Finnmark

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Amazing skiing on the coast of Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Amazing skiing on the coast of Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Ski to the sea in the Finnmark, Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Ski to the sea in the Finnmark, Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Amazing Finnmark terrain & powder skiing in late winter (photo: Up Guides)
Amazing Finnmark terrain & powder skiing in late winter (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark is all about skinning up to slide down! (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark is all about skinning up to slide down! (photo: Up Guides)
Aurora borealis is a highlight of any ski trip to Finnmark Norway (photo Up Guides)
Aurora borealis is a highlight of any ski trip to Finnmark Norway (photo Up Guides)
Finnmark powder skiing is the ultimate pay off (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark powder skiing is the ultimate pay off (photo: Up Guides)
Remote Finnmark peaks overlooking the sea (photo: Up Guides)
Remote Finnmark peaks overlooking the sea (photo: Up Guides)
Ski touring in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Ski touring in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Aurora borealis shimmers across the Finnmark night sky  (photo: Up Guides)
Aurora borealis shimmers across the Finnmark night sky (photo: Up Guides)
Faceshots on untracked powder are almost guaranteed in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Faceshots on untracked powder are almost guaranteed in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Access unspoilt ski terrain by kayak in Finnmark
Access unspoilt ski terrain by kayak in Finnmark
Wonderful steep backcountry ski descents to the sea in the Finnmark Alps of Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Wonderful steep backcountry ski descents to the sea in the Finnmark Alps of Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Accommodation in the Finnmark is often in self-contained homes in the countryside  (photo: Up Guides)
Accommodation in the Finnmark is often in self-contained homes in the countryside (photo: Up Guides)
Gentle alpine powder skiing in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Gentle alpine powder skiing in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark Alps landscape overlooking a fjord northwest of Alta (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark Alps landscape overlooking a fjord northwest of Alta (photo: Up Guides)
Skinning up to ski down is the way in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Skinning up to ski down is the way in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark Alps powder skiing (photo: Up Guides)
Finnmark Alps powder skiing (photo: Up Guides)
Amazing mountain & fjord landscapes abound in Finnmark Norway
Amazing mountain & fjord landscapes abound in Finnmark Norway
Wide open untracked snow greets backcountry skiers in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Wide open untracked snow greets backcountry skiers in Finnmark Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Come and explore the Finnmark Alps of Norway (photo: Up Guides)
Come and explore the Finnmark Alps of Norway (photo: Up Guides)

Finnmark

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Finnmark

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Finnmark Norway

Finnmark is the last best place for epic backcountry ski-touring on the Arctic coast of Norway. Devoid of other skiers & splitboarders, it rivals, and then possibly exceeds its Norwegian contemporaries - the Lyngen Alps & Lofoten Islands.

Although located at 70°N, and well north of the Arctic Circle, the gulf stream eases the extremes of temperature & allows for 'comfortable living & ski-touring once the sun reappears later in February. The best time to visit the region is from March to May. Toward the end of April, there begins 24hr daylight, and amazing 'midnight sun' touring is possible after mid-May.

Skiing & Splitboarding, (Lifts) & Terrain

The Finnmark Alps rise from sea-level and culminate at 1,191m on the Øksfjord glacier. The skiable mountainous terrain is generally to the northwest of the region's 'capital', Alta, toward and beyond the village of Langfjordbotn, and hour drive away. The mountains are draped with large ice caps at altitude, and include a few very alpine peaks, but more typically ‘plateau mountains’ with more or less steep sides. They mountains are perfect for skiing, & everything is possible - from leisurely skiing on wide, shallow slopes to jump turns in narrow, couloirs. Bad weather days are spent doing laps in sheltered forests & birch woodland full of powder.

