A ski trek across the Børgefjell National Park

Are you up to our most challenging wilderness adventure? We invite you to join us for a very special cross-country ski expedition across the Børgefjell National Park!

This is a unique opportunity to participate in a winter expedition into a wilderness that is well off the beaten path. We’ll be skiing, pulling sleds packed with our equipment, and sleeping in tents. Børgefjell is not a playground suitable for everyone, nor is it meant to be. Naturlige Helgeland is grateful to have been certified to offer a guided expedition in this magnificent wilderness, an adventure you will remember the rest of your life.

Børgefjell – called Byrkije by the indigenous Sámi people – was the second national park established in Norway. Situated along the Swedish border and just below the Arctic Circle, Børgefjell National Park is a pristine wilderness; you won’t find cabins or lodges here, and there are virtually no marked trails. For days on end you can immerse yourself in the silence, the magnificent sub-arctic landscape, and a climate that can be harsh. As mentioned, we’ll be staying in tents. Børgefjell is dotted with lakes that are renowned for great trout fishing. Every night we’ll pitch our tents by one of the lakes and set our fishing lines for the night. Early in the morning we’ll check our catch, and most likely we’ll have fresh trout for breakfast, prepared over the campfire!

The evening before our trek, we’ll meet up in the town of Mosjøen. Our guides will give you a detailed briefing on our expedition and we’ll review equipment. The next morning we drive you to Tomasvatn, a lake situated 120 km south of Mosjøen. Here we pack our sleds with food and equipment and begin our trek across Børgefjell National Park. We expect to ski 14–18 km every day, a pace that allows us to really savour the magnificent wilderness. Expedition members will share tents, food, the use of ice augers and other equipment. Everyone will contribute to daily chores such as setting up camp and preparing food. Our tour guides will share their knowledge and insights about the national park, and be good expedition hosts.

We will conclude our cross-country skiing trek at Sjånes, from where we are driven back to Mosjøen.

This particular expedition is best suited for experienced outdoorsmen and -women who are used to multi-day cross-country ski treks in mountainous terrain. In this wilderness, there is minimal mobile phone reception, but your guides pack a satellite phone for emergencies. Expedition members must bring all personal equipment they require, including skis, ski boots, a large backpack and a small day-pack, a sleeping bag and an insulating sleeping pad. If you have ice-fishing gear and an emergency bivouac bag, you should bring this as well.

Naturally the details and daily itinerary of our expedition are subject to weather conditions.

The Sámi people still practice traditional reindeer-herding in the Børgefjell National Park. All visitors must be considerate to reindeer and wildlife here. We may, for instance, adjust our route so as not to frighten reindeer herds that we encounter. That said, just about any route we choose will be magnificent!

Natural Helgeland has been granted permission to carry out guided excursions in the national park. The in-depth knowledge of our guides and our considerable experience ensure a unique adventure for all who join us. In these pandemic times, we conscientiously follow the safety guidelines from public health experts and do our utmost to keep every participant safe. That is also why our Børgefjell expeditions are limited to small groups.

Here is our expedition itinerary:

Day 1 – Expedition briefing in Mosjøen

At 4 pm we meet at Mosjøen Camping. Here we will give you a detailed briefing on the expedition, and review equipment and clothing. Afterwards, do our food shopping and pack our backpacks, so that everything is ready for the next day. We eat dinner together and call it an early night.

Day 2 – Our trek begins

The first leg of our journey is the 120-km drive to Tomasvatn lake. This is where we start our cross-country ski trek, with an ascent up to Storelvhøgda on the border of Børgefjell National Park. Here is a great view of the mountains, and the less-steep and more open terrain through which we will be passing. Weather permitting, we’ll ski to Orrekvatnet and enjoy lunch and fresh coffee by that lake. After covering a total of 14 km, we are treated to an amazing panorama of Børgefjellet from a hill above Jengelen lake. We’ll pitch our tents by the lake. We can drill holes in the ice and set fishing lines. But we can also try ice-fishing immediately; with luck we can have fresh trout for dinner!

Day 3 – From Jengelen to Store Kjukkelvann

After breakfast we’ll pull up our fishing lines. You don’t have to be an angler to feel excited as fish are pulled up through the hole in the ice. As soon as we break camp we set out for a lake called Store Kjukkelvann. If you have brought several ski skins (strips that attach under your skis), today we suggest choosing one that gives you good glide. Within the national park, the terrain through which we pass is less steapp, a slight slope takes us up to Store Kjukkelvann. The landscape here is quite open, and if the weather is clear we’ll have a fantastic view of Kvigtinden (1699 m) the highest peak in Børgefjellet National Park. Because one rarely encounters other trekkers in Børgefjellet, we have to break our own trail. A key feature of our expedition is frequent breaks, to allow us time to truly savour our magnificent surroundings. In the afternoon, we expect to pitch camp at the foot of Kjukkelen (1101 m). In the lake at the foot of this mountain, we’ll drill holes for ice-fishing and test our luck while we make dinner.

