Svalbard Training

Learning the art of polar travel

Practical polar expedition training.

This practical training program prepares you for a polar ski expedition, in Antarctica, Greenland or Svalbard itself. It covers the basics of polar equipment, navigation, diet and daily schedules, as well as being a challenging expedition across the icescapes of Spitsbergen.

  • Gateway Longyearbyen, Norway
  • Distance varies
  • Nights on Ice 5
  • Ski days 6
  • Daily Distance varies
  • Sled Weight 40kg
  • Temp. Range -20 to -35°C
  • Challenge 4 What's this?
  • Conditions Cold, wind, dark nights
  • Challenges Cold management, sled hauling, long ascents and descents

Trip Itinerary

April 17

Meet in Longyearbyen and check in to your hotel. Welcome dinner.

April 18

Preparation, packing, equipment check. Depart from town and camp in Adventdalen.

April 19-22

Polar training trip

April 23

Ski to Longyearbyen, end of trip. (You will require hotel accommodation unless you fly out immediately)


  • Longyearbyen transfers
  • Welcome dinner in Longyearbyen
  • Food and stove fuel while on the ice
  • Icetrek guide(s)
  • Use of technical equipment including sleds, skis, tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment. This equipment is returned to Icetrek after the training (see equipment list)
  • Safety/navigation/communications equipment


  • Meals and accommodation in Longyearbyen other than the welcome dinner
  • Additional costs (accommodation, meals etc.) due to changes beyond our control ie. weather delays
  • Evacuation, hospitalization and repatriation costs and/or insurance
  • Personal clothing and footwear

Our Svalbard training program offers a broad introduction to polar expeditioning.

We meet in Svalbard’s capital Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen (Norway) the night before our departure, however if you have time we suggest you arrive even earlier to allow time to discover the town and acclimatise to the conditions.

Once we have completed our preparations including food and sled packing we ski out of town and into Adventdalen (Advent Valley) where we spend our first night. Flanked by mountains the valley is a beautiful introduction to the wonders of Svalbard. The following day we continue to Dronbreen (Dron Glacier) and climb to the pass that divides the large valleys of Adventdalen and Reindalen. We are in Nordenskiöld Land, named after thre Swedish polar explorer Otto Nordenskiöld. The view here is spectacular and you really get to appreciate the beauty of this region. We camp high to absorb the feel of this alpine region. Don't worry, the skiing is non-technical and we often ride our sleds like toboggans to reach lower ground.

This area is closed to snowmobiles and is a real polar paradise where will will likely see no-one along the way. We may see birdlife or polar fox and are of course in the home of the polar bear, though they are less likely to make their way onto the mountain tops. However we prepare ourselves adequately with appropriate deterrents.

Staying on the range, we ply our way through passes, around mountains and across glaciers staying a couple more nights up high before descending back down to Adventdalen and return to Longyearbyen.

This trip is as much a mini expedition as it is a training trip. You will return home with a clear understanding of what it takes to put together and undertake a polar ski expedition.

Svalbard Region map Svalbard

There are flights with SAS and Norwegian Air almost daily from Oslo, Norway to Longyearbyen.

Svalbard Training

April 18 to 23, 2018 Availability: Yes
Per person ex-Svalbard (€250 discount if you are booked onto an Icetrek polar trip)
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