Yep, I'm heading to the tundra in the far north of Norway. While much of Europe is in the first flush of Spring there are still some Winter adventures to be had here in Scandinavia. The plan is simple. Fly to Alta at the north-western edge of Finnmarksvidda and then ski in a southerly direction, vaguely parallel to the 93 road, to the town of Kautokeino. Travel will be off-trail and will not cross any roads. It's hard to give an exact distance as the route will be at the mercy of the terrain and navigation choices (follow the stream beds or ridges?) but by road the two towns are roughly 125km apart. This will be my longest winter trip by quite some margin.
Thankfully this man, Jörgen Johansson, will be on hand to try and keep me out of trouble. Vastly experienced and a proponent of the lightweight wilderness travel philosophy I have enjoyed Jörgen's company before on Nordic Lightpacking's Vålådalen trip. When Jörgen first suggested this trip to Finnmark I knew I had to do everything possible to make it happen. Last year Jörgen undertook a trip that really captured my imagination with his ski tour of the Sarek in Sweden. His musings on the lightweight equipment he used in this type of winter environment resonated with me strongly and have directly influenced many of my choices on this trip.
Chief amongst these is the decision to use Incredible Rulks. Jörgen first highlighted his take on using small sleds combined with rucksacks in this article on BPL. He developed the design further with The Rulk Rebooted which also happened to be the direction I saw the concept moving. Having used one now I can see their advantage over trying to ski under a large heavy pack or using a traditional pulk that can't be 'shouldered'.
So that's the plan. We'll be heading north in a little over a week. I'm going with my eyes and mind wide open to what I hope will be an enjoyable, challenging and educational trip.