Applications for this Pilot are now closed.
A pilot Arctic polar night expedition being guided by the expert explorers of the Arctic and Ocean, across land and water experiencing the Islands of the North. This expedition will give you the opportunity to train with the best, challenge yourself with the best and together, pursue the natural phenomenons only found this far in the Northern Hemisphere.
The ultimate juxtaposition of the jagged coastline, fjords and peaks of Norway is witnessed by kayak at sea level. During the blue light hours we will be seeking the majestic explorers of the deep, the Humpback whale. Followed by traversing yet challenging ourselves overland through the mountainous islands by cross country skiing and the ultimate Scandinavian transport, driving a team of Huskies in search of the Northern Lights. For the best part of this trip we will be under the Polar Night, where the Aurora Borealis can be seen at its best - the Arctic wilderness.
This is a rare opportunity to participate in a pilot expedition, allowing you to experience the knowledge and know-how of so many expert guides with so very few clients. The aim of this expedition is to fully experience Arctic Norway during the Polar Night. Taking part in extreme activities which include: Dog Sledding, Cross Country Skiing, wilderness camping and winter paddling, viewing the Humpback and Orca whales which are visiting the Fjords of Kvaloya and Senja.
MEET YOUR ESTEEMED EXPEDITION GUIDES
Head Guide and Manager of Active Tromso, Tore Albrigtsen entered in the world’s longest sled dog race Iditarod, where he attended and finished in 2006. Nine years earlier, like a true pioneer, he went the same course on skis with one dog! He’s been skiing across Greenland and climbed some of the world’s highest peaks. He is a man who never sticks out his head for attention or fame, although his track record suggests that he could certainly do just that. He ran both Ultra Marathons and ordinary Marathons. One time Tore ran The Nordmarka Forest Marathon in Oslo and after finishing he boarded a flight to Tromso to run The Midnight Sun Marathon that very same night. With more than 30 years of experience in extreme challenges and long distance sled dog racing Tore possesses natural leadership qualities. He puts the safety and wellbeing of others before his own. Any challenge of nature is first and foremost about Safety! Tore Albrigtsen is a Certified Instructor for glaciers, mountaineering and kayaking.
Formerly a soldier and military diver, Pete Bray now works as an inspirational speaker, security consultant and outdoor pursuits instructor. Over the space of his 53-year life, there are few extreme challenges that he has not attempted. Pete's exploits have so far taken him from the frozen waters of Norway to the heat of the African bush.He has participated in ski-touring expeditions throughout Scandinavia, Europe and New Zealand, as well as excelling in long-distance cross-country skiing races and downhill competitions around the globe. As an adventure racer, he has competed in events like the Alpine Man competition, a combination of off road cycling and mountain marathon running across Liechtenstein. He is also an accomplished microlight pilot and built his own aircraft from scratch. As a climber he climbs both rock and ice. He has also successfully completed a 10-event adventure race across New Zealand, incorporating an array of disciplines including horse riding, shooting, running and mountain biking and he has twice circumnavigated by bike the Bodensee.
In 2003 Nick lead the Royal Navy Everest North Ridge expedition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the mountain’s first ascent. As well as putting two team members onto the summit his team rescued two injured climbers from a commercial expedition and six members of Nick’s team (including Nick) were awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal. In 2005 Nick was made an OBE as a result of his work on the project.
Bjorn has ski toured all of his life and knows the region intimately. From his very early years he has been amongst nature in all seasons. His whole family including his grandfather has spent their lives in the Arctic wilderness around Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and much of it alone. Bjorn developed his knowlegde and started to do solo trips in the region from an early age. From the early 80`s Bjorn started kayaking and today he is a certified instructor at the highest level in the Norwegian Paddle Association. He runs his own established company providing courses and selling kayaks. In winter he is an alpine skier, climber of the region and the Lyngen Alps. Often heading off to Canada and Greenland to do the same. He finds freedom and peace in nature and seldom feels as happy as when he is in the elements.
On arrival in Tromso Saturday the 17th January 2015 we head to Tromso Camping where we meet our fellow expedition members and familiarise ourselves with the local area and itinerary.
Day Two: Breaking camp early on Sunday 18th we shall draw equipment from Bjorn’s Kayaks and pack the kayaks ready for the sea kayaking/whale watching later in the week. Although this trip is for the experienced or intrepid amongst us, you will be trained in all aspects of an expedition environment and challenges ahead
Day Three: Dog Sledding
On the evening of the 18th or possibly early on the Monday morning (19th) we shall depart from the camp site to Active Tromso for one long day of Dog Mushing activities, with our guide will be Tore Albrigtson. Tore is a very experienced and widely recognised wilderness guide and adventurer, who lives in the North of Norway. Tore has competed in numerous dog sled races, including the famous Iditarod Race in Alaska. Tore has been Dog sledding and mountaineering for most of his life, so rest assured you will be in safe hands. This activity will be an all day event starting early from Active Tromso and returning to Active Tromso in the evening, to camp for the night.
