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Norway/Iceland Early May: Anyone done it, any good?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Due to rota restrictions (partner in NHS) looks like we might have to take a week off from 4-11 May. Was wondering about some late season ski touring.

Initially, we looked at alpine stuff like Gran Paradiso, Bernese Oberland etc, but am now thinking about heading north as an alternative.

Specifically looking at Troll Peninsula in Iceland or Lyngen/similar in Norway. Have seen quite a spread of prices from various companies, most around the £2k mark but some (I'm looking at you Lyngen Lodge) are eyewatering at around £4k+.



So, two questions:

Has anyone been up that way in early May, and if so how was it. Good spring ski conditions a la the Alps in March/early April?

Has anyone found a way to do it without absolutely breaking the bank? I can just about swallow £2k each but 4 is way out of the question



Alternatively, sell me Gran Paradiso...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've done Gran Paradiso at the end of April (I think). Fun, nice intro to higher altitude touring/4000ers, and a comfy hut, but there were loads of people. Heading North should definitely have more of an adventure element to it!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I’ve been going to Lofoten for the last few Aprils. Weather is a bit of a crapshoot- we have had weeks of skiing lovely cold snow and weeks of bog hopping and slush. I think the weather is slightly worse in Lofoten than Lyngen but not much!

Cost - well, you’re looking at expensive counties. Not sure what is included in the Lyngen Lodge but we have been staying at Northern Alpine Guides’ place in Lofoten which works out a good bit cheaper (but still quite pricey). The booze bill at the end of the week is always a sorry business Crying or Very sad
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Have you tried Riksgransen in the far north of Sweden?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@hollando, Blatant plug for our Iceland trip: we did a week ski touring with Borea Adventures in the Northern fjords in April 2013....

Check out my Iceland sailboat/ski thread from 2013 here http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2280760&highlight=iceland#2280760

Not sure what conditions will be like this year - looks like they're suffering from the unseasonably warm weather too Sad https://www.snow-forecast.com/maps/dynamic/iceland?over=pressure&type=lapse
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Lyngen will have much better / colder conditions in early April than Iceland (which is a maritime island).
If you are experienced ski tourer could do either reasonably cheap using Air BnB and rental car.
However as soon as you hire a mountain guide and catering in a lodge then costs quickly mount up.

Norway is great for self guided ski touring - less glacial, lower altitude and easy roadside access to variety of aspects.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Haggis_Trap, spoken like a true Scot but indeed true Laughing

I've done Lyngen 5 times when it was nowhere near as popular as it is now.

I seemed to always be there around May 1st and always had good spring snow.

That said had friends who were up there last year and they had some long walks back and forth to the snow line!

Cheap flight to Tromso, rent a car and head to Lyngseidet and google ski tour routes / gpx etc there are plenty out there.

And pack a 5l box of red wine to take with you !!!

And as already been mentioned you could drive to Riksgransesn as well which we did a couple of times as well as drive down to Narvik.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

And pack a 5l box of red wine to take with you !!!


Thats handy when it splits in your bag! Laughing
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@Markymark29, goes in the ski bag, and never had one go on me, saves a feckin fortune!!!
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Done 5 trips to Lyngen all self guided. If you are up to it & can evaluate snowpack/have mountineering experience it is cheaper than a trip to one of the main european resorts. Flt to Tromso, hire car & go airbnb. Get a hold of the fryflt topo guide for the area - a lifetime ( or more) worth of ski tours of all difficulties. Have been from early April to early my. Conditions can vary but there will be plenty to ski.Also some good slightly shorter & more mellow tours in the area round Tromso. I am off to Iceland at the start of May so hoping its good connies!!
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Went to Lyngen last year and Troll peninsula the year before. Both had great snow conditions and variable weather. Both can be done cheaply. Flight, car hire, Airbnb self catering, shop at supermarket and take your own alcohol. Both were well under £1k per person and both highly recommended.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks everyone for the input, there's a lot to think about there. I guess I thought about the high alps first because I've spent a lot of time climbing there in the summer and know it well, but the idea of leaving the comfort zone and heading north is very tempting.

I'll take the tips on board about booze, I have heard it's silly prices over there. Wine in ski bag sounds like a comprimise worth making...

Spend majority of time self-guided when off piste in the Alps, though I know the area quite well from repeat summer/winter visits so would have to do some research before deciding which way to go. If anyone has further tips about accommodation/outfits/resources they've used please share, could do with as much info as possible
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@hollando, are you looking guided or self-sufficient?

Norway is always going to be a good bet snow-wise, but comes at a certain price tag (even if you are self-catering a visit to the supermarket will hit the wallet).

Troll peninsula is a great option too - was there last May for a week: http://offpisteskiing.blogspot.com/2018/05/ - would be heading back there this May if other plans weren't happening...

