Forum Index > Trip Reports > A 2 Week Ski Traverse of the Lyngen Alps of Norway
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kyle miller
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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 10:33 am 
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If you like this stuff and want to help support my passion check me out on Instagram @kylemiller411 lots more great adventures coming up!!

It's been a dream of mine for years now to Traverse the Lyngen Alps from the Southern point all the way to the northern shores. I've been lucky enough to have it my backyard minus a 7 hour drive from Rovaniemi, Finland and have been visiting the zone for late Spring the past 5 years. In 2016 I was planning on going at it solo but with a low snowpack decided it was best wait until the conditions were prime and it all lined up in May 2017.

My friend Ilkka from Rovaniemi was in immediately and we poured over the maps deciding that we would take 2 weeks allowing us to take our time and go via a more adventurous route. From there we told our friends Jamie Weeks and Wiggles and asked if they had any interest and like that it was A Finn a Canadian and 2 Americans off on a Traverse of the Lyngen Alps.

From the car we immediately walked into a storm as we had predetermined dates and decided it's better to get a file miles knocked off compared to waiting for who knows how long in hopes of a solid forecast.


We skinned until reaching the cloud cap and after finding a few trees for some shelter put down camp with the intentions of moving the moment viability improved. Well.......this lasted for 2 days.


After a full 12 hour in the tent we built a snow shelter out of boredom and so we could all freely move around


After 2 days the clouds lifted a few hundred meters so we skinned another mile and found a shelter. Since we couldn't see into the peaks we decided to wait it out once again to the next day.


Finally the weather broke the next morning so to gain ground that we had lost due to the storm we skinned all day until the last rays. In total we did half the southern portion in a single day.


Until we made it to a hut to call home for the night.


Once again the weather deteriorated so we had to make a decision, stay on our original route our stick to the Eastern portion which is mainly benches but had the benefit of better weather via the rain shadow we went to the east which allowed us to ski to a small village in hopes of resupplying at a store only to find the local shop shut down a year prior.


So it was time to get back into the mountains


The weather hadn't really changed and visibility in the high country was still a white out so that night we slept on the porch of yet again another sweet Norwegian Hut



The next day was still near visibility but we would be going through familiar territory form me so we pushed through a white out with the wind of the high country valley roaring past us.



Reaching our final hut and final night in the Southern portion of Lyngen, out of 6 days we really only got in 1 good day of travel.



The next day we pushed along the dismal weather all the way to the town of Lyngsedit which is the Split between the Southern and Northern parts of Lyngen.



Where we picked up our food cache, stopped by the grocery store and slept next to a cemetery while we laughed off the horrible weather we had experienced and hoped we wouldn't have to do the whole route in such dire conditions.


Part 2

The Northern Portion of the Lyngen had been my backyard for the previous 3 years so I felt quite familiar with most of the terrain and was happy to see that the weather forecast was final going to change in our favor so a week into the trip we finally had the first real rays of sun.


After skinning about 7 miles we made it to a hut and decided it was best to stay here instead of possibly getting stuck in a tent in the high alpine.



While Ilkka and Jamie rested Wiggles and I decided to go out for a lap in the local scenery with another person who was staying at the hut.


We boot packed up the NE ridge of Skidivarde and found that the storm had dropped off well over a foot of solid stable powder.



After a run in perfect conditions we decided to climb the mountain right next to the hut so we could ride fall line down to it compared to skiing the flat valley and once again found perfect conditions.



After the runs we were very excited about the conditions and made an early morning departure so we could go for Tvingsdalen, one of the most aesthetic peaks in Lyngen.



It was my third time on the peak and it was obvious it would be the best conditions I would get to ride it in. We were all stoked!!



Perfect conditions on a perfect face......maybe the first week of pain was worth it.



From there we climbed up to a high col than rode a beautiful 1400 meter run of open glacier all the way to the valley 200 meters above sea level.


From there we set up camp and soaked in the last few rays of sun before the temperature dropped.


The next morning we woke up to flat light but it was much better than we had previously experienced so we climbed up and over two high cols and made our way down to Ilkka's favorite camping spot


The spot was beautiful but it was also really cold as we didn't get any sunlight. It was nice to have running water though


On our 4th day of the Northern portion we climbed the steepest of the cols and our final real hurdle and from there on it became obvious that we were going to make it.


After a sweet descent of the glacier we rode up to a hut that was so nice we debated back and forth about staying there and in the end called it home for the night.



