Upon arriving in Oslo, you will board the Oslo-to-Bergen snow train, famed as one of the most scenic rail journeys in Europe*. You will disembark at Finse, the highest point on the line (1222m). The iconic Finse hotel is located on the platform and can only be reached by train or snowmobile/ski – there is no road access, even in the summer months. You will be met by the Shackleton Expedition Team and shown to your rooms, followed by a three-course dinner and drinks.
After dinner there will be a fireside welcome brief outlining the plan for the week, weather update and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions.
*If you would like to discuss other transport options, speak to a member of the Shackleton team.
Following breakfast at 8am, you will collect specialist polar expedition skis, boots and poles. You will spend the morning covering a range of polar expedition topics, including clothing systems and the layering principle, preventing and treating cold-weather injuries, cross-country skiing and route selection, expedition food and drink preparations.
After lunch you will head out onto the vast frozen lake, Finsevatnet, to practice the skills you have learned: cross country skiing, ski routines, making camp, building emergency shelters such as snow holes, and finish off with a fun ski race.
Return to the hotel for dinner and an evening presentation from one of your guides on an expedition in Antarctica.
Today you will cover more advanced polar travel topics before heading out with the pulks for the first time. You will be cross country skiing on undulating terrain hauling expedition pulks, building up to a fun pulk race around the lake to ensure you feel comfortable before heading off on your expedition the next day. You will also have the opportunity to meet a husky dog team and experience polar travel as the early polar pioneers did.
The day will start in earnest with preparations for the expedition. By mid-morning we will be heading out into the wilds on our compressed polar expedition. You will be hauling your own pulk containing everything you need to thrive and survive in a polar environment. You will take turns to navigate as we cross the vast Finsevatnet and head for the mountains in the distance.
After a day of challenging route selection through the mountains, we will select a camp site and pitch our expedition tents in the snow. Once camp is established you can experience a bracing snow bath (using handfuls of snow to scrub away the labours of the day). In the tents, cookers will be running and the snow melting process starts to prepare our expedition food and hot drinks. After a well-deserved hot meal, it will be time to bed down in your expedition sleeping bags for a good night’s rest.
Breakfast will be prepared at sunrise and we will collapse camp as we prepare for the second full day on expedition. Today you will tackle challenging terrain while hauling your pulk as we navigate our way through the Hardangervidda National Park and back towards Finse. Throughout the day you will be responsible for leading and navigating. After another challenging day, the welcome sight of the hotel will appear on the horizon.
After a shower, you and the team will enjoy a celebratory dinner – a great way to round off the experience.
After a leisurely breakfast you will board the snow train for Oslo.