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Winter Expedition: Sub-Arctic Sweden

Nordic winter landscapes and cross country skiing!

Dates: 1 - 7 March 2021

Last few spots!

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

Guides

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 | Monday 1 March 2021 | Arrival Day - Vålådalen
The comfortable overnight train from Stockholm (and from further afield with connections) arrives in Undersåker (the stop just before Åre) just after 09.00. Alternatively, there are connections with flights from Stockholm. You will be met at the train station by your guide, who will stay with you for the entire expedition. From there we have a private transfer that will take us straight to Vålådalen Mountain Station. On arrival, we will get our beds sorted and enjoy a welcome lunch in the restaurant. After lunch, we will get any rental gear sorted and pack our packs for a first afternoon on skis and our first photo session. We will start with a short cross country ski lesson and then we will make a short journey to photograph the beautiful mountainous and forested winter landscapes surrounding Vålådalen Mountain Station. We head back to the Station for our first theory session, where we will discuss storytelling in landscape and outdoor photography, and dinner. Then back out again for sunset. After this, we will have a free evening to continue to get to know each other and perhaps enjoy the sauna.
Skiing: Approx. 3hrs | Distance 2-5km

Day 2 | Vålådalen Mountain Station - Lunndörren Hut
It is time to ski! We are up early to photograph the sunrise and enjoy a good breakfast. Once we are content, we will pack up and head for the adventure. Our first day is an easy ski of 13 km. The day's ski starts through the pristine alpine forest until the very end when it starts to thin out as we reach the Lunndörren 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, a theory session on composition and, of course, a lot of photography. After a long exciting day, we will get some good sleep, perhaps dreaming of the adventure that lies ahead. Unless, of course, there is a good chance to see the Northern Lights...In which case we will be checking the night sky ready to head out for some more photography!
Skiing: Approx. 4-5 hrs | Distance 13km

Day 3 | Lunndörren Hut - Vålåstugorna Hut
We wake up refreshed in that way that only sleeping in a mountain hut can do. We now have two days of skiing in our legs and it is time for a good ski, we have 14km to ski to the beautiful Vålåstugorna hut. The journey is through an alpine birch forest which soon gives way to
endless mountain views. The hut is situated in a wide-open valley with gorgeous views in all directions offering great opportunities for photography.
Skiing: Approx. 4-5 hrs | Distance 14km

Day 4 | Vålåstugorna Hut – Gåsen Stugorna
We will wake up early and be out the door just before sunrise to be able to photograph sunrise along the trail. We continue from the Vålåstugorna hut deeper into the mountains towards Gåsen Stugorna. This is a lesser-used trail but worth the effort. Beautiful landscapes surround us as we ski.
Skiing: Approx. 4-5 hrs | Distance 14km

Day 5 | Gåsen Stugorna – Sylarna
After a final night in a self-catered hut, we continue towards the mountain station Sylarna, where a cooked three-course meal awaits. The food at Sylarna is famous in the area and will be welcome after days with dehydrated food. Sylarna is the name of the station, but also the mountain next to it. Sylarna is a towering and impressive massif - the photography will be good.
Skiing: Approx. 4-5 hrs | Distance 15km

Day 6 | Sylarna - Blåhammaren

After a morning photographing the magnificent Sylarna, it is time for a good ski, we have 19km to ski to the beautiful Blåhammaren hut along a breathtakingly beautiful trail. The day offers great opportunities for photography. On arrival at the hut we might head for the sauna or straight out for more photography!
Skiing: Approx. 6-8hrs | Distance 19km | Hight gain/loss +140m/-370m

Day 7 | Sunday 7 March 2021 | Blåhammaren - Storulvån
We continue from Blåhammaren hut back to where we started, to Storulvån, this is a short day of 12 km, meaning we can focus the day on photography. As it is a fairly short day, it allows for comfortable time to return our rental equipment and get freshened up before the night train that departs around 1900, should anyone be booked onto this.

Skiing: Approx. 4-5hrs | Distance 12km | Hight gain/loss +100m/-90m

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. 

  • 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. 9 AM and sunset at 7 PM.

Getting There and Back Out Again

We will start this journey at Undersåker train station (link) on 1 March at 1200. This is synced to the overnight train from Stockholm. For those travelling via air to östersund, it is possible to book a transfer from the airport to Undersåker (link). Should arrive a bit later we can help you with booking a private transfer from Undersåker to Vålådalen Mountain Station where we will be staying the first night. We do recommend that you arrive a day early to really enjoy this place. We will end the expedition at Åre train station (link) on 7 March at approx 1700. From here you can take a transfer to the airport or a train to Stockholm. If you would like hotel recommendations to extend your stay in Åre, please send us an email. If you are using any luggage to get to/from the location, we can take care of this and bring it from the starting point to the finishing point.

Food

All meals in the self-catered huts are included in the price of this expedition, from dinner the arrival day to lunch on the departure day. We will spend two nights in catered huts and the meal costs will have to be paid directly to the hut (approx 200 euro). The first few days we will cook fresh food and then transition to dehydrated pre-packaged meals. 

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 trekking per day. Previous multi-day trekking experience is highly advisable. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

 

Included:​

  • Guided ski tours by qualified International Mountain Leader

  • Six nights in a dormitory room at the huts

  • Self-catered meals for all other days, except 2

  • 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

  • Catered food at two mountain stations

  • Transport (e.g. trains or flights to Östersund), bus to/from Undersåker

  • 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

Last few remaining spots

Price 1995 Euro

Participants: Minimum 5 - Maximum 10

Start: Undersåker, 1 March 2021, 12 PM (it is advised to arrive the night before in Åre). 

End: Nikkaluokta, 7 March 2021, approx. 5 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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