Day Four and Five: Ski Touring
On Tuesday morning (20th) we shall embark on two days of cross country skiing, this will be a guided cross country activity skiing from cabin to cabin, Ski equipment, which will have been prepared on the Sunday shall be travelling with us to Active Tromso. Our Ski guides will be Bjorn Eines and Nick Arding.
Bjorn has ski toured all of his life and knows the region intimately, Nick is a former Royal Marines Officer and is an International Mountain Leader, MIC (Mountaineering Instructor Certificate) and SNSC Mountain Ski Leader, with a life time of mountain experience behind him, so once more we are in the best of care and experience
On the morning of the 22nd we shall pick up the van and kayaks (personal paddling equipment will have been loaded into the kayaks on the Sunday prior to departing from Tromso Camping.
Day Six and Seven: Sea Kayaking with Whales
For the past five or six years the Fjords of Kvaløya and Senja have been visited in great numbers by Humpback Whales and Orca, these have been drawn in by the vast shoals of Herring which have moved North from their historical feeding grounds around the Lofoten Islands. We shall depart for wherever the Whales have been sighted utilizing local knowledge to ascertain where the whales are and then spend the final two days whale watching in the traditional way, from a sea kayak. Your sea kayaking guides will be Jeff Allen and Peter Bray, both are very experienced sea kayak guides, holding the BCU 5 star award as well as having extensive expedition sea miles beneath their keels. Both Pete and Jeff were members of the first British team to successfully complete the record-breaking circumnavigation of the remote Antarctic Island of South Georgia. Nick Arding, an experienced expedition paddler in his own right shall also be assisting in the sea kayaking activities.
All of the above activities will obviously be very weather dependent and it is recommended that expedition members have adequate travel insurance for unexpected delays, amendments to the itinerary or possible cancellations. It is recommended that members of the team also ensure that they are physically able to attend this expedition, seeking medical advice from their personal doctor. Client questionnaires will be sent out which will need to be completed and returned to me prior to arrival in Norway.
We shall be finishing our activities on the morning of the 24th January and shall then return to Tromso camping, unless you wish to stay and explore the local area we should be ready to depart from Tromso airport on the same day or alternatively on Sunday the 25th January.
Prices Per person: Because this is a pilot expedition, we are able to offer the above adventure at a value price of £750
(This includes the cost of kayak hire, ski hire, all guide fee’s and dog mushing activities, but does not include the cost of flights, taxi’s, Tromso Camping costs, food, fuel for cooking or other sundry items which you may wish to purchase or hire).
Click here for KIT LIST
Date: 17th January 2015. An Unmissable Adventure, can you do it?
Please note: Most photos shown are of the exact location you will be travelling to but not the winter season (most are early spring). January doesn't see the sun rising above the horizon during the polar night, this is called the blue light and is a spectacular experience in itself. We lack night photos due to needing specialist equipment. We therefore recommend seeking out advice for night time photography and capturing the Northern Lights.
Dog sledding equipment and clothing will be supplied by Active Tromso including expedition boots, trousers, parkas, neck gaiters, hat and down mittens. Tore recommends that expedition members bring their own good wool/technical underwear/mid wear and socks.
Skis, boots and ski sticks to be hired from Tromso Outdoor.
Base and mid layer (as for sea kayaking and dog mushing)
3 pairs of hiking socks
‘Soft shell’ trousers (Windproof)
‘Soft shell jacket’ (Windproof)
‘Gore-tex’ type jacket or ski jacket (Windproof with hood)
Duvet jacket (either down filled or man made filling) – must have a hood
Hat and balaclava/’buff’ as for camping
Helmet and neoprene balaclava
Base and mid layering (Recommend merino wool and fleece layers)
Warm socks and wellington boots
Thermos flask/food flask
Spare clothing and bivvy bag
Please Note: Bjorn has numerous items of paddling equipment, which expedition members can purchase, or hire, and will be outfitting the team with Kayaks, paddles, Spray decks, pumps and buoyancy aids.
Sleeping bag to -20
Warm base layer, jacket, gloves, hat and/or balaclava
Food & drink
Spare comfy clothing (fleece, wool, not cotton)
Provided: Tents, Sleeping mat, Cooking stove and associated equipment