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.
We start from Stabbursnes in Porsanger, ski southwards through the Stabbursdalen valley, via the mighty “Gaissene” mountains in the eastern part of the national park and the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau to the Jotka Fjellstue (mountain lodge) on the edge of the Finnmarksvidda and on to the Alta Canyon before we conclude our adventure in Øvre Stilla.
- Total of approx. 120-140 km without prepared trails (approx. 20 km daily)
- Eight days/seven nights, with one night in an Aurora Canvas Dome at GLØD, five 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 (expedition sled, bags and harness are included)
- 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
Stay overnight in tents
We spend the first night in our Aurora Canvas Domes, which is glamping at its best and is a wonderful experience. We spend the next five 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. We enjoy a relaxing hot sauna on arrival, eat dinner and breakfast the next morning here.
The mountain lodge offers basic accommodation in cabins and dormitories with 2-6 bunks.
You can’t ski on an empty stomach. We take a little extra to make the food a highlight. We eat cereal for breakfast – we make it ourselves at the planning meeting on day 1. Freeze-dried varieties are often used for lunch – preferably from our partner in Tromsø; Real Turmat, and preferably with bread. Dinner is the highlight; we serve sous vide – packed meals, prepared by our chefs. The food is served in the guide tent and the participants come to a set table.
We are joined on the expedition by huskies to pull sleds carrying shared equipment and supplies such as food, burners and fuel. They may carry more depending on the conditions. These social dogs love going on expeditions, and nothing makes them happier than heading into the wilderness with their best friends. This is sociable and pleasant for all concerned.
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!
Arrive at Alta in the afternoon. We will pick you up at the airport and take you to GLØD HQ.
Check-in to an Aurora Canvas Dome (double room)
A planning meeting will be held at 14:00 (2pm) 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 conclude the planning meeting with dinner.
We are transported from Alta to Stabbursnes, where we start the ski trek. The terrain rises slightly as we head southwards through a narrow mountain valley.
We cross the national park boundary early on and will spend the next five days in the national park. The exact route will be determined based on the prevailing weather and snow conditions, but it is often advisable to stay above the treeline.
We continue southwards towards the mighty Gaissene, the mountains in the eastern part of the national park. We aim to find a nice and sheltered campsite among the splendour of 1,000 m high peaks.
Perhaps we awake to the sun shining on 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 pass Skouvgilrássa, Ceakkojohrássa, Oppardasrássa and Vuorji.
After a day in changing terrain, we set up camp on the real Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau, at the north end of Iesjavri, Finnmark’s largest lake. We pitch our tents and cook a delicious 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 18 km away, we head westwards. In front of us lies the sheltered Ginnosdalen valley before we reach the 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 15 km, initially up through the birch forest before we are again above the treeline. We ski out to the majestic Alta Canyon, which was carved out of the majestic mountain plateau landscape. After admiring the amazing view, we continue to Øvre Stilla at the top of the Tverrelvdalen valley, where our ski trek ends. We will be picked up here and driven back to Alta.
We aim to be in Alta about 15:30 (3:30 pm). You can enjoy a sauna and shower at GLØD HQ. It will be possible to catch flights south after 18:00 (6 pm). For those who are not in a hurry, 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.
Dates in 2024
14 – 21
The package price includes all transport, support by huskies pulling sleds and an expedition sled including hauling rope, harness and bags. Wilderness guide, all meals including dinner after the planning meeting on day 1 and safety equipment such as satellite phone and GPS and mountain equipment such as tents, fuel and cooking gear are also included, as is accommodation in an Aurora Canvas Dome, at Jotka Fjellstue and in a tent during the expedition.
Minimum 4 participants, maximum 8
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)
Ski gear (rentable)
- 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 (rentable)
- Inflatable mattress or similar (rentable)
- 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
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.
Over the years, an increasing number of companies have begun organising ski trips in Finnmark.
Why should you go on a skiing trip with Glød? (Other companies’ trips look very similar)
We don’t wish to say anything about what others do or how prices and the like can vary. However, we wish to focus on what we believe is important:
We have arranged skiing trips on the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau since 2005, which means we know the history, the people and the terrain.
We are based in Alta on the edge of the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau, so the travelling distance for our guides, equipment, polar dogs and food is minimal. Moreover, our trips have minimal impact on the environment.
We use polar dogs to pull the communal gear by expedition sled, which provides pleasant company and is a far more environmentally friendly option than, for instance, snowmobiles.
The food we serve – when we are not staying at the mountain lodges – is produced by our chef using locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality. The meals are packed in sous-vide bags and served as delicacies at our camp sites along the way.
You can rent pulks/expedition sleds, drags, sleeping bags, ground pads, skis, boots and poles from us.
Communal equipment such as GPS, satellite phone, map, compass, primus stoves, fuel, pots and food included on all our tours.
All the gear we use is well tested and of the highest quality.
Our guides are knowledgeable and have solid outdoor recreation qualifications and experience from many long trips, such as crossing Anarjohka, skiing the length of Norway and/or Spitsbergen, as well as countless tours criss-crossing all of Troms and Finnmark.
Our guides love their job and they – and everyone we collaborate with – have sustainable conditions.