Micro Hardangervidda

Experience your first polar journey – A 3 day trip to reset, rewind and get a taste for polar expeditions.
A stunning introduction to the Norwegian wilderness and the largest arctic-alpine plateau in Europe.

3 days
height 1200M
grade grade grade grade grade grade
price 385

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Expedition Details

For those who haven’t got previous experience of a long and arduous polar journey, but have promised themselves to be part of one, one day, we’ve developed a teaser or ‘Micro-adventure’ in the form of a 3-day expedition. This is the trip you can join if you don’t feel like being away for too long but still want to get some time off to re-set and clear your head, evaluate your assumptions and to get the feeling of what is involved in a polar expedition.

Our training and play-ground will be the same as Nansen’s and Amundsen’s. The Hardangervidda plateau offers the tough conditions and inclement weather to test your abilities, but also comes complete with the entire Northern experience: frozen lakes, the Northern Lights and remoteness.

We’ll use the same techniques and structures required for a more committing polar expedition:

Days will be challenging with a total of 30kms to cover under winter conditions and two nights spent out in winter tents. By the end of the trip you’ll know what it’s like to be pulling and packing a pulk. You’ll be familiar with winter camp routines and walking in snowshoes or using skis, and, generally, with managing yourself in these conditions. You will have the opportunity to practice winter navigation, and snow- and avalanche skills. Our group is set up as a mixed snowshoe and ski team.

Above all, you will have spent two long days out in proper snow, doing something for both your body and soul.

Micro-Adventures: These trips are for those who want to get away and experience adventure, but only have a few days to spare. It’s the essence of adventure in a short and intense hit. The level of difficulty is pitched at the general ability and enthusiasm of the team. We can do a night-time ski or summit, or take it more leisurely. But all of the time, we aim to maximise the amount of time we have and, staying true to our spirit of seeking remoteness and niche experiences, get you as far away as possible from civilisation and into areas which lend themselves for exploration.

More Info

If you would like more information on this expedition you can download the full PDF trip details or drop us a line with your questions!



Equipment:

Equipment is one of the areas we get the most questions on. Being well kitted out for a trip into extreme conditions is essential. Once you are signed up to a trip we will send you a kit list which explains thoroughly what you need. For this trip, we supply most of the specialist equipment that is not easy for you to get yourself, as part of the trip package. This includes polar tents, cooking equipment and snowshoes. For your personal equipment we are able to offer advice on choosing the best kit, most of which we can order in for you at good discount prices.

Food

Hauling a pulk in low temperatures for long days means you burn up to 6,000kcal every day. The food we take is there to keep up your calorie count, but also your morale. We supply freeze-dried Mountain House ration packs as well as lunch packs. For breakfast and dinner there will be a variety of meals to choose from. Prior to the expedition you will be asked to send us a list with your preferred options.

Please let us know if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.

Training and Preparation

Many wonder how to prepare best for a polar expedition. This will vary from trip to trip and for each individual. We provide a lot of advice and support before the start of the expedition to make sure that all team members are as best prepared as possible and we have a functioning team.

Safety:

Guide-Client ratio is maximum 1:4, which allows for close personal support for each expedition team member. Our teams carry a satellite phone and a Personal Locator Beacon which sends out a signal via satellite to identify the approximate position of the party.

All of our trips have a strong focus on training and supporting participants to become self-sufficient in the polar regions. This mini expedition is a dedicated training course, aimed at building your skills for a full polar expedition.

Campcraft, Equipment and Clothing 

The only true way to experience the polar regions is by being self-sufficient. Being comfortable and safe out there means paying great attention to detail, practice and techniques and adhering to a workable routine. The essential thing with polar camping is to keep things dry inside the tent. You will learn how to pitch the tent in strong winds or on icy surfaces, how to arrange the inside of the tent, how to secure the pulks outside and how to use snow shovels and a snow saw for cutting snow blocks to dig in the tent.

