BRENNVIK MASSIF PILOT EXPEDITION (AUGUST)
In this new expedition, we travel to a small mountainous area in the north of Norway to explore the Brennvik Massif. This scenic area which is located close to the wide Vestfjord offers great hikes on sea-level and high in the mountains). We will explore trails along beaches, up in the mountains and in valleys with forests. We will also plan to explore areas by boat and with kayaks. We stay overnight in mountain cabins and tents most of the time.This trip includes multi-day hikes. Costs are 1450 Euro (9 days).
WHY CHOOSE THIS trip...?
This is an excellent trip if you are attracted to mountains and like go up and explore. We stay overnight in tents and (mountain) cabins and cook most of the time outside, so you must like being most of the time in the outdoors. This expedition is a perfect choice if you want to connect to nature, have a digital detox or like to explore areas where not many people go — ideal for people that like slow travelling. You must not have a fear of heights because the trails are sometimes steep. During this expedition, we will try new routes and explore places without any paths or trails. Recommended trip if you want to expand your comfort zone or get more self-confidence in the outdoors.
FACTS, DATES, COSTS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Here are the facts of this expedition. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or if you want to discuss your plans. Check also our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for answers on general questions.
Dates and booking information
1 August 2020 - 9 August 2020 (9 days)
Ask us for alternative dates this month if you want to make a reservation for a group of two or more people. We will try to arrange that for you!
Name: BRENNVIK MASSIF PILOT PILOT EXPEDITION
Booking code: DUTCH08D
WHICH MONTH TO CHOOSE?
This expedition is also organised in other months. The period of the midnight sun is from the end of May until the end of July. There is some snow left in the mountains in June. The northern lights nay appear in the second half of August, but chances are better i n September.
The costs of joining this expedition are 1450 Euro.
Included are all transports during the trip, guiding, use of kayaks, transport with our boats, tents, use of fishing rods and cooking equipment and one overnight stays in a cabin or similar accommodation.
NOT INCLUDED AND SHARED COSTS
Flights and transfers to the point where the trip starts are not included. Daily expenses like food and non-alcoholic drinks are shared among the participants and the staff. Usually these costs are around 15 Euro per day. We love it if you bring some ingredients from your country! Included is one overnight stay in a cabins or similar accommodation. If we (like to) stay more than 1 days in a local (mountain) cabin , then these costs are shared and are around 30/35 Euro per night per person (shared space) and we pay this to the locals or owner of the cabin. Decisions about whether to sleep in tents or cabins are based on weather conditions and what we like. We will discuss this with you.
LOCATION and how to get there
TRAVELLING TO NORWAY
For this expedition you have to travel to Bodø (direct flights from Oslo). This expedition starts and ends in a small fishing village named Helnessund in the municipality of Steigen (Nordland) in the north of Norway. There is a good ferry connection from Bodø. This fast ferry (hurtigbat in Norwegian) takes you in approximately 1 hour from Bodø to Helnessund. Daily departures in the afternoon (around 18:00 on most days). It is a 20 minute walk from the airport to the harbor in the city center where the ferry departs.
TRAVELLING THROUGH NORWAY BY TRAIN
Another option to get from Oslo to Bodø is to enjoy a 17 hours train ride. We advise an overnight stay in Trondheim and cut the trip in two parts. So, you can travel both parts in the daytime and enjoy the scenery. Check www.nsb.no for more information about traveling by train. The so-called minipris ticket can be an economical way to travel (only online available and you have to buy it well in advance).
TAKE YOUR TIME
We recommend that you arrive 1 day before the start of this road trip in Bodo and take some time to acclimatise and get rid of travel and work stress. We can give you suggestions for (budget) hostels or hotels in Bodø if you like.
LEVEL AND SKILLS
You need an intermediate or advanced level of outdoor experience for this expedition, and a good basic shape. So, you need to have some experience with tenting, walking with a backpack and general outdoor skills like making a fire. The hikes will be 2 to 6 hours with a backpack in mountainous terrain. There will not always be trails, so this can make it a bit tougher, but also fun. If you have problems with your knees, then this expedition might be tough. Mountains are steep here. There are no alpine techniques involved (ropes and so).
You can also join on beginners level, but then you have quite a steep learning curve, but that's no problem if you like it. Feel free to discuss this with us.
Every day starts with a briefing, and we discuss plans, weather forecasts, preparations and what to take with you.
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
It is no problem if some activities are new to you. We are happy to teach you the skills needed.
Note that we are in the Arctic and weather changes quickly. So, in case we are surprised by non-forecasted weather all outdoor activities can become tougher or be a bit out of your comfort zone.
We will stay overnight in expedition tents, tipi tents with a wood stove, (mountain) cabins and traditional (fisherman) cottages. In case of bad weather or bad weather forecasts (storm or heavy rain) we always choose for cottages or cabins. We cook our own meals (inside or outside on a fire) and like to work with local products like dried fish and other ingredients.
AVAILABILITY and group size
LEARNING NEW SKILLS
If (mountain) hiking or kayaking is new for you, then we will teach you everything you need to know.
gear and preparations
This trip is organized north of the Arctic Circle. So, you need warm clothing, good shoes and outdoor gear like sleeping bags and more. You receive a detailed packing list after you made your booking. This packing list tells you about the things you need to have and also gives you a lot of practical information. In case you do not have all the gear or if you do not want to invest, you can rent gear from us, like backpacks, sleeping mattresses and more.
MAYBE FIRST NORTHERN LIGHTS
USUALLY NICE SUMMER WEATHER
THE ROUGH SKETCH OF THE BRENNVIK MASSIF EXPEDITION
The walls of the mountains of the Brennvik massif rise out of the sea at the East coast of the wide Vestfjord. Here we find remote beaches, forests close to the sea and huge population of sea eagles. The Brennvik massif is part of the municipality of Steigen (1000 km2), which is located in the north of Norway just above the Arctic Circle. The mountains are steep but not extreme high (1100 meters max), and very impressive. There are several routes that lead to stunning mountain lakes and we plan to stay overnight in tents close to these lakes. In the beginning of June these lakes will be partly frozen and we will have great views. In July most of the ice will be gone, but some patches of snow will remain, During this expedition we will explore several routes on different sides of the massif. Some trails go up, others follow the coastline or lead us to wild valleys. On other occasions we will use kayaks or boats to places that otherwise could not be reached. We make plans daily based on weather forecasts and your interests and ideas.
LEARNING AND EXPLORING
This is a great expedition if you want to get experience in multi-day backpacking and staying overnight in tents or cabins high up in the mountains. You can learn a lot and we like to teach new skills.
EXPLORING A MAGNIFICENT COASTLINE
We will use our kayaks and expedition ship eXplore1 to explore islands of archipelagos close to the Brennvik massif. We plan to put up a basecamp on one of the islands, catch of course some fish and cook on a fire on a remote beach. From the islands we have unique views of the jagged mountains. For sure we will get good chances to observe giant sea eagles, maybe some Atlantic puffins and other birds. The water is crystal clear with sandy bottoms and the sea often turns turquoise. It is perfect for some snorkelling and get a good view on marine life.
SEA kayaking and deep sea fishing in the fjords
If kayaking or fishing is new for you we are happy to teach you the basics. Did you know that most birds are not scared off by kayaks, so we can get quite close to them as long as we just float and be silent.
EXPLORING A VARIETY OF STUNNING NORWEGIAN LANDSCAPES
During this expedition you will explore different areas with unique scenery. One day we are up in the mountains with lakes and maybe we can observe a herd of reindeer. The other day you are wandering in swampy valleys, crossing rivers and enjoying waterfalls coming down the mountain. In those valleys there is a good chance for observing moose, foxes and hare. The forests are mostly pine or birch and you can drink the water thats coming off the mountains. And we are surrounded by scenic fjords and thousands of islands.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE AREA
nature around the brennvik massif
So, here is some information about the area that we explore during this expedition. The Brennvik massif is located in the municipality of Steigen. Steigen is 1000 km2 big and has a variety of Norwegian landscapes and terrains.
The coastline is characterized by dramatic jagged mountains that reach sea level. The coastline has many sandy beaches and very typical are the birch and pine forests that almost meet the sea. There are many islands and islets close to the shore, but also further away. The water is crystal clear and is full of life. It is a great playground for kayaking or (if you dare) some Arctic snorkeling with a drysuit. Some of the archipelagos are nature reserves or bird sanctuaries. There is also a lot of history and remains of older times. There are interesting fjords to explore and just a hike up a hill and get a view over the wide Vestfjord with the Lofoten islands in the background is a treat for your eyes and camera.
The mountains of Steigen
The mountains are steep, but there are trails that also can be done in wintertime (we take crampons or snowshoes with us during the cold months). The views are magnificent and there are cozy cabins in the mountains and also in the lower areas that we can use for staying overnight. Most of the mountain lakes freeze in the winter time and offer possibilities for ice fishing.
The valleys and forests
The valleys in Steigen offer great opportunities for hikes on sea level and in winter time snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If the temperatures are above zero the valleys can be quite wet and swampy with many small streams to cross. So hiking is quite adventurous out here. There are a lot of waterfalls and most of them will be frozen in the winter. Encounters with foxes, moose and reindeer are quite common. Pine and birch forests are inviting for a hike and we like to stay overnight in tents or tipi tents in wild surroundings.
Glaciers, nature reserves, and national parks
In the south of Steigen, we find the Helldalsisen glacier and this area is part of the Sjunkhatten national park. There are no roads here and the area can only be visited by boat.
Steigen has quite some interesting things to see of the iron age, the times of the Vikings and more recently fortifications from WWII.
facts about the WEATHER AND CLIMATE here
The temperature in this period is between 5 and 22 degrees Celsius during this period. The lowest temperatures are around zero in the mountains occasionally. The warm Gulf stream provides a mild climate.
Weather changes quickly in the Arctic, so we have to be prepared for all kinds of weather. Because our plans are depending on weather conditions we make daily plans for our activities. So you need a flexible mindset and expect that the plans we make can change due to weather.
Water temperatures are around 10 - 12 degrees Celsius. So you need a drysuit or wetsuit for sea kayaking. You can also rent the suits from us.
wildlife in the area
There are not many people living in this area (2500 in 1000 km2) and there is a lot of wild nature. So, this makes it a perfect place for encounters with wildlife. Remember it is not a ZOO and we have to be lucky, silent and determined.
There is a huge amount of the giant sea-eagles living in Steigen and they can be spotted in the mountains and also near the coastline. We will certainly spot these amazing birds. Atlantic Puffins can also be observed when we are lucky (the best period is June, July and the beginning of August.
Moose and (wild) reindeer can be spotted in the forest, valleys and sometimes close to the beaches. While driving we have to be careful, because they can cross the roads.
Well, there is more to see for example foxes, hare, lynx, grouse, and seabirds.
Near the coast and on the islands we might see seals, otter and sometimes small whales or dolphins. When we are out on the sea with our small expedition vessel we even might see killer whales, but we have to be very lucky for that.
MAP OF THE AREA
Here is a map of the area in which this expedition takes place. Take a close look and you get an idea of the natural environment, distances and possibilities.