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Winter Expedition: Arctic Sweden

Join the Hunt for the Aurora!

Dates: 21 - 27 March 2021

Price: 2295 EUR 

Full Money-Back Return Policy During Covid-19 (Click for details)

Guide

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

 

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. Jonas is a qualified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) and will be leading the expedition.

Jonas teaches an easy to implement process-oriented approach to the craft of making a technically solid exposure so that we can focus our energy on realising our creative visions.

More info here.

Expedition Highlights

  • Learn the skills needed to be self-sufficient in the winter mountains  

  • Experience and photograph arctic winter landscapes

  • Photography Course - An Introduction to nature and adventure photography.

  • Professional photography tutor - this means there will be a lot of time for group and 1-to-1 teaching. All levels and all camera welcome

  • Benefit from a proven photography curriculum to quickly advance your photography

  • Safely explore the outdoors with a qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Learn how to safely navigate in landscapes far away from the marked trails, about safe and comfortable camp life and much more

  • Experience a unique and wild landscape

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This expedition merges nature and adventure photography and cross-country skiing into a complete experience of timeless, beautiful and wild nature. Circumnavigating Kebnekaise is one of the most beautiful backcountry ski tours in Sweden. Previous cross country skiing experience not necessary. We will start the first day with an introduction session.

 

This 7-day expedition will test your expeditionary skills and your fitness, so be prepared to experience a truly unique adventure. It has been designed with passion and enthusiasm based on our personal experiences from Kebnekaise to ensure this truly is a unique journey

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld some exact locations from the itinerary below. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism to this pristine and seldom visited place by sharing these. Our expedition participants will receive detailed information via email. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Itinerary

Itinerary

 

Day 1 | Arrival Day - Nikkaloukta - Visttasvággi

For those needing to rent skis, we will meet in Kiruna to pick up our gear and then head out to the real start of our adventure, the Sami village Nikkaloukta, far into the Arctic Circle. The tour officially starts at 1 PM in Nikkaluokta with introductions and expedition briefing. Make sure that you have had lunch by the time the expedition starts. At 3 PM we have snowmobile transport into Visttasvággi. Once we have been dropped by the Vistas mountain hut,  we will head out to get familiar with our skis. Previous skiing experience is not necessary, we will teach you everything you need to know in the first afternoon. In the evening we will cook together (the Swedish mountain huts are self-catered so we will bring our own food) and enjoy the first night of photography together. The Vistas hut has a Sauna, complete with mandatory snow rolling!

Skiing: Approx. 1hrs | Distance 3km | Hight gain/loss +30m

Day 2 | Visttasvággi - Stuor Readdavággi

It is time to ski! We are up early to cook a good breakfast and then pack up and head for the adventure. Our first day is a fairly flat and easy ski of 11 km into the Stuor Readdavággi, which is popularly called Nallo Valley (named after the iconic mountain Nállu) which is a valley perfectly shaped like a big U that lends itself perfectly to photography. The day's ski is through pristine white alpine forests until the very end when we start to ascent above the tree-line to make it to the Nallo hut with beautiful views. As it is our first real day and we will all have to find our ski legs, we will take it easy with many breaks for photography. We will now start to establish our hut routines and enjoy an evening of food and photography. After a long exciting day, we will get some good sleep, perhaps dreaming of the adventure that lies ahead. We will watch for Aurora in the evening!

Skiing: Approx. 5hrs | Distance 11km | Hight gain/loss +300m

Day 3 | Stuor Readdavággi - Tjäktjavággi

We wake up refreshed in that way that only sleeping in nature can do. We now have a few days of skiing in our legs and it is time for a good ski, we have 11km to ski to the beautiful Sälka hut and some of it is along the popular and breathtakingly beautiful Kungsleden (Eng: The King's Trail). The Tjäktjavággi is a wide-open valley with gorgeous views in all directions and a beautiful meandering stream offering great opportunities for photography. Sälka hut has Sauna!

 

Skiing: Approx. 4hrs | Distance 11km | Hight gain/loss +140m/-370m

Day 4 | Tjäktjavággi

We continue from Sälka hut to Singi, with another short day of 11 km, meaning we can focus the day on photography. The entire day is along the beautiful Kungsleden. The landscapes dramatically changes as we reach Singi. It is a short day, meaning that we will have time to explore the area around Singi in the evening.

