Ski Touring in Norway: Lyngen Alps

I am a new skier (and ski rando-er), but even I could tell the epic potentials of these mountains for people at all levels. It is a desolate, beautiful landscape with the confounding sense of being both on water and high on mountains.

In terms of getting there and where to stay, there are regular flights to Tromsø from Oslo. From Tromsø, you can rent a car in the city (cheaper in town than the airport; Tromsø itself is easily reached by a 15 minute public bus ride). We then drove to Breivikedet (about an hour) and hopped on the ferry to Svensby (about 20 minutes). One word of caution is to plan your arrival in Tromsø so you have enough time to rent a car and drive to the ferry before the last scheduled one leaves for the day. There is no need to pay on the ferry, they scan your license and send it to the car rental agency. From the ferry in Svensby, we drove to a wonderful Airbnb near a small hamlet called Sør-Lenangen in the Northern side of the Alps.

We managed three different ski tours in the northern area of the Alps. For the first, we drove to Russelv and then followed the route up to near the top of Russelvfjellet. You can find information on this tour in FatMap. We came back down the way we went up, which was the gentlest return. Most of the ski tour is not particularly exposed (just the last section as you ascend to the peak which sits at about 800 meters). It was a windy, grey, moody day, with changing weather, so we turned a bit early before the peak. The ski down was slow as we warmed up our legs, and fun through the trees.

The next day we went to the top of Storgalten (1219m) starting from sea level. It was a long, slow ascent but in excellent weather with breathtaking views over the fjord and the endless chain of mountains that compose the Lyngen Alps. The snow was in excellent condition, and we flew down the slopes. The last part of the ski was above 30 degrees, but for the most part not that exposed. There were a few small groups going up after us (leaving the parking around 10 am) so start early if you want the mountain to yourself as this is a “popular” route. We were the second pair to ski down. I think this is the first time I skied that I really understood the joy in the sport.

We also managed to do a short ski tour towards Stetinden (943m). However, we ended up in white out conditions and decided, instead of continuing to the peak, to continue down the valley into the center of the bowl in order to avoid any steep slopes and the risk of getting lost. While we couldn’t see much, skiing in such conditions was an experience in and of itself and the trees at the bottom were fun (including bailing into a riverbed). I also did an afternoon “tour” which just involved skiing behind the house and up towards the mountains towering behind us. This might have been the prettiest (most relaxed) outing of the weekend with full views over a sunset on the fjord. There is so much snow in the Lyngen Alps that you can just ski from your home, avoid avalanche terrain, and get fantastic views and a good workout.