There’s an art to picking the right sleeping bag, right boots and proper clothing. The issues are knowing how cold it is likely to be, weight and volume issues, synthetic versus down considerations, and of course the budget available.

Our aim is for you to acquire more technical knowledge yourself and start to know what feels right and works for you. Head and face, hands and feet all need special attention as they are particularly vulnerable to frostbite and the chosen systems have to work faultlessly even under the harshest conditions.

Food and Cooking 

You will learn how to keep your body fuelled for the strenuous physical exercise and about the routines of cooking in minus temperatures. (By the end of the expedition you will know the perfect fill-line for adding hot water to your dry ration!)

Fitness Training 

Where our programme is different to others, is our emphasis on fitness training. Having a solid fitness plan and targeted exercises to work with is essential to prepare your body for the stresses of a polar expedition, and is the area where preparation falls short in most cases. We provide advice in this area. If you are extremely serious about your personal development in polar environments and have big targets in mind we can support your training with our Polar Training programme.

Snowcraft

We will cover snow and ice techniques, methods for roping up and other safety procedures needed for a polar environment. We will spend time re-practicing techniques and re-familiarising ourselves with all the equipment, trying out crampons and digging simple snow holes.

Hazardous Conditions 

Experiencing different conditions, knowing what to expect and learning how to cope best is one of the most important things you will learn. Our rule of thumb is to be prepared for the worst and pleasantly surprised with the favourable.

There may be days of whiteout when cloud reduces contrast and definition and sky and horizon are merged into one. Any sense of scale and distance are lost, causing complete disorientation. It will be necessary to take compass bearings and know our rate of travel. Crosswinds, temperature and conditions underfoot can influence our direction and speed.

Strong wind and wind chill is common – we will learn to deal with this, looking at protective clothing and camp set-up.

The extreme cold comes with its own challenges and we will practice and revise routines and systems for this. Every task undertaken in the extreme cold will be far more difficult to complete than in warmer temperatures. GPS or batteries may not work, food and drink freezes, taking out a map with gloved hands becomes a struggle.

Sledge travel

Sledges are the essential thing about being self-sufficient. Sledge hauling is a self-contained and very efficient way of travel. Personal loads of up to three times the weight of those ‘backpackable’ can be hauled in relative comfort. Even complete beginners can soon learn how to haul on skis. You will learn about hauling and safety techniques as well as efficient packing.

 

ADD A REVIEW

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You will get to know your guides in person on the training course. Mark is the main guide on most expeditions, but he has teamed up with a handful of other guides who form part of the Exped team. All of our guides are capable and dedicated. They have the right attitude – both towards reaching the goal and towards their expedition teams. We strive for safety and mutual support in our teams, as well as having a bit of banter. All of us love adventure, but most of all we want to pass on our knowledge, share amazing experiences, and inspire others to be ambitious.

MARK WALKER

Mark is the director of Exped Adventure and the head guide on many of our expeditions. Mark is a highly experienced Expedition Leader and Mountaineering Instructor with over 20 years of mountaineering experience. Mark grew up in the English Lake District and has been climbing, running and walking in the mountains all over the world since he was a small child. He knows the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland and the Peak District like the back of his hand.

Mark has led a variety of expeditions to the far corners of the globe. He specialises in technical mountaineering and remote trekking expeditions. Mark grew up in the English Lake District and knows the area inside out.

Mark has put up new routes in the Lake District, Scotland, and Kenya. Climbing in all disciplines remains his passion.

Mark’s Expediton experience is broad and vast, including expeditions to Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Norway, Svalbard, Russia, and more.

Marks high altitude climbing experience includes; Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon, Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Kyajo Ri, Elbrus, Tharpa Chuli, Singu Chuli, Mont Blanc, The Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and much more!

Mark lives in Windermere in the Lake District with his young family.

Mark is a certified ML, WML, IML and MIA.

