- Sport levelIntermediate
- Spoken languagesEnglish, German
- Duration> 1 week
- Opening seasons:
Live out a true adventure in Femundsmarka, a region which the Norwegians themselves regard as the embodiment of wilderness. Situated between one of the country’s largest lakes and the borderline mountains to Sweden, the region is uninhabited.
Just the Scandinavian Natives, the Sami people, herd their reindeer flocks in the area. Enchanting pine and birch forests stretch along the foot of the barren, yet sublime massif. Here you find ideal circumstances to learn and test Nordic winter wilderness living skills.
You build a cold camp in the extensive forests, where you'll spend two nights under the open sky. You'll learn to take advantage of the given conditions, and to determine a sheltered campsite. You'll learn to make simple shelters from snow. You'll also learn to make ‘floating’ fires on top of the snow and to build a fixed fireplace as centre and hearth of our camp.
The vast snow-covered mountain slopes are the right terrain for snow caves and igloos. During your stay in the cold camp you'll find a suitable place up there, check the snow conditions, and dig or build your new lodging in a massive snowdrift. For the next two nights, you'll slide under the protective and warm blanket of snow, which covers the barren mountain tundra. Here, where there is no way to light a log fire, you'll melt snow ‘on a low flame’ and learn to take special care of the precious warmth and water.
At the beginning of the trip you'll get an introduction to skiing using traditional wooden skis. This way you can move freely in the snowy wilderness, as the Scandinavians have been doing for thousands of years. You'll learn how to leave your tracks prudently between the hills, so that you glide smoothly in them. You also learn natural navigation, using landmarks and other natural signs for your orientation. Keenly observing wind and weather, the altering snow conditions and the landscape’s topography, you are taught to train your attention and awareness, making them a part of your consciousness.
The cold is a strict master. It is potentially life-threatening, and yet people have been living with it quite naturally since primeval times. In the Nordic Winter Wilderness Camp you learn to detect the dangers lurking in cold, snow, ice and fog: frost bites, hypothermia, snowblindness, avalanches, lake and river ice, and white outs. And you learn to meet these dangers with calm in order to protect yourself from them and to avoid the traps set up out there.
The eleven-day Winter Wilderness Camp starts in the afternoon of the first day in Røros, a historic copper-mining town, which can be easily reached by train from Oslo or Trondheim. From there a taxi takes you to a lodge on the edge of Femundsmarka. Here you'll spend the first two nights, giving you time to get acquainted to skiing on traditional wooden skis and the Nordic winter landscape. The next day, you'll take your skis and move on into the remote Femundsmarka. In an isolated summer farm house you'll find a night’s lodging. Then you'll install yourself in a cold camp for two nights in the forests under the open sky. During this period you'll build snow caves and igloos higher up in the mountains, where you'll move in for the following two nights. The summer farm house will be available for you to continuously use as a retreat, in case you can’t stay in cold camp, igloo or snow cave. At the end you'll return to the summer farm house and finally to the lodge where you spent the first nights.
The Nordic Winter Wilderness Camp ends with a communal transfer back to Røros in the morning of the last day (return to Røros railway station 8.00 am, corresponding with train departure 8.18 am to Hamar/Oslo). The beginning and end correspond with the trains from/to Oslo.
→ You are automatically refunded the full activity price
2) Cancellation between 30 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
→ You are entitled to a 50% refund
3) 10 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, are considered last-minute cancellations
→ No refund will be made
Please note this activity is only available from 12th March to 22rd March.
The regional normal temperatures in mid-March are app. -6°C, temperatures down to -30°C or up to +5°C may occur.
The prolonged stay in the cold requires:
1) A good physical condition and endurance
2) The willingness to get involved in unusual circumstances and to act accordingly
3) The ability to express one’s own needs, to take care of them and those of others
4) Previous experience in skiing is recommended, but not required for people with an athletic lifestyle. Two skiing-excursions at the beginning and the end of the course are backpacking tours (each app. 12 km, +/- 100 Hm). Also otherwise you move a lot using skis in unprepared, gentle terrain, yet you focus on know-how and practice of winter wilderness living skills. The trip's aim is to pass on the skills necessary for independent wilderness stays in Nordic winter conditions.
The accommodation includes:
- 3 nights in a lodge with electricity and shared hot showers
- 3 nights in a summer farm house with no electricity and no running water. The house is at the group's disposition during the planned outdoor stay, too.
- 2 nights in a cold camp
- 2 nights in snow cave or igloo
All participants will get involved in the preparation of the meals. The ingredients will be provided by your guide and everyone will get together to cook, making it more of a social affair.
Winter wilderness living skills:
- Use traditional wooden skis
- Build a cold camp and simple shelters made from snow
- Build snow caves and/or igloos
- Firemaking in the snow
- Obtaining water
- Coping with the dangers of winter
- Natural navigation
- Coyote teaching.
- Regular talking circles
- Connective course design and leadership style
Arrival day: Meeting at Røros railway station, transfer to a lodge (for 2 nights) on the edge of Femundsmarka
Day 2: First experience on traditional wooden skis, getting acquainted with skis and Nordic winter conditions
Day 3: Skiing excursion to an isolated summer farm in the heart of Femundsmarka (for 1 night)
Day 4 and 5: Exploring terrain, building a cold camp (2 nights), start building snow caves or igloo
Day 6 and 7: Stay in snow caves/igloo (for 2 nights), exploring the higher areas/mountains
Day 8: Return back to summer farm (for 2 nights)
Day 9: Time reserve for the unexpected: activities after choice and circumstances
Day 10: Skiing excursion back to lodge
Departure day: Transfer to Røros railway station
You can book a bivouac equipment package (underlay mat, sleeping pad, additional sleeping bag), if you don’t want to bring your own. The package will be stored at the farm house before the camp starts, so you won’t need to carry it on the skiing excursions there and back. Please book at least 4 weeks before the tour starts. Additional costs: €35.
- Introduction to skiing on traditional wooden skis
- Taxi transfers to/from the train station
- Food for full board (to be prepared by the group)
- Set of wooden skis with Kandahar-binding, poles and grip wax (participants may bring their own skis)
- Group equipment for cold camp and snow cave/igloo
- First aid and emergency kits
- Topographic maps
- You will receive a list of things to bring once you have booked the activity