Day 4 – From Store Kjukkelvann to Vestre Tiplingen

At 850 metres, our base by lake Store Kjukkelvann is the highest point of our expedition. In the morning we start our descent to Vestre Tiplingen, another lake that offers excellent fishing. The landscape constricts, with Gapsfjellet (1165 m) to the south; to the north are Måskarfjellet and Simskarfjellet (both more than 1300 m). Today we’ll take our time to enjoy our journey, eating our lunch en route. In addition to a richer birdlife as we reach lower altitudes, we might also see wildlife such as reindeer and Arctic fox. The days are long and bright, giving us more time to enjoy them. We’ll pitch camp and eat our last dinner in the wilderness – hopefully while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Day 5 – From Vestre Tiplingen to Sjånes

Today we ski from Vestre Tiplingen and pass Østre Tiplingen. As we approach civilisation we’ll see cabins that were built before the area was declared a national park. We descend the valley and enter the forest, largely following the frozen and snow-covered Tiplingelva river. Our transportation will be waiting at Sjånes. Our drive back to Mosjøen takes us through Susendal and Hattfjelldal. Back at Mosjøen Camping, we can enjoy a hot shower before gathering for a celebration dinner at one of the town’s better restaurants.

Day 6 – Our return

After breakfast, each of us will return home or continue to our next destination. But of course Helgeland has so much to experience, and we at Naturlige Helgeland will gladly make arrangements for you to stay longer, to see more of it and to enjoy additional adventures.

The total length of our cross-country ski trek is about 70 km. Our overnight stays are in tents, and we eat our meals together in a lavvo, the traditional tipi-shaped tent of the indigenous Sámi people of the Arctic. We far prefer to load our equipment onto sleds and pull these, as that is more efficient and less strenuous, but backpacks will also work. Please note that everyone must pull or carry their personal equipment, as well as their fair share of our food and common equipment.

Naturally, the daily details of our itinerary are subject to weather conditions. Our guides are very experienced and have in-depth knowledge about the national park.

WEATHER AND OTHER RESERVATIONS

Our daily itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen weather conditions, over which we have no control. There is almost no mobile phone coverage, but we do have a satellite phone for emergency use. The Sámi people still practice their traditional reindeer-herding in the Børgefjell National Park. All visitors must be considerate to reindeer and wildlife here. However, any route we take is sure to be magnificent!

LENGTH OF TRIP

Our total cross-country trek will be about 70 km, and we will cover 14–18 km each day. We will be pitching a new camp every evening and sleeping in our tents. We prefer to load equipment onto sleds that we pull, but backpacks are also an option. Every participant must pull or carry their fair share of our food and common equipment, in addition to their personal equipment.

YOUR JOURNEY TO AND FROM MOSJØEN

The town of Mosjøen is situated more or less in the geographic centre of Norway. It is easy to get here by flying (wideroe.no) or by taking a train (sj.no), for instance via Trondheim or Bodø. If you are driving, we would be happy to suggest a route.

INSURANCE

We recommend that you buy travel insurance that includes a cancellation policy. In our experience, an annual insurance policy is usually much cheaper than buying separate insurance for each trip.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THIS EXPEDITION

Our cross-country ski trek through the Børgefjell National Park is rather demanding. You need to be in good shape, and be an experienced cross-country skier. You should also be familiar with sleeping in the great outdoors on a winter night; if not, we suggest you test yourself. Our expedition is a unique opportunity for a long multi-day winter trek through a wilderness that few people ever see.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR PRICE

  • Rental of shared equipment (tents, sleds, safety equipment and other equipment. Please see list.)
  • Transportation between Mosjøen and Tomasvatn
  • Transportation from Sjånes back to Mosjøen
  • Breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners during our expedition
  • Breakfast at Mosjøen Camping prior to expedition departure (See itinerary.)
  • Celebration dinner in Mosjøen after our expedition
  • First aid and safety equipment
  • Experienced guides who have in-depth knowledge of the area, and who are fully committed to the safety and well-being of every participant

NOT INCLUDED

  • Your travel to and from Mosjøen
  • Meals in Mosjøen prior to or after our expedition itinerary
  • Drinks with meals
  • Personal snacks such as chocolate, nuts and trail-mix for the trek
  • Your personal equipment for the expedition (See equipment list.)

