Skiing across Svalbard

I have just returned from my first Svalbard crossing in the Arctic Circle. Although this trip was a stepping stone for a bigger expedition to cross Greenland in April 2017 and a 60 day expedition in Antarctica to the South Pole.

Flying into Svalbard

Skiing across Svalbard at 78 Degrees North in the Arctic Circle is a very different and unique trip. With light in the sky at 2am, Polar bears on the loose, reindeer, seals and cold weather conditions.

Direction signs just outside Longyearbyen airport

From this point on Svalbard the North Pole is 1,309km away and the South Pole is 18,503km away. High in the Arctic circle at 78 degrees north. After arriving at the airport just outside Longyearbyen you can get the bus or taxi into the town center, which takes about 10/15 minutes.  There are a wide range of lodges, guesthouses & hotels to choose from.

There are a number of snowmobile rentals along with dog sledding companies who can arrange day trips on this west side of the Island. When doing the crossing we get dropped off on the East side of the country and and make our way all the way back to Longyearbyen. The end of the trip has a long up hill with a beautiful ski downhill back down into Longyearbyen.

Pulling your pulk across Svalbard

The day before the crossing is spent getting your ski legs, training and preparing for the crossing you will need to organise your personal gear, pulk, food, sleeping gear, fuel, stoves and safety equipment before taking off on the ice.

A pulk with all gear for a Svalbard crossing

The next morning you will be up early for breakfast and make your way down to the snowmobile company to load up all gear and we are off. The most direct route to the East side of the Island will take 2 hours.

Crossing Svalbard on a snowmobile


After being dropped off on the east coast of Svalbard we will take 7 days to make our way back to the west coast of Svalbard. The distance is around 142km which will require 20km of skiing per day each day for 7 days.

Crossing Svalbard

This is a challenging journey and you will make this cold weather crossing in temperatures ranging from -5 celcius to – 25 celcius. If you would like further information about getting the skiing experience. You should get in touch, join one our introduction to Nordic skiinig trips in Norway. We can help you get training up and understand all that is required to make this adventure a successful and enjoyable journey in the far north.