Ski Touring around Bodo and the Helgaland Coast

In summer 2016 I drove 2200Km from Chamonix to Oslo, picked up my family and continued almost the same distance again up to Bodo in Arctic Norway.  From here we explored the Lofoten Islands, went Mountain Biking around Narvik and on the way back down, headed through Bodo again and down into Helgeland, following the most scenic coastal road in Norway – and they’ve quite a few to choose from!

On this journey it became abundantly clear that this incredibly scenic and very quiet region was full of superb winter ski touring terrain, so in February 2018 I returned with a team of skiers for our first Bodo ski touring week.

Expectations were high and the area fully lived up to everything I’d hoped for – being both extremely quiet (we met nobody else on the hill all week!) and with plenty of quality touring terrain.

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Coastal Islands near Bodo

 

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View from the summit

Initially the omens weren’t good, when my bag went missing in Oslo airport – but buying and borrowing a few clothes and through the generosity of the local gear shop who lent me some hire boots free of charge, we got up on the hill and enjoyed 2 great days skiing until my regular boots arrived.  Day 2 in particular, skiing to the summit of a coastal Island with incredible 360 views, before enjoying a great run back down through fresh powder was particularly memorable.

Day 3 we ventured northwards, but discovered that less fresh snow had fallen here than further south.  Climbing up it looked like ski conditions for the descent weren’t too promising, but the views were excellent from the top and by picking a canny line we managed to link up all the best bits of snow blown into hollows and vallons on the descent, so it all worked out well in the end.

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Locals…
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Northern Lights
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Heading Up…
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…Coming Down
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Powder!

Back at the hotel we enjoyed an excellent spa that night, before another hungry skier sized portion meal and a couple of evenings watching the Northern Lights.

Day four dawned grey, with a threat of snow in the air – so we headed to a sheltered venue and skinned up through trees and a stream valley above to open ground.  On days like this it’s best to choose a smooth, regular angled slope and follow a strategy of laying regular kick turns on the way up, in order to create a ‘corridor’ with the skinning track, which makes the descent easier and more enjoyable in flat light.  The plan worked well and we enjoyed some of the best snow of the week, despite the ‘journee blanche’ conditions.

The Powder Gods continued to be on our side for the rest of the week too, with fresh turns each day and more amazing scenery – all in all, this one of the best and quietest touring regions I’ve visited in Norway and a lovely place to escape the crowds and enjoy some scenic touring.