Ski Mountaineering

Experience some of the Arctic’s highest vistas and snowiest slopes with this exhilarating activity

Ski Mountaineering

Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard, North Norway

Dramatic ascents and breathtaking descents 

Interested in something slightly more adventurous than shoreline walks and wildlife watching? Our ski mountaineering trips give you an invigorating up-close experience of the rugged peaks and majestic mountains flanking the high Arctic fjords. 

Along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy all the usual perks of polar expedition cruising: expansive scenery, exploratory outings, and the chance to see all manner of exotic Arctic wildlife.

How our ski mountaineering trips work

​Our ski mountaineering outings are always led by certified and experienced expedition leaders and mountain guides, such as Phil Wickens and Tim Blakemore, both of whom have been guiding in the Arctic for well over a decade.

Each morning the guides lead small groups of six to eight skiers onto the glaciers and into the mountains, typically ascending around 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) each day and often stopping for a packed lunch in the middle of the outing.

Ski excursions involve both easy mountaineering and off-piste skiing. Since the expedition is ship-based, guides have the flexibility and freedom to reach the best snow, optimal weather, and a variety of unique Arctic destinations. 

In order to participate, skiers must be in good physical condition, have prior ski mountaineering experience, and possess their own equipment. Guests will also be expected to demonstrate strong alpine skiing skills, both in ascents as well as descents, while on unprepared slopes of up to 35° in a variety of snow conditions.

To determine whether guests have the necessary skills for this activity, we ask all skiers to fill out a questionnaire highlighting their ski mountaineering experience beforehand. This is for the safety of our guests as well as our guides.

What you need to bring on a ski mountaineering trip

Ski mountaineering is a technically demanding and equipment-intensive sport, so you will need to bring more personal gear than on most Oceanwide voyages. The following is required:

  • skis with touring bindings
  • ski mountaineering boots
  • crampons adjusted to the size of your ski boots
  • skins
  • ski crampons (couteaux / harscheissen)
  • ski poles
  • avalanche transceiver
  • snow shovel
  • avalanche probe
  • four screw-gate karabiners
  • two tape slings
  • two prussic loops
  • climbing harness
  • ice axe
  • appropriate clothing (detailed in a checklist distributed prior to trip)

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