Cheap to fly to, eating & drinking out are expensive-ish, but supermarket prices are reasonable (it helps that they threw all their bankers in jail a few years back...). Lots of good reasonably obvious touring objectives.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@hollando, if you fly through Oslo, there is a duty free on arrival which sells at prices which are normal by UK standards. watching a flight full of Norwegians descend on that is like watching a plague of locusts Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Interesting feature

https://foxtrail.fjallraven.com/2019/01/16/johan-jonssons-favourite-places-to-go-ski-touring/
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Was in Noiceland for a couple days this week.

Bad snow.

Endless rain.

Tropical temps.

Go to Norway.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Did Finmark last week of May. Spring conditions, obviously, good spring snow. Self guided tours. You can watch some gpx tracks on camptocamp. Here the pics:

Peaks without a cross from francesco bertotti
https://vimeo.com/340658473
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just in case you didn't make it this year or for any looking for next year

what a lucky boy I am - I've done the Gran Paradiso, did a week at Lyngen Lodge and did the 'Kviar ski lodge' trip with Borea adventures.

GP- more about the journey than the skiing - I loved it but if you want a weeks ski trip then don't do this one

LL- superb, luxurious place to stay eat etc great skiing. My wife came on this trip with me and she is not one for a mountain refuge.

Iceland- this is the one.I went at the end of April this year'

beautifully remote (but fairly simple to get to via reykjavik and an internal flight to Isafjordur) , great skiing and I was expecting very basic food and accomodation but It was a super place to stay and the food (while simple) is nothing short of wonderful
The guide (Runic) is the owner of the company and it is him and his brother who look after you in the lodge.
Borea adventures also run ski/sailing trips etc
Couldn't recommend this trip highly enough and think it represents superb value for money.

https://www.boreaadventures.com/multi-day/Kviar_Ski_Lodge/
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Early may in Iceland you can likely expect spring/corn snow and clearer weather. In past years when a storm rolls through the Troll Peninsula you get a day of fresh snow and then it quickly changes and becomes good corn skiing. Great views, fun skiing and a pretty cool place to check out.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks all for the input. We ended up doing a ski and sail trip fro Alta to Tromso second week of May... so bits of Finnmark, then Lyngen + some of the islands of the coast of Troms county. Fair to say it was epic. Some powder on north faces, a lot of spring snow (which took a lot longer to turn to total mush than is typical for the Alps in April). Without banging on too much, it was totally awesome. Some pics below...

Some sailing:









Skinning:



















And a fair whack of top quality down:











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A few more for luck:



















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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
In summary (no particular order):

-It was expensive, but overall worth it
-I was only seasick once...
-Its like living on a perpetually moving alpine hut
-The extreme length of the daylight hours and the comparative weakness of the sun vs the Alps enabled a more relaxed pace of life
-The skiing options are almost limitless...more skiable faces per given mountain than is normal for the Alps (more eroded, think Scottish mountains x1.5 in altitude plus a proper snowpack
-Some skins are from the beach and some need a little bushwhacking, but never more than 20 mins or so
-I still don't like pickled herring or dried fish jerky

Is the skiing better than the Alps? Yes and no... just different I would say. As an all round ski touring experience however, a must do. Save, beg, borrow, steal your mates plane ticket. Just get there, at least once

Definitely have the bug for the North now...more Norway, Iceland, maybe Svalbard or Greenland (!). For the good of my wallet, might have to be a once every other year job!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
PS sorry for the glut of photos!
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@hollando, thanks for all the phots, they're great.

Could you tell me with whom you booked the trip please?
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@hollando, looks great. There is something addictive about the far north for me
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
hollando wrote:
Thanks everyone for the input, there's a lot to think about there. I guess I thought about the high alps first because I've spent a lot of time climbing there in the summer and know it well, but the idea of leaving the comfort zone and heading north is very tempting.

I'll take the tips on board about booze, I have heard it's silly prices over there. Wine in ski bag sounds like a comprimise worth making...

Spend majority of time self-guided when off piste in the Alps, though I know the area quite well from repeat summer/winter visits so would have to do some research before deciding which way to go. If anyone has further tips about accommodation/outfits/resources they've used please share, could do with as much info as possible


fly in with the ltr or so of spirits your allowed and then use the supermarket in the airport when you land, its still reasonable. but once out the airport your going to only get low alcohol strength beer and cider in the supermarket, but not on a Sunday or about an hour before closing. For hard spirits and wine you need the wine monopoly (Vinmonopolet) or just for go the stuff and save your cash for eating meat other than fish. seafood is a lot cheaper than say a steak, there's a million types of cheese, well versions of the same two things brown cheese and cheddar in most supermarkets, of those kiwi and Remi tends to be cheaper

even as far south as Stavanger the summer roads are often not carved out till late may, and you find people touring in what we would start to consider beach season.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Excellent
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
justabod wrote:
@hollando, thanks for all the phots, they're great.

Could you tell me with whom you booked the trip please?


No problem - firm called sail norway

https://www.seilnorge.no/

Aurelien Ducroz and the Helly Hansen pro crew made a short film with them 2018


http://youtube.com/v/Odh4JgKlraI
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