Go Snow Hiking in Northern Norway

I arrived to Norway in the middle of winter, snow was on the ground and and the weather was bitter cold, with temperatures in the 20s — quite chilly for this Northern California girl. The temperatures were perfectly fine in the cozy confines of the Hurtigruten ship that I was cruising on for the week, but posed a chilling problem with the outdoor excursions everyday. I had learned my lesson on the first adventurous outing, dogsledding in Tromsø.

Toe warmers are a must.

Though the locals claimed that there is no such thing as cold weather just bad clothing, I bundled up the next time I ventured outdoors, this time for a snow hiking excursion. I had three layers of clothing on, plus a scarf wrapped tightly around my neck, a wool hat firmly placed on my head and heated toe warmers that had a life span of five hours. I practically had to waddle off the Hurtigruten boat. I may have barely been able to walk, but there was not a chance that I would be cold in the frigid Norwegian winter.

Though, snow hiking may be tricky with this many layers.

The view of Kirkenes Northern Norway

Kirkenes

The snow hiking excursion was a two-hour trek along the Prestoya trail in Kirkenes, with the Hurtigruten ship’s expedition team. Kirkenes, a town with a population of only 5,000, is situated just 15km from the Russian border.

So close that the street sign was in Russian.

Russian Sign in Kirkenes, Northern Norway

It’s a small quiet city, where you can sleep in a snow hotel, fish for king crab or enjoy the scenery hiking along the mountains, getting a glimpse of a different country across the Pasvikelva river.

I had hiked many times before, but never in the snow…and never wearing 20 pounds (possible a slight exaggeration) of clothing.

This would be a challenge.

Snow Hiking in Kirkenes Northern Norway

As we began, I was not sure what was more of a hindrance; my clothing or the snowy incline. But, as the hike continued a weird thing happened.

I got hot.

Snow Hiking in Kirkenes Northern Norway

By the time we reached a small hut where yummy hot chocolate was served, I was ready to shed some clothes. I took off my scarf and hat, then unzipped my jacket. That gave me relief for approximately five minutes until I got cold again.

It was a vicious cycle.

Drinking Hot Chocolate while snow hiking in Kirkenes Norway

Despite my body temperature issues, the incredible scenery along this hike was worth every step.

Hammerfest

After the semi-success of my first snow hike, I signed up for another. I was a little better prepared for the “Into the Ice” trek in Hammerfest, a place that is said to be the northernmost town in the world. I stilled bundled up, but left the snow pants on the ship.

Let’s go climb a mountain.

This next expedition was meant as a taste of the polar excursions of Adolf Henrik Lindstom, an impressive explorer (and chef) who was from Hammerfest. He was a part of three of the most famous polar expeditions that led to Norway’s status as a polar nation.

Snow Hiking with Hurtigruten in Hammerfest Norway

We were outfitted with Arctic expedition outfits; a white overcoat reminiscent of a lab jacket, googles, a warm ear-flapped hat and heavy gloves.

It was an interesting fashion statement.

Annette White on a Polar Expedition with Hurtigruten in Hammerfest Norway

A small group of us began the hike of Mount Salen, led by the guide who was carrying a Norwegian flag to plant on the summit. As we climbed, she told stories of polar expeditioners and their extraordinary crusades. I was out of breath on this short hike (uphill, mind you), it was unimaginable to think about how many of much more difficult expeditions like these that they had completed.

Snow Hiking with Hurtigruten in Hammerfest Norway

When we reached the peak of Mount Salen, we were rewarded with a panoramic view featuring Soroysundet sound.

Our Hurtigruten ship in the foreground.

Snow Hiking with Hurtigruten in Hammerfest Norway

We symbolically waved our Norwegian flag at the top. We had made it.

Hammerfest Polar Expedition Hike

On the way back down we made a stop at cafe Framheim, a tent with a fireplace, to indulge in some of Lindstom’s favorites; Biff a la Lindstom and hot cakes.

A warm treat for the expeditioners.


The lengths a photographer will go to in order to get the “money” shot.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Details

Both of these snow hiking experiences were not terribly challenging and led to unforgettable views of Norway, ones that you would have never seen otherwise. If you are interested in either of these experiences, they are offered on select cruises with my sponsor Hurtigruten.

. . . Read More . . .

Eat Reindeer in Northern Norway. #NaughtyList

Go Dogsledding in Tromsø in Northern Norway




2017-06-19T16:15:14+00:00 January 12th, 2016|Categories: Europe, Norway, TRAVEL|Tags: , , , |

17 Comments

  1. North India Tour operator January 15, 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Thanks for providing the useful information about traveling because I love travel to different different Place. Thanks a lot for your posting.

  2. Andy Chrisp January 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    It looks absolutely beautiful with lovely scenery. Just wondering if there is much to do in respects to activities? The thing which puts me off is that the landscape looks a little barren and isolated. I get the sense that I’d have little to do other than walk?

    Many thanks

    • Annette White January 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Even though the big draw is the scenery, both of these hikes were done just a short distance from towns that have some restaurants and shops. Also, the hikes were excursions of the Hurtigruten cruise so we only were ported for a few hours 🙂

  3. Samaira January 20, 2016 at 1:10 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing beautiful images and travel information Great Post!!

  4. Pondicherry Tourism January 21, 2016 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Nice hiking experience in the Northern Norway. Hiking is become a very complicated in that areas, when we start up without any proper setup like jacket, hat and shoes and etc.

  5. sany January 22, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Wow really amazed by seeing this my dream to go there wonderful

  6. Osiris Tours January 24, 2016 at 6:00 am - Reply

    WOW! what an inspiring and informative article!
    Traveling to Norway is in the top of everyone’s bucket list!
    Using your tips above will definitely lead to a unique travel experience to this small beautiful country!
    Great job Annette, keep up the good work

  7. William January 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks for writing this great article! I live in Sweden and love to climb Kebnekaise (Sweden’s highest mountain). I will definitely take a trip to Norway soon for a hike.

  8. Ken April 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Great photos. Love the harbor shot. Thanks.

  9. Christina January 12, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Your experience waddling off the Hurtigruten boat, intent on not being cold while hiking in the Norwegian weather sounds amusing. It’s also very understandable. It’s good that the scenery made the waddle worth it.

  10. Sherman February 13, 2017 at 4:12 am - Reply

    This is very good information for traveling. Been researching where to travel to next and didn’t really think of Norway. I was in Canada last year and i loved it. Judging from your pictures, I’ll definitely fall in love with Norway!

  11. Dennis L. Ward April 25, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Snow hiking in winter, it’s pretty awesome. I’m planning to go for snow hiking this winter.
    thanks for your nice post.

Leave A Comment