Few people venture through the Stabbursdalen valley. Perhaps we will encounter a musher with their dog team or a hunter. Or maybe a Sami reindeer herder – or no one at all.
This place is home to birds of prey, grouse and wolverines – and silence.
- Total of approx. 110 km as the crow flies without prepared trails (18-26 km daily)
- Five days/four nights, of which we spend three nights in tents and one night at the mountain lodge Jotka Fjellstue
- Good food based on local produce
- Sauna at Jotka Fjellstue
- Each participant pulls their personal gear by pulk (small expedition sled). Bags and harness are included
- Polar dogs to pull the mountain gear
- Mountain skis and good ski boots are essential (may be rented from us)
- Sleeping bag/ sleeping mattress designed for temperatures of down to 25 ˚C
- Forbes travel guide ranked the Finnmarksvidda and Stabbursdalen as one of the five best places in the world for cross-country ski treks
- See photos from previous trips
Finnmarksløpet, Europes longest Dog Sled Race, starts in Alta Friday and Saturday. Its a great experience so we recommend that you arrive in Alta Friday. Info meeting and planning will take place Saturday afternoon, and Sunday we start. We will be back in Alta Thursday. The same day as the winner of Finnmarksløpet 1200 arrives.
Stay overnight in tents
We spend the three first nights in expedition tents, so you will need a sleeping bag and two sleeping mattresses (preferably one foam pad and one inflatable) designed for low temperatures. The comfort temperature should be down to minus 25 ˚C. If we are lucky enough to find one of the valley’s unknown gems, small huts built of turf and wood by hunters long ago, we can spend the night or eat dinner or lunch there.
On this ski expedition, we spend the last night at one of the traditional mountain lodges on the Finnmarkvidda mountain plateau, Jotka Fjellstue. If you wish, you can also enjoy a relaxing hot sauna on arrival. We will also eat dinner here and breakfast the next morning.
The mountain lodge offers basic accommodation in cabins and dormitories with 2-6 bunks.
Internet, phone coverage and electricity
From after lunch on day one, we will be without telephone coverage for much of the trip. However, Jotka Fjellstue has good mobile coverage and electricity to charge your phone.
For more information and booking, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Dates in 2021
7 – 11
The package price includes all transport, support by huskies pulling sleds, expedition sled, harness and bags, wilderness guide, accommodation in mountain lodges/cabins/tents, all meals, safety equipment such as satellite phone and GPS and mountain equipment such as tents and cooking gear.
Equipment and clothing
- Expedition sleigh with rope for pulling for each participant (GLØD/private)
- Tent (GLØD)
- Snow pegs (GLØD)
- Burners (GLØD)
- Fuel (GLØD)
- Primus stoves (GLØD)
- Cooking pots/pans (GLØD)
- Cooking utensils (GLØD)
- Necessities for dishwashing (GLØD)
- Satellite phone (GLØD)
- GPS (GLØD/private)
- All-terrain skis
- Ski poles
- Ski wax (Swix blue extra, Rode multigrade 0-min 2, Rode 0, 0-plus 1, 0-plus2 and Universal klister)
- Short skins (optional)
- Windproof hooded jacket
- Windproof trousers
- Ski gloves
- Mountain mittens (wool mittens with windproof cover)
- Down jacket
- Thin sweater/fleece
- long underpants and top
- Long underpants and top
- 2 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of woollen socks
- Backpack (minimum 40-50 litres)
- Sleeping bag Comfort minus 25 dgr celsius
- Inflatable mattress or similar
- Things you may consider: expedition chair and Arctic bedding
- Bowl, spoon, thermos cup
- Thermos (1 litre)
- Water bottle that can handle boiling water
- Sunglasses and sun cream
- Camera gear
- Pack bags for equipment on the expedition sleigh (preferably waterproof)
- Tooth brush/toothpaste
- Toilet paper
- Sports tape
- Personal requirements
- Medicines for private use
Other things to consider
- Bivuakk shoes
- Reading material
As we start our ski expedition at 8:30 on day one, it’s natural for participants from afar to arrive the day before. If you require accommodation in Alta, we can provide good alternatives.
A planning meeting will be held at GLØD Headquarters at 16:00 (4 p.m.) on the day prior to departure to look at maps and the route, go through the expedition plan and the weather forecast, etc. We will check the gear and any supplements and hand out any equipment you rented. We will also serve soup and bread.
Day 1 (First day of skiing)
We are transported from Alta to Okselv in Sennaland, where we start the ski trek. The terrain rises slightly as we head southwards. After lunch we cross into national park and will spend the next three days inside the park boundary. The exact route will be determined based on the prevailing weather and snow conditions, but it is often advisable to stay above the treeline. After skiing approx. 21 km, we stop for the day around lake Bokhosjavri. Weather permitting, we will consider pitching the tents on the frozen lake. If so, we will see if the fish are biting, some hopefully you will have fresh water and fresh Arctic char!
