5 – 10 March 2024

Pure Vatnahalsen

Where Time Stood Still

The historic Høyfjellshotellet has something peaceful about it. It is exclusive and classic. No roads or cars. But the ride is anything but quiet. The Flåmsdalen is steep and mighty. The proximity to the mountains is palpable. Three short steps over the century-old railway track and the day of skiing can begin.

Pure Vatnahalsen is an Out of Bounds trip with longer days and more demanding tours. It is often just a group with a mountain guide, which means that there are no different degrees of difficulty on the tours. However, this smaller format gives us greater mobility to explore more distant mountain peaks. We sometimes cook our own food and the accommodation is simpler. Given that the altitude meters are more, you need to have previous experience of ski touring tours and your backpack should only contain the bare essentials to minimize weight.

Mountain &
Guides

Steep and awe inspiring

The ski touring in Vatnahalsen offers up to 1,000 vertical meters, and popular tours to explore include Tarven, Broknosi, Urdshovd and Geitanosi. We’ll get efficient, full ski touring days as we gear up right outside the hotel door, and we may have time to fit in both two and three runs in a day, depending on daylight, weather and wind conditions. The area, with its ravines and sudden, short, steep sections is reminiscent of the Swedish freeski mecca, Riksgränsen, but in Vatnahalsen everything is at a much grander scale.

Oscar Wahlund

Oscar Wahlund is an IFMGA-certified mountain guide who loves the great outdoors. He feels the most at home climbing or skiing in the mountains than working in an office. Drawn to nature, he spends many nights a year under the stars, but also appreciates a cosy mountain hut.

Oscar can guide you climbing a long route in the Alps, climbing an icefall in Norway or ski touring under the Aurora Borealis in Sweden or Norway. He really subscribes to the idea that the best experiences are shared experiences and enjoys spending time with guests regardless of activity. Oscar has worked with Pure Ski Touring since 2013 and has guided for us in Georgia, Lyngen, Senja, Abisko, Sea to Summit and on Iceland.

Mike Amlert

Mikael Amlert is an IFMGA-certified mountain guide and the current president of the Swedish Mountain Guide Association (SBO).  His passion for the mountains and the climbing in the north soon found him in the Alps, ending up in Chamonix. During 1997-1998 he completed the German Mountain Rangers’ training course to become an military mountain guide, thus becoming the 480th German military mountain guide since the qualification was established in the beginning of the last century.

Mikael leads courses and instructs for the Swedish Climbing Association and has for many years now led the Association’s alpine climbing course in the Kebnekaise massif. This is an annual course with long traditions, having been run for nearly 70 years. In 1994 he was recruited to the Alpine Mountain Rescue team in Kiruna. Mikael has worked with Pure Ski Touring since 2012, and guided for us in Lyngen and Abisko.

Christian Edelstam

Christian Edelstam is an IFMGA-certified mountain guide and Pure Ski Touring’s head guide. Christian lives in Abisko in the north of Sweden, and also teaches avalanche safety, a climbing instructor, member of the Abisko ski patrol, glaciologist and product tester for Tierra. After more than 10 years’ experience guiding at the Kebnekaise and Abisko mountain stations he now runs his own guiding company. Since a year back, Christian only guides in mountains reachable without flying.

He is driven by a genuine joy for adventure and discovery — everything from finding out what the snow’s like on the other side of the ridge, to opening new alpine climbing routes in high mountains. The best part of guiding is to get to share the joy with the guests! Christian has been working with Pure Ski Touring since 2010, and guided for us in Japan, Lyngen, Senja, Tarfala, Dolomites, Pyrenees, Iceland, Andermatt, Haute Route, Urner, Jotunheimen, Sunnmøre and on Svalbard.

Mountain & guides

Vatnahalsen

Vatnahalsen is a mountain region that can only be reached by train. The 20 km Flåmsbanen ascending the 900 m up from the Sogn fjord is said to be the most scenic train journey on the planet, and its first stop is Vatnahalsen. Time has moved at a more sedate pace here — no Teslas, or code-operated road barriers. The area is an open expanse with thousands of peaks. The mountains are steep, and rise directly from the fjords, including the Nærøy, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Nærøy fjord is the longest and deepest in Scandinavia.

Accommodation

Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell is built on a huge rock, perched 300 m above the scenic Flåms valley. The building was originally intended as a tuberculosis sanatorium (1896), but the construction of the rail road to Bergen meant that there was a need for a mountain hotel. The hotel became a noted holiday destination between the two world wars, occasionally referred to as “St Moritz of the Nordics”. During the second world war, German troops requisitioned the hotel, and during one unfortunate event the hotel burnt to the ground. It was fully reconstructed during the 50s, and the 50s style is there to behold to this day. The hotel has around 100 beds, its own restaurant and is committed to environmental sustainability. It offers a down to earth, scenic and inspiring outlook.

Resa

The event commences as we gather on the platform for the Bergensbanen train at Oslo Central station. We travel together from Oslo to Myrdal station. As we disembark we have an enjoyable 20 mins of night skiing with head torches to get to Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell itself (our gear will arrive the following day; we’ll only carry the bare essentials). The home leg will begin in the morning at Vatnahalsen train station, from which we’ll go to Myrdal and onwards to Oslo.

Itinerary

Bergensbanen, Mar 5th, Oslo – Myrdal 16:25-21:17
Night ski, around 20 min down to Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell

Flåmbanen, Mar 10th, Vatnahalsen – Myrdal 09:32-09:40
Bergensbanen, Mar 10th, Myrdal – Oslo 10:05-15:05

Adjoining rail or bus connections to our start location, Oslo C, should be individually arranged, and aren’t included. We can assist with this. Contact us on info@pureskitouring.se for more information.

For travellers from Stockholm, the following rail connections work well:
SJ, Mar 5th, Stockholm C – Oslo 07:36-13:09 (not included)
SJ, Mar 10th, Oslo – Stockholm C 16:36-22:32 (not included)

For travellers from Gothenburg, the following bus connections work well:
Bus, Mar 5th, Nils Ericsson Terminalen – Oslo 10:15-13:51 (not included)
Bus, Mar 10th, Oslo – Nils Ericsson Terminalen 18:01-21:45 (not included)

Accommodation & Travel
Knowledge &
Equipment

We’ll ascend around 800-1,200 vertical meters per day at a moderate pace. Some days may require longer walk-ins and will be physically more demanding. Ratio: 6 guests per guide.

  • Good fitness is required, capable of sustaining an ascent rate of 350m/h
  • Off-piste skiing in all conditions, on slopes up to 35 degrees
  • Previous experience with ski touring technique and equipment, how to walk and kick-turn with climbing skins
  • Age limit 18 years old (16 years old if accompanied by legal guardian)

Mandatory Equipment

  • Skis with touring bindings
  • Climbing skins, contour-cut to your skis
  • Ski boots
  • Ski poles with baskets of a diameter of at least 6cm
  • Avalanche transceiver (not analog), shovel, probe. Check batteries.
  • Helmet
  • Avalanche backpack with inflatable airbag, 25-40