The 5th morning we woke up excited. It was sunny, we were close to the end and as far as we knew the conditions were still good. So we traveled up toward Storgalten


Knowing that the area was going to be warming with people we wrapped around the western side finding a great line heading the direction we were interested in....north!!


After one final climb we stood across from our final summit of the traverse.


And descended to our last camping spot on the traverse


Our final morning we rode down to the road and walked to meet up with our friend David who had set up a camp spot waiting to join on on the climb up the North side of the peak.


Our final summit was a thing of beauty before us stood nothing but small peaks and open ocean. We were all excited and happy that everything worked well in the end. The smiles were quite contagious.



From than it will as down hill for one final run all the way to the beachfront.



From there we ditched our boards and hiked out to the Northern point of Lyngen as we had already gone that far it seemed like a shame to stop there.


It was a wild traverse with the first half being terrible and the second half being amazing. I guess in the end the wold likes to have a sense of balance.

And then there was 2.....or actually 3

David was a saviour as he dropped us off at the Southern section and picked us up at the North and drove us back to his place. Ilkka and Jamie said goodbye but Wiggles and I stuck around for another week, getting back into the mountains the next day.


This is what you look like after two weeks in the mountains


But if conditions are good you just have to get out so we rode down a locals favorite straight to the Fiord


The next day we got stormed out and celebrated Norways independence and waited for the next weather window. By now the midnight sun was almost there so time really wasn't an issue. We saw a small weather window starting at 6p.m. and lasting until noon the next day so we filled up on calories and made a traverse around Skidivarde tagging 4 big lines along the way.



It was a soul crusher of a trip with almost over 20,000 vert in a single day but it was cool getting out there.

Our final trip was a glacier basecamp with David and his son Elias which had become an annual camping trip

In typical Lyngen fashion our main day on the glacier was in white out conditions so we waited on a summit for hours hoping the weather would break.....it didn't


On our last day we had a cloud deck once again and decided to go for one of the lower elevation peaks. Maybe it wasn't the highest but it had one of the best views


Here is David with his house in the background

Our final descent was to the northern side of the glacier where we had a boat bring us back to our car. If there is a perfect way to say goodbye to Lyngen this was it!!


I hope you enjoyed reading this and thanks to both David and Wiggles for contributing amazing photography as well as the crew (Ilkka, Jamie, Wiggles and David) that made this possible. It was great touring with 4 full competent people on the trip, sure our bootpack sometimes went 4 ways but we were solid against any potential mishap and it showed in our group dynamics.

In case you weren't well aware LYNGEN ROCKS!!!!


and I look forward to more of this in the spring

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RichP
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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Excellent!  up.gif

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Nov 23, 2018 8:27 am 
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oustanding  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Ski
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PostFri Nov 23, 2018 11:40 am 
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very cool. up.gif

just a little north and east of where my cousin lives. wink.gif

looks cold!  eek.gif

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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silence
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PostSat Nov 24, 2018 10:11 am 
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Awesome trip!  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

Having done some research on their hut system (for summer travel) it's very cool to see your early snowy trip. It's such a beautiful country.

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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williswall
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PostSat Nov 24, 2018 4:42 pm 
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Trips like this stoke me for my upcoming retirement! Very cool.

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Midnight Slogger
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PostSat Nov 24, 2018 7:13 pm 
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Thanks for sharing, loved every photo of it.
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Nancyann
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PostSat Nov 24, 2018 7:21 pm 
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I don’t do Instagram, so I hope you keep sharing your adventures with us here on NWHikers. Great stuff!
Just curious, what are you doing living in Finland?
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kyle miller
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kyle miller
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PostSun Nov 25, 2018 11:50 am 
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I have a wife!! If people like I can still post some ski stuff. Just feel a bit weird as a lot of it is in Japan, Russia and Norway and its snow based....but I am hiking. Lyngen is nice but for hiking I would go to Lofoten and Senja.

I think Lyngen and Tromso is a little NE of everybody wink.gif
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FiresideChats
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PostSun Nov 25, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Fantastic scenery! Thanks for sharing this corner of the planet with us NWerners. But I can honestly say that I'll happily live vicariously through your report than try that trip myself! Ski on, friend, but give me my boot tracks to marmots and flower meadows! That's some rugged-looking country.
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silence
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PostWed Nov 28, 2018 10:00 am 
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I'm working on an itinerary again ... the Tromso glacier area looks cool as well.

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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