After breakfast, we put on our skis and aim to cross the Stabburselva river, which flows at the bottom of the valley. We ski eastwards, initially downhill and then gently uphill towards the mighty Gaissene, the mountains in the eastern part of the national park. We will aim to find a nice and sheltered campsite among the splendour of 1,000 m high peaks. Skiing distance today: approx. 22 km.
We awake to the sun shining at the top of the Finnmarkvidda’s highest mountain, Cohkarássa. Hopefully, there will be little wind and good visibility so we can enjoy the day as we head southward between the feet of these 1,000 m high giants. We will pay Skouvgilrássa, Ceakkojohrássa, Oppardasrássa and Vuorji today.
After about 25 km in changing terrain, we set up camp where the Gaissene mountains meet the gently rolling Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau. We pitch our tents and cook a good dinner. We relax to the sound of the whistle of the kettle boiling on the primus stove and the after-dinner coffee in the wilderness will seldom have tasted better.
We are in “open landscape” and after getting wind of Lisa’s excellent service at the Jotka Fjellstue mountain lodge, about 26 km away, we head westwards. We catch a glimpse of the Finnmarksvidda’s largest lake, Iesjavri, to the south, while in front of us lie the nice wooded areas surrounding the mountain lodge. Far to the north we can glimpse a snowmobile, maybe an angler trying his luck in a fishing lake only he knows about.
In the late afternoon we arrive at Jotka where a hot sauna awaits us!
The last leg is about 18 km, initially up through the birch forest before we are again above the treeline. We pass an ancient Sami sacrificial site and may experience that this tradition is kept alive as we often see new gifts at the sacrificial stone. We end our ski trek at Øvre Stilla at the top of the Tverrelvdalen valley, where we will be picked up and driven back to Alta.
We aim to be in Alta about 15:00 (3 p.m.). You can enjoy a sauna and shower at GLØD HQ. It will be possible to catch flights south after 17:30 (5.30 p.m.). For those who are not in a hurry to get to the airport, we will arrange a group dinner in Alta to round off the trip properly. We can also help you to arrange accommodation in Alta, if you wish.
The Stabbursdalen National Park was established in 1970 to “preserve a large natural area virtually free of technical developments, to ensure biodiversity with ecosystems, species and stocks. This includes preserving part of the world’s northernmost pine forest, varied watercourse nature and the Gaissene mountains with a distinctive character, as well as geological deposits and cultural monuments, among other things. After an expansion in 2002, the national park covers an area of 747 km².
Centrally located in the national park is the highest mountain in this part of Finnmark, Čohkarášša (1,139 m above sea level). A further four of the county’s 25 highest mountains are in or on the border of the national park. These are part of the Gaissene mountains.
The landscape through which we ski does not include any major ascents or descents and is mostly terrain that may be described as gently rolling. Depending on the weather, wind and snow conditions, we ski either through wooded areas or above the treeline.
Every winter, the temperature in Stabbursdalen drops towards minus 40 °C and sometimes even lower. January and February are the coldest months but also in March it’s not uncommon that the temperature can drop towards minus 35 °C. Even in April, some nights can be as cold as minus 25 °C. However, it’s worth noting that as the cold on the Finnmarksvidda is dry and not humid it does not feel so cold. Another advantage is that there is generally relatively little wind.
Reindeer and the Sami
If you are skiing in Stabbursdalen in April, you may be lucky enough to experience a herd of reindeer migrating to its summer pastures. The reindeer will generally be followed by Sami reindeer herders on snowmobiles accompanied by dogs to assist them. This is a majestic and unforgettable experience, but please exercise caution. Reindeer, especially females with calves, can be easily frightened. In the worst-case scenario, the mother can abandon her calf. As a skier, it’s wise to wait until the herd has passed before continuing. The reindeer herder will generally come over for a chat if he/she thinks you may get too close to the herd.
As you probably know, the Northern Lights originate from energy that is released when charged particles from the sun (solar storms) hits particles in the atmosphere, 80-500 km from us. The light that occurs is visible in the northern (and southern) parts of the globe. As the Finnmarksvidda is located directly below the Northern Lights Oval, it’s a wonderful place to see the Northern Lights, not least because there is virtually no light pollution at all. However, the sky must be clear and dark to see the Northern Lights, which generally means no later than mid-April. It then becomes too light in the evening/at night to see the Northern Lights.
The mountain lodges are traditional lodging houses offering basic accommodation in cabins and dormitories with 2-6 bunks. The mountain lodges were originally state-owned, but in recent times many have been transferred to private operators. They have permanent keepers (hosts) and are equipped with crockery, kitchenware and linen. Although the hosts are not obliged to serve meals, most provide meals and/or sell basic groceries such as canned foods, margarine, flour and bread. Meals and saunas must be booked in advance. The same goes for beds, especially during the peak seasons. All the mountain lodges have a telephone and are open year-round.
The mountain lodges in Finnmark were built in the late 19th century and at one stage there were 40 such mountain lodges in the county. There were also previously more basic state-owned wilderness huts (resting places), which were open. These were equipped with bunks, mattresses, pillows, cooking utensils and cutlery, but not provisions. The state no longer operates such huts and many of these have now burnt down or fallen into a state of disrepair.