Ski touring day trips in Finnmark are similar to Lyngen Alps, but the summits are not as high and a typical day can include 800 to 1,600m vertical. Access to the ski terrain can be either by ski directly from your accommodation, or via car, boat, ferry, or kayak. Many routes start and finish at the same place, allowing for relatively simple logistics to a roadside car park, assuming a local ferry is not needed, then the complexity increases! However getting to know the terrain can take some time, and a local guide may of great assistance. See here to join a multi-day guided ski tour ->

As with the other well-known Norwegian ski-touring regions (Lyngen Alps, Sunnmøre & Lofoten Islands), "skin-up, ski-down" is a reasonable motto for any visit to the area. However, whilst all the best skiing & snowboarding (splitboarding!) here is human-powered on skins to get up the hill, there is skiing & snowboarding of the lift-assisted variety at the small SarvesAlta Alpinsenter. One T-bar serves around 6km of forested slopes & sheltered off-piste glades with 210m of lifted skiable vertical. Highest lifted point is a mighty 270m above sea level! The ski area is located 20km along the E6 road to the northeast of Alta. Check out the ski trail map for SarvesAlta below.

SarvesAlta ski trail map
SarvesAlta ski trail map

Where is Finnmark Norway?

The Finnmark is a region in northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle and bordering the Norwegian Troms County to the west, Finland to the south, and Russia to the east. The main town in Finnmark is Alta, which is 1,260km north northeast of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. Flights into Alta (ALF) airport are possible via Oslo (OSL) twice a day & also from nearby Tromsø (TOS)

Fully winterised rental cars can be hired from the local airport at Alta (or Tromso) and provide an excellent method of travel in the region. It is possible to drive to Alta from Tromsø or even Narvik. The main route to Finnmark is on the E6 road which can close occasionally between Skibotn & Alta in winter due to avalanche hazards. It has also had some more recent issues with closures due to a bridge being replaced after flood damage. Get up-to-date info on the road conditions between Skibotn and Alta before driving there from Tromso or Narvik, as a diversion (adding up to 3hr to the journey) may be required via Finland.

Once there, public transport (aside from 1 car ferry) in the region is of little use in winter and it is essential to get a rental car if not part of an organised tour. Car ferries provide essential links between the fjords to access the best ski touring terrain in Finnmark. Familiarity with the local ferry timetables is essential. The main ferry routes of interest include: 510 Øksfjord - Tverrfjord (a short 10-15min ride, usually two crossings in the morning & two in the afternoon which provides access to the high-altitude Øksfjord Glacier area); 520 Øksfjord - Bergsfjord - Sør-Tverrfjord (goes once a week on a Tuesday, journey time is over 2hr, with a return ferry in the early afternoon , so is of dubious assistance from a ski-touring point of view. Check up on Norwegian ferry timetables ->

Finnmark Accommodation

For such a remote location, Finnmark has a surprisingly good array of accommodation available in winter, mostly targeting the tourists chasing a sighting of the Northern Lights. The region’s main town is Alta. Its largest hotel, the Scandic Alta & Thon Hotel Alta, plus some smaller options will always have rooms available. Numerous lodges & guesthouses are in the wooded hills around the town. Up the Gammelbollo River valley south of Alta, are numerous lodging options, including the interesting (but expensive) Sorrisniva Wilderness Lodge & Igloo Hotel. The Igloo rooms are available from late December to early April. Near the Sarves-Alta ski hill, the ski-in, ski-out Bjørnfjell Mountain Lodge gets superb reviews. Throughout the region are a host of holiday house & apartment rentals dotted across the lonely landscape that can make excellent self-contained bases from which to explore the region.

Search & book here for all Finnmark accommodation near Alta.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

The Finnmark shares a superb geographical benefit with much of the Arctic - its proximity to the stunning phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis (otherwise known as the Northern Lights).

The Northern Lights can be viewed from September to April. You need a clear night with no light (artificial or moon!) & the right solar activity. Check out the Northern Lights forecast (yep, there’s a forecast!).

Review

The Powderhounds intend visiting Finnmark next season in March. Who wants to come? Stay tuned for our photos & insights.

See how Finnmark compares to the rest of the Norwegian ski areas on the Norway ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Finnmark

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Ski Touring the Alps of Finnmark
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SKI TOURING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Whether skiing from the door, by road, boat or kayak, explore the last skiing frontier in the remote, wild Alps of Finnmark, above the arctic circle in Norway! Devoid of people, ski mountains surrounded by fjords all the way down to the sea! Join an affordable fixed date ski tour every week from March to May .....
Price p/p From price based on 7 nights twin-share lodging in a maximum group of 6 people.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,792
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Finnmark here
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