MATT STAPLEY

Matt is an experienced outdoor instructor and has been in the industry for 12 years. He has worked with clients all over the UK, Peru, and Europe and has mountaineering experience in America, North Africa and Western and Eastern Europe. Matt’s personal interests include multi-day mountain marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons.

Matt is a certified ML, WML and MIA.

RICH MAYWHORT

Rich has 30 years experience of climbing and mountaineering, with 15 of those years as a professional Mountaineer and Climbing instructor. He has climbed and led clients extensively over the breadth of the UK and in the Alps.

With climbing and mountaineering experience over Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Canada, Slovenia, Greece, random islands and North Africa.

GARY FLETCHER

Gary has been working as Group Captain and Training Expedition Leader in the Royal Air Force for 25 years before taking on his current freelance work as Outdoor Instructor. He has led numerous White Water Kayaking expeditions to the French Alps and New Zealand, as well as Sea Kayaking expeditions in Scotland. He has been on expeditions to the High Atlas Mountains and Nepal, including Gokyo Ri (5357m).

 

TRACEY WRIGHT

Tracey is a highly experienced International Mountain Leader and also holds the Mountain Instructor Certificate. She has Alpine experience on touring and cross country skis, including summits of Weismeis, Pigne d’Arolla, Grand Paradiso and Mt Leone. She has lead mountaineering expeditions to Mt Kenya, including ascent of Diamond Couloir, Kilimanjaro, Bolivian 6000m peaks and Mont Blanc. She has extensive personal snow and ice mountaineering experience in New Zealand, the Alps and Scotland.
Currently, she is working as a maths teacher at an International school of Aiglon College, Chesieres, Switzerland where she assists with the Outdoor Ed programme throughout the year.

Outdoor national qualifications British Assoc of Snowsport Instructors Alpine Level 2, Cross Country Ski Leader; Mountain Instructors Certificate (winter climbing instructor); International Mountain Leader.

 

Start DateEnd DateDaysPriceAvailability
22nd Feb 201924th Feb 20193£385

Good

22nd Mar 201924th Mar 20193£385

Full

12th Apr 201914th Apr 20193£385

Good

8th Mar 201910th Mar 20193£385

Good

How to Book

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Call us on 01539 822967.

What is included:
• Accommodation – 2 nights tents
• All expedition meals (2 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 1 lunch)
• Medical safety equipment and supplies
• Train journey Oslo S to Finse return.
• Expedition team leader
• Access to our RMS team of doctors
• All specialist equipment: Pulks, harnesses, polar tents, cooking equipment, snowshoes, waxes (ski rental, rollmats, sleeping bags not included)

What is not included:
• Travel to and from UK airport / Travel to and from Oslo airport to Oslo S train station.
• International flights and taxes
• Personal equipment, including skis, rollmats, sleeping bags.
• Travel insurance
• Drinks, snacks and personal spending
• Tips for local staff

Flights:

Flights are not included as part of the trip price and have to be booked individually, however, we are happy to give advice on best flight times. British Airways and Norwegian Air operate flights that get you in before noon on Friday and have evening outbound flights which leave enough time to return kit in Oslo and reach the airport. Flights are from London STD to Oslo. Prices for a return flight range between £60 – £90 if booked early.

Booking – What happens next:
• The deposit reserves you a place on the trip. It is non-refundable according to our Booking Conditions. You will receive a confirmation of booking and further details about the trip.
• We will also supply you with more information and a complete equipment list.
• If you require a payment plan, get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss the options.
• We will need you to fill in a Client Booking form for our records, regarding any health issues, your experience, insurance and next of kin details.
• The remaining balance will be due 8 weeks prior to departure (unless you arranged a payment plan). Any cancellations at this point are subject to our Booking Conditions.

Bespoke option:
We can organise this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.

Insurance:
You will need a travel insurance policy that caters for the activities you will undertake on your trip with Exped Adventure. It is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have such a policy. For advice on best policies get in touch.

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