EQUIPMENT LIST WINTER:

Clothes to be wearing

  • 1 x woollen shirt
  • 1 x thermal or woollen leggings
  • 1 x thermal/woollen boxers/panties/bra
  • 1 pair of thin woollen socks / liner socks
  • 1 pair of thick woollen socks
  • 1 x scarf or neck gaiter
  • 1 x wind- and waterproof jacket with hood (Goretex or similar)
  • 1 x wind- and waterproof trousers (Goretex or similar)
  • 1 x windproof headwear
  • 1 pair of windproof mittens
  • 1 pair of woollen / inner mittens
  • 1 pair of thin woollen gloves

Spare clothes and equipment, transported in your sled

  • 1 large or 2 smaller bags for the sled (Preferably wind- and waterproof)
  • 1 x insulated sleeping pad for winter use (preferably down)
  • 1 x insulated sit-pad or trail-chair (a nice option, but not strictly necessary)
  • 1 x winter sleeping bag, suitable for temperatures down to –20˚C (e.g. T-Comfort: Women, T-Limit: Men)
  • 1 x pillowcase (into which to stuff your down-jacket to make a pillow)
  • 1 x thermal or woollen underwear, top
  • 1 x thermal or woollen leggings
  • 1 intermediate clothing layer (fleece, thick wool or equivalent)
  • 1 x large and very warm down jacket
  • 1 x down trousers or down skirt
  • 1 pair of warm woollen socks
  • 1 pair of thin woollen socks
  • 1 pair of medium-thick gloves

Personal equipment

  • 1 pair of ski boots for alpine touring skis
  • Vapour barrier (to prevent your boots from getting soaked with foot sweat. If you have nothing else, plastic bags may be used.)
  • 1 pair of alpine touring skis (fjellski), preferably steel-edged
  • 1 pair of ski skins (to control back-slippage)
  • 1 pair of ski poles for alpine touring. These ski poles have a large basket near the point.
  • 1 sled with a harness or dragging-bar (can be rented from us)
  • 1 x winter tent (if you have one)
  • 1 x sleeping bag
  • 1 x insulating sleeping pad (preferably down)
  • 1 x insulated sit-pad
  • 1 pair of alpine goggles
  • 1 pair of sunglasses with side shields
  • 1 x headlamp (and extra batteries!)
  • 1 x balaclava (a scarf or neck gaiter may also be used)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Personal medication
  • Disinfectant
  • Wet wipes
  • Sunscreen for your face, and lip balm
  • Toilet paper (in a plastic bag)
  • 1 box of matches (in a waterproof bag)
  • Personal first-aid kit (must contain: Compeed blister pads or similar, Ibux / Paracetamol / Tylenol or similar painkillers)
  • 1 x camping cutlery
  • 1 x lunch box or lidded plastic container
  • 1 x Thermos, preferably 0.7–1 litre
  • 1 x Thermo cup with screw-top
  • 2 x water bottles, 1-litre with large opening. And insulation for the bottles.
  • Power bank charger
  • Extra batteries and charging cables (for your camera, mobile phone, GPS, etc.)
  • Book, deck of cards, Yatzee, iPod with podcasts…
  • Small notebook + pen (for a diary)
  • 1 pair of tent shoes / booties for using in the camp)
  • 1 x Arctic Bedding access bag for your sled (nice to have, but not required)
  • Waterproof bags of various sizes, for packing various clothes, equipment, etc.
  • Chocolate, nuts and other personal snacks

Shared equipment

  • Tents (three- or four-man tents. We’ll sleep two or three people per tent.)
  • Snow pegs
  • Backpacking stoves w/ accessories (fuel canisters, pump, support plate)
  • Pots and pans with lids
  • Water containers
  • Snow brush for the tents
  • Snow shovels
  • Ice auger
  • Simple fishing gear

Safety equipment:

  • 1 x satellite phone
  • 1 x emergency beacon transmitter
  • 2 x GPS
  • 2 x first aid kits
  • 2 x emergency bivouac bags
  • 1 x bag of various repair equipment
  • 1 x extra pair of ski poles
  • 1 x pair of snowshoes (in case someone’s skis are damaged)

Other information

We have a storage space in Mosjøen where you can leave clothing and other luggage that you don’t need to bring on our expedition. If you prefer to use your own tent, please bring it. You are also welcome to bring your own bivouac and other emergency equipment, but please note that we strive not to carry more equipment than necessary. Before our expedition departure, we will be reviewing everyone’s equipment as well as the details of our itinerary.