsø Airport

19:15 on Day 1

Ends

Tromsø Airport

09:00 on Day 8

Transfers

On Day 1 - you’ll be picked up from Tromsø airport at 19:15. On Day 8 - you'll be dropped back at the airport by 0900 so any flight departing from 11:00 onwards will be fine to book.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Tromsø from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Tromso is a beautiful city to explore if you have the time and want to arrive in advance, or stay on after your trip - then it's only 15 minutes from the airport to central Tromsø via a regular shuttle service.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Fischer E109 Easyskin Xtralite skis
  • Rottefella NNN BC bindings
  • Poles
  • Sleeping bags, liners and a closed cell mattress
  • Eating utensils
  • Shovels
  • Food thermoses (for lunch during the tour)
  • Tents - this is a safety precaution in case of sudden blizzards
  • Pulkkas (sleds) - one shared by two people each taking a turn dragging it

What's available to hire?

  • Shoes suitable for bindings (see Optional Extras for price)

What do I need to bring?

  • Shoes that fit Rottefella NNN BC binding (also available to hire)
  • Technical underwear
  • Mid-layers
  • Shell-layers (windproof without lining): jacket, long shell pants
  • Skiing mittens
  • Hat
  • Wool balaclava
  • Sunglasses/skiing goggles
  • Winter boots/warm hiking boots
  • Backpack
  • Torch
  • Small Towel
  • A good drinking thermos of about 1 litre capacity
  • Food thermos for lunches (optional - some can be provided but many people like to bring their own)

Shoes suitable for Ski Bindings

Payable Before Departure

Shoes suitable for Ski Bindings

Per Person

- Ralph(February 2022)

This trip surpassed my expectations, which were high to begin with. The scenery and conditions were simply breath taking, and we saw the Northern Lights on multiple occasions, including a real 'light show' (thanks for reserving clear skies for us, Joose!). Required some strength and fitness, but everybody did ok.

Joose is a lot of fun to be with, and was a great guide for this adventure. I really hope to come back and do more exciting stuff in the far north with him! Thanks Joose (and Hena).

- Frederick(February 2022)

What an amazing experience!! A true expedition. You rarely get the opportunity to completely disconnect from the hustle and bustle of normal life. It’s tough, the terrain is not flat and the conditions are harsh (I went in February) but it’s 100% doable. I was rewarded with a sense of accomplishment that no other experience has given me to date. Do it!!

- Katherine(February 2022)

A beautiful place to ski through. This definitely requires a decent level of fitness and resistance to cold and long days. We had plenty of food, warm and cosy huts and very helpful guides!

- Rupert(February 2020)

Our trip with Joose through the wilderness in northern Finland was absolutely brilliant. He was a superb guide, full of knowledge and experience as well as loads of energy and enthusiasm! An absolute pleasure to spend the week with. We were very lucky with conditions, there were blue skies most days and northern lights on three nights. The skiing was arduous but by no means unachievable provided you are fairly fit and determined. It is completely worth it to experience the scenery and landscapes. The evenings in the remote cabins (or tents if you’re feeling extra adventurous) are just as much a part of the experience as the skiing. There’s no electricity, phone reception or WiFi, so look forward to card games by head torch, roasting sausages in front of the stove and a few well-earned drinks in the evenings.

- Sam(February 2020)

This trip was an exceptional experience. We enjoyed 6 days in the beautiful arctic landscape, away from phone reception, cosy nights in cabins after a hard day skiing (playing lots of cards), multiple sightings of the northern lights as well as seeing a few reindeer. The trip felt like a real expedition into the wilderness - which is just what we were after. Our guide Joose was very knowledgeable and great fun to hang out with and we learned a lot about hiking in sub-zero temperatures - thank you!

- Nicola(February 2020)

Brilliant trip. A true taste of the wilderness. Joose is a fantastic guide and looked after us very well. It was great to learn a few winter survival techniques. Physically challenging and hugely rewarding with the most beautiful scenery.

- Richard(January 2020)

I can't recommend this trip highly enough. We were a group of 6 plus Joose our guide. It was awesome, a really great, remote experience. It's very rare you don't see other people for a day - aside from reindeer and a few ravens, we didn't see anyone else for nearly 6 days. It's a challenging trip but definitely worth it.

- James(February 2019)

The trip was fantastic - a really amazing experience. The guide was really knowledgeable and friendly and happy to help in any situation. The route was beautiful - I didn't see anyone else for 5 days! Even though the conditions were tough at times (cold temperatures you don't experience in the UK) I always felt safe and well looked after. Thank you for a great experience I will never forget!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 97kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is a true wilderness challenge, so you’ll need some previous skiing experience and most importantly a decent level of fitness and some outdoor experience. Cross-country skiing experience is preferable although downhill skiing experience is also acceptable - just bear in mind that the equipment, pace (typically about 3 km per hour) and expedition-style experience will be very different to downhill skiing. You'll be travelling on skis in a remote region and will take turns pulling a sled (known as a 'pulkka') weighing 30km, covering around 20km each day, but climbing no more than 600m. To put that into perspective, an average man can expect to burn around 4000-6000 kcal of energy per day.

You will be doing Umpihankihiitoa - a form of Nordic, off-track skiing designed for travelling over wilderness terrain in winter (a blend of cross-country skiing and ski touring that involves both uphill and downhill travel.)

Your days will involve skiing an average of 20km and climbing no more than 700m. While there are downhill periods, particularly on the way back, the decline is gradual and there are no steep sections.

You'll be using Fischer E109 Easyskin Xtralite skis and will need shoes that fit Rottefella NNN BC bindings. It is possible to rent a pair for an additional 50 euros (paid locally). Please confirm with your host in advance if you need to do this.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

This tour runs from early December to mid-May. In Kilpisjärvi, the polar night lasts from 1st December to 13th January, during which time the sun does not rise at all, but there is civil daylight between 9:00 and 15:00. This is the most demanding time to take on this tour. Until early February, temperatures can drop below -40°C but with the spring they start increasing slowly and the days get longer. In March, temperatures reach -10°C and you'll need to bring goggles and suncream to avoid burning.

Any excess luggage can be safely left at the Kilpisjärvi Hiking centre at the start of the trip.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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