Splitboarding on the Lofoten is getting more and more famous by splitboarders and tour skiers. Mainly Swedish and Norwegians skiers and snowboarders from around Oslo seem to like it here. The snowpack on the Lofoten islands is more stable than the snowpack in European Alps; the ocean climate is more humidity, and this is why the snow sticks better together. Most mountain peaks except for few have an average of seven hundred and fifty vertical meters; this makes it so interesting for touring
Initially, I organized this trip with Irian (colleague snowboard guide), but he broke his ankle two weeks before the start of the journey. Bas was his replacement. I have been on the Lofoten for more than six weeks and informed Bas the weather could be very tough. With all the information I gave him he planned his tour precisely to be ready for the unknown. The week before we left the weather forecast was looking better and better. Eventually, we arrived on a bluebird day with forty centimetres of fresh snow.
|The group consist ten experienced guys, a mix of Dutch and German splitboarders and one brave skier. This international crew regularly visits the Arlberg where we live. On the more profound days in winter you can find them in our backyard. The snowboard level and condition will be more than enough for the tours we planned on the Lofoten. The last week of April, we met everyone on Evenes/Narvik/Harstad (EVE) airport. On the point of arrival, you always hope your luggage arrived too. Unfortunately for Tim, his board bag was till in Olso and hat to wait two more hours.
|On the road to Kabelvåg! The next three hours a magical car ride follows with views over deep blue fjords and steep mountains covered with snow. We see a few big avalanches from a day old and not a single ski track visible. Stable weather with an average of -8 degrees is a perfect combination for a week of splitboarding. After a long day of travelling, a traditional Norwegian meal is well earned. We start the week with a traditional Norwegian dish, Bacalao, this is Stockfish (dried codfish) with potatoes in tomato sauce.|
|After breakfast the first morning, we do a quick gear check and start the first tour. The chosen peak is the Stortinden (731m) west of Kabelvåg. The purpose of this tour is to get acclimatized and get knowledge of current snow and avalanche conditions. At the parking lot, we engaged four Scandinavian female skiers who informed us about the current circumstances. All the guys started extra motivated because of their presence. We begin on a snow-covered dirt road that brings us through a typical Norwegian birch forest. Tight passages and icy snow requires highly focused steps. The surface quickly changes in grippy powder snow, an easy walk over a ridge with a view over the fjords and the fishermen village where we stay.|
Crampons were so far not necessary, but this changed quickly. To reach the peak, we had to boot pack a steep icy ridge,
|and falling was no option. We asked the group if they felt all comfortable; one guy decided to enjoy the scene from the coll. Step by step, I started carefully. The group followed slowly, and crampons wouldn’t be a luxury. The trick is to make each step as precise as possible by tramping my boots multiple times in the same place. As we make the last few steps, the view is even more stunning, and all we see are happy faces. I’m the first one who drops in to check the snow. The first few turns there is still some ice underneath the snow; this disappears rash. The untracked powder fields ask for long curves and big sprays. Further, on the way down, we try to tackle every obstacle we can find. This first day makes us clear that we have to pack our full touring equipment (crampons and Ice axe) for the upcoming week.|
|After another good powder day between the Breitind and Torskmannen, we are eager for the highlight of the week. The Geitgaljetind is 1080 meter high, shaped like an upside-down cornetto and offers a 700-meter long ridable steep gully straight into the fjord. Because of the doubtful snow conditions we have to put on our crampons several times to approach the Geitgaljetind eventually. It is 15.00 the whole group is enjoying one of the best views the Lofoten has to offer. The perfect spot to check out some lines for the following days. The south gully offers perfect surfie snow and not a single track to see. Halfway down we make a short break to get rid of our burning legs and have another glimpse of this fantastic scenery. Later that day at the grill place, stories about the best moments have been told. The other day we were looking for a boulder spot and found this grill hangout by accident. This spot became our main hangout for the rest of the week;
| two guys spotted even a group of killer whales. The last day of the week, we make 1400 hundred vertical meters in total north of Laupstad. The Dutch-German jokes, which have been made during the day, gave the group an extra boost to achieve our goal. In total, we skinned up in three different zones, all of them untouched and excellent snow. For the last line of the week, we had to cross a lake. Not knowing how thick the ice is, we prefer to take significant distances between us. Once we all crossed the lake, the final push to the Kvittind is waiting for us. A steep face rolling over in playful terrain is waiting for us. Satisfied in the car to Svolvear on a beautiful warm spring day, it is time to make a toast on this unbelievable week of splitboarding. Most of the guest had the best splitboard experience ever and realize how much luck they had with the weather. The forecast for the next week is not looking promising. For us, perfect timing to go back home. Click here fore more details. Or check Xavier his adventures.