SALpti snowshoeing and hiking EXPEDition (february)
We are very excited about this new expedition in Arctic Norway! Imagine exploring a rarely visited national park named Rago in wintertime with frozen rivers and pure wilderness. Here we spent a couple of days and practice techniques for camping in the wild, learn how to hike with snowshoes and teach you safety techniques. Our next goal is to explore the wilderness of the Arctic municipality of Steigen. To get there, we have to make a road trip through the Norwegian Mountains, and we drive through amazing Arctic landscapes. Once we arrived in Steigen, we prepare ourselves for a multi-day hike with sleds through winter landscapes, and we will overnight in tipi tents, expedition tents and (mountain) cabins. We will try our luck with ice fishing and hike up to higher areas to get fantastic views over the fjords. In the evenings, we keep an eye on the sky, and maybe we are lucky, and you can have a tremendous northern lights experience. Costs are 1650 Euro (10 days).
Temperatures can drop low at this time of year and conditions can be tough. So you need to have an open mind, can handle quick changing plans and be able to accept that goals cannot always be reached. To summarise: we can have fair weather and we can also have some nasty times. A good time to upgrade you skills to improvise! And we help you with that.
Facts, dates, costs and general information
Here are the facts of this outdoor adventure. 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
8 February 2020 - 17 February 2019 (10 days)
Name: Salpti Hiking and Snowshoeing Expedition February
Booking code: DUTCH02S
This trip is also organised in other months during wintertime.
When to travel to Norway?
Snow conditions are the best in the period November to April. Northern lights are visible in the period September to April. The period of the midnight sun is from the end of May until the end of July. The polar night is from the beginning of December until the beginning of January.
Check other dates of the Salpti Expedition:
The costs of joining the Salti Expedition is 1650 Euro.
Flights and transfers are not included. Daily expenses like food, drinks, diesel and the rent of some mountain cabins are shared among the participants and the staff. See FAQ for more details.
LOCATION and how to get there
This trip starts in Bodø where we pick you up. You can take a domestic flight to Bodø from Oslo, or enjoy a 17 hours train ride from Oslo. Check nsb.no for more information about travelling 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).
The trip 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 to Bodø. This fast ferry (hurtigbat in Norwegian) takes you in approximately 1 hour from Helnessund to Bodø. Daily departures in the morning, check the timetable here. It is a 20-minute walk from the airport to the harbour in the city centre where the ferry arrives.
We recommend that you arrive one day before the start of this trip in Bodø and take some time to acclimatise and get rid of travel stress and work stress. We can give you suggestions for hostels or hotels in Bodø if you like.
Map of Bodø
MAP of steigen
LEVEL AND SKILLS
This Salti expedition is suitable for people at an intermediate or advanced level of outdoor experience. So preferable you had some previous hiking experience and slept in tents before. If snowshoeing is new to you, we will teach you the basics. Occasionally this trip can be a bit though when we have bad weather or when temperatures get low. Our goal is not to get to the limits and keep it comfortable, but occasionally situations can be a bit out of your comfort zone. An open mind and be able to handle changing of plans, are essential qualities to have in the outdoors.
This trip is not intended for families. We can suggest alternative trips for families.
We always check if you match with other people that have booked. If you like to learn more about the level our travels and what skills you need, take a look here....
You will stay overnight in (mountain) cabins, expedition tents and a tipi tents with wood stove. We use our expedition sailing vessel which is moored in Steigen as a base to store gear and luggage that we do not need and might occasionally stay overnight there (in case of bad weather or if we like it).
AVAILABILITY and group size
Number of participants: Max 8
People that book this trip are single travellers, couples or are a group of friends. Usually, we have a mixed team from different countries. We have special arrangements when you want to make this trip with a private group or with a group of more than eight people. This trip is not intended for families. We can suggest alternative trips for families.
This trip is an excellent choice if you are attracted to explore remote wilderness areas that are off-the-beaten-track. You will visit pure Norwegian nature in wintertime and prepare for stunning views of fjords, mountains, wild rivers, forests and valleys.
Don't worry if some things are new for you. We like to teach you things about nature, snowshoeing, building a tent camp, navigation and safety.
Everybody has a comfort zone, and it always differs from the comfort zone of other people. It is a personal thing. Being in wild nature away from civilisation is adventurous, but can also cause stress or might scare you a bit occasionally. These feelings are natural and not a problem. Just be open and share things or ask questions. They say life starts at the end of your comfort zone. We believe that that is very true.
You can learn a lot about being in remote areas and experience a back-to-basics lifestyle. There is most of the time no toilet or shower around, but we can teach you how to stay clean and comfortable. Your phone might not work during parts of this trip.
We visit during this expedition great places to observe the northern light. We must be lucky (no clouds and enough sun activity). There will be hardly any light pollution around so that we can have intense experiences.
Contact us if you doubt if this is a trip for you. Remember with a basic level of fitness and a flexible mindset you can join this expedition.
gear and preparations
This outdoor adventure 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, snowshoes and more.