 

Skiing: Approx. 4hrs | Distance 11km | Hight gain/loss +100m/-90m

Day 5 | Tjäktjavággi - Láddjuvággi

We are up early to make the most of the beautiful morning light and then perhaps have a short nap before breakfast. We continue onwards in Láddjuvággi, along the path named after Dag Hammarskjöld, former Secretary-General of the United Nations. We will have a long day ahead of us as we will be on our final approach towards Kebnekaise Mountain Station (named after Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekaise) where a sauna, a hot shower, soft beds and a three-course dinner awaits! It is time to celebrate! Photography in the area around Kebnekaise is great.

 

Skiing: Approx. 6hrs | Distance 14km | Hight gain/loss +350m/-400m

Day 6 | Extra day

Extra day in case of bad weather. If we don’t use this day, we will consider it a bonus and add it to prolong our stay towards the end of the tour. We will spend the day doing a day ski into the mountains, scouting for wildlife or whatever the group decides! 

Skiing: To be decided

Day 7 | Departure day - Kebnekaise Mountain Station - Nikkaloukta

We enjoy the Station's breakfast buffet and get ready for our final trek. We have 18 easy kilometres to get back to Nikkaloukta, where the 4.50 PM bus will take us back to Kiruna and civilisation. Once there, we will say our "see you later"! Arrival in Kiruna at approx. 6.10 PM.

Skiing: Approx. 6hrs | Distance 18km | Hight gain/loss -320m

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Aurora photography - Explore the nighttime skies, Northern Light and landscapes to show the world at a different time

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposures and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

  • Post Processing - Using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to create stunning natural landscape images 

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition

We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills. 

  • Introduction to cross country skiing

  • Planning for a week or more out on the hills in winter conditions

  • Winter gear techniques

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in the Arctic Circle can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the weather forecast and the local maps over coffee to plan our day. Sunrise and sunset vary greatly throughout the year. Sunrise will be at approx. 7 AM and sunset at 6 PM.

Getting There and Back Out Again

The expedition starts at Nikkaloukta. You reach it by train or flight to Kiruna (via Stockholm), and then Nikkalouktaexpressen bus. Disembark at Nikkaloukta (the only stop). On the return journey, we will finish at Nikkaloukta, where you can take the same bus to Kiruna, where you can catch a flight or the train. If you have extra luggage, we recommend that you leave this in Kiruna or Nikkaloukta.

Food

All meals are included in the price of this expedition, from dinner the arrival day to lunch on the departure day. The first few days we will cook fresh food and then transition to dehydrated pre-packaged meals. The stay at Kebnekaise Mountain Station has a fantastic restaurant and breakfast buffet. Note that the Swedish huts are self-catered and that we will all cook and clean up together.

Winter Equipment 

You can rent skis and other equipment in Kiruna, further information to be provided.

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Full Return Policy During Covid-19

During the outbreak of Covid-19 we will offer a full refund (both deposit and balance payment) if Swedish governmental restrictions on travel make the expedition unfeasible. You are welcome to get in touch if you have any questions about this. 

 

How Challenging?

This expedition has a Medium Effort Rating. This is a serious trekking expedition where we can expect 6-10 hours of movement per day. Previous multi-day trekking experience is highly advisable. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

 

Included:​

  • Guided cross country ski tours by qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Six nights in a dormitory room at the huts

  • Three-course dinner and breakfast buffet at Kebnekaise Mountain Station

  • Self-catered meals for all other days

  • Guided photography sessions in the field

  • Theoretical sessions

  • One snow pulk shared between 2 persons​ (for equipment and food)

  • Use of storm shelter 

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment 

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment

  • Transport (e.g. trains or flights to Kiruna), bus to/from Nikkaloukta

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the mountains, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: 2295 EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 90 days before the start of the expedition. Single occupancy not possible. Incl. VAT.

Participants: Minimum 5 - Maximum 10

Start: Nikkaluokta, 21 March 2021, 12 PM (it is advised to arrive the night before in Kiruna). If you need to rent ski equipment, you will be met at the ski shop in Kiruna early in the morning before the bus departs to Nikkaluokta.

End: Nikkaluokta, 27 March 2021, approx. 3 PM

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

Equipment Rental

If you require equipment, we can provide the following equipment from our rental partner at cost price (subject to availability)​

  • Ski kit (skis, poles, skins and boots) - 1580SEK (approx 160 EUR)

  • Other items available on request

© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

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