About the challenge
The perfect antidote to a cold, wet British winter is a cold, dry Arctic adventure! Away from the crowds, enjoy mesmerisingly peaceful scenes of frozen lakes and snow-covered pine and spruce forests as we explore the silent wilderness.
We’ll be cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and husky-sledding, pushing ourselves in this harsh but compelling environment. Back at our log cabin, we can relax in the sauna and watch the night skies for the captivating dance of the Northern Lights.
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|07 Mar 2017||5||Open challenge||Limited||£199||+||£2250||Or||£1125||Contact office|
|13 Jan 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£199||+||£2250||£1125||Book now|
|10 Mar 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£199||+||£2250||£1125||Book now|
Enjoy peaceful snow-covered landscapes in this frozen wilderness
Experience the challenging winter activities of snow-shoeing and husky-sledding
Good chance of seeing the magical Northern Lights!
Day 1: Fly to Kuusamo, northeast Finland; transfer to cabin
Days 2-4: Enjoy the snow by cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, building an igloo and husky-sledding, with chance to get up close to reindeer!
Day 5: Fly home.
What makes it challenging?
Challenging activities in snow
Intense cold adds to tiredness
Takes longer to do simple tasks in cold
Appropriate clothing absolutely vital
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes flights and transport, accommodation and all meals except as specified in the itinerary. Any airline fuel supplement is also included in the tour cost. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, with a support crew of local guides and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, tip for local crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate adn we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card om case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Iceland Air, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flight please ask us for a land-only cost.
We stay one night in a hotel on a twin-share basis, and the rest in a traditional wooden cabin with good facilities. Rooms are dorm-style, with bunk-beds.
Traditional Finnish saunas are communal, in single-sex groups and wearing only a smile! Try not to be daunted by this – it’s a great way to unwind after a hard day’s adventure, and no-one’s looking!
All food is included except meals as specified. The guides prepare wonderful meals and we get involved as a team in the cabins.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – Iceland relies on imports for much of its food. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in cities, where you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences. It is usually easy to find something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: trekker ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, cooks and drivers; they are always friendly and approachable. Your local guide knows the local area well and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! See ‘Costs in Iceland’ above for a guideline amount, your leader will let you know if there is any change to this guideline.
Vehicles support us on our trek. They carry all the luggage, food, water and camping equipment as well as providing emergency support. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
For the most part we travel over deep, compacted snow, passing over mainly flat ground with some hills. Some routes are through forest, others more exposed. The distances travelled each day depend on group ability, and will be managed on the day by the experienced local guides. Distances vary depending on weather and snow conditions, but even short distances can feel like you’re walking a marathon every day when you’re actually there.
No experience is necessary, but a good fitness level is required. Even simple tasks require more effort in these conditions, and general fitness is important to offset this and cope better with fatigue. We supply you with a thorough training guide on registration.
Clothing & Equipment
We are trekking through remote terrain and could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions do change quickly in Iceland! Be prepared for strong winds, rain and lovely sunny skies, all in the same day! We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
From January – March the average temperature is -20°C to -5°C. Although the temperature is extremely cold, the atmosphere is crisp and exhilarating, and not like cold days in the UK!
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it must be valid for the duration of your visit. There are currently no visa requirements for UK citizens.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last 10 years and highly recommend protection against Polio. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through. AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Make your volunteer pledge by going to www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.