A ROUGH SKETCH OF THE SAlti expedition
We pick you up by car in Bodo. Before we leave, you will get a briefing in which we tell you more about the plan for the coming days. The actual weather and forecasts are essential ingredients in our short-term plans. We will start with a 2-hour drive to the Rago National Park. Rago is pure wilderness and is famous for its wild rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Here we will set up a base camp (expedition tents and tipi) and stay there for a few days. The goal is to explore parts of the park and exercise with crampons, snowshoes and outdoor life in general. After these adventures, we prepare ourselves for the next and most scenic part of the road trip. It is a 3-hour drive to our base in Steigen. We will make several stops or maybe stay overnight on a wild spot. In Steigen we will prepare us for a multi-day hike through the mountains, valleys, higher plateaus and forests. We will stay overnight in tents and cabins. We hike and snowshoe with day-sacks, and the other equipment is transported by car. There are no trails on several parts of the hike, so we hike cross-country style. This expedition ends in Helnessund. From here you can travel back to Bodo by ferry and catch your flight back home.
A SCENIC ROAD TRIP THROUGH ARCTIC LANDSCAPES
During this expedition we will travel 300 kilometers by car through mountainous winter landscapes. The route is one of the best in northern Norway we think. You can expect great views over the fjords and snow-capped mountains. The main road is very scenic and we make several stops, but we also make detours where we will drive the small roads as far as we can go. The road trip starts in Bodo and as we drive east along the coast of a deep fjord we slowly leave the urban areas. From the small city of Fauske it is only an one hour drive to reach our first destination, the Rago National Park. This is the place to build our first basecamp at the border of the park close to a wild river. After a few days we will hit the road again and drive through the mountains to our final destination in Steigen. This is the most scenic part of this road trip. In Steigen we prepare ourselves for a multi-day hiking and snowshoeing journey. Driving this 300 km road is a great adventure that is hard to forget.
THE RAGO NATIONAL PARK
Rago National Park is a unique and wild place. To get there, we take a small road and follow the river to one of our favourite spots in the middle of nowhere. Here we will set up a base camp for the coming days. In this camp (expedition tents and heated tipi) we will do much practising of outdoor skills, learning how to use crampons and snowshoes, cook outside on a fire and explore parts of the park. There is quite some wildlife in this park, and we expect some encounters with Arctic Moose. It also the home of the wolverine, but they avoid contact, and we have to be very lucky to spot them. We will do some day-hikes from the camp into the park. The length of these hikes depends on (snow) conditions, temperatures and weather conditions and what we like to do. Depending on the terrain we will use snowshoes or hiking boots. In the camp, you can experience a back-to-basics lifestyle in which we cook together meals, make some flatbreads on a campfire, do some wood chopping and more. In the evenings you have a lot of time to relax, build a fire or stare at the stars. Of course, we will try to spot the northern lights and go to a good viewing point when it appears.
THE MULTI-DAY hike into the wilderness of STEIGEN
After our arrival in Steigen we prepare ourselves for a multi-day hike through snowy landscapes, but not after we have shown you the fantastic nature around our base in Helnessund. You can expect great views over the Vestfjord with numerous islands in front of the mountainous coast. Maybe we go out on the sea with our expedition vessel Xplore1 to explore the archipelago. The multi-day hike will take us to higher areas in the mountains, valleys and forests. We have a route in mind, but we depend on weather conditions, and we might have to make detours or skip parts. That is an element that is always present when you are joining an expedition. Tents and other gear we don't need during our hike will be transported by car to pick-up points. So, we can travel a bit lighter. We stay overnight in tents and cabins, always in wild surroundings and we are likely to meet more moose than people on our way. How tough this trip will be we don't know. It depends on how much snow or ice we have and the actual weather. We can quickly adapt the hike in case of bad weather or whenever we feel like shorten the trip or add other destinations.
A greaT MICRO ADVENTURE: ICE FISHING IN ARCTIC NORWAY
If the ice conditions are good and safe, you can enjoy a back-to-basics lifestyle with catching your meal. Ice fishing is relaxing and sometimes hard work to drill a new hole. We hike top scenic lakes that are surrounded by steep mountains. We will try to catch for instance Arctic trout. We plan to do some ice fishing during the multi-day hike in Steigen.
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.
Background information about Steigen
We like to tell you some more about the area where this expedition takes place, information about the northern lights, climate and wildlife is included.
nature of steigen
So, here is some information about the area that we explore during this expedition. Steigen is 1000 km2 big and has a variety of landscapes and terrain.
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). 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, 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 some 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 (heated) tipi in wild surroundings.
Steigen has quite some interesting things to see of the iron age, the times of the Vikings and more recently fortifications from WWII.
observing the Northern lights
In the evening and at nighttime the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, may be visible. We need enough solar activity, no clouds (that's an important thing because it blocks the view) and it's necessary that we frequently check outdoor. It appears at certain times in the evening or at nighttime, but we never know when. Sometimes it lasts for 10 minutes on other times it goes on for hours. Also, the strength might vary every day.
If you are serious about taking pictures then an important accessory is a tripod. So don't forget (it is on the packing list that you receive from us).
facts about the WEATHER AND CLIMATE here
The temperature in Steigen in this period is just above or just below 0 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperatures are around minus 12 and the highest +5 probably. The warm Gulfstream provides a mild climate and there is not always snow along the coastline, but a few miles inland we have snow conditions. In the mountains and on the higher areas (plateaus) there is snow this time of year. The temperatures in Rago can be 10 degrees lower than at the coast of Steigen.
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 or road conditions..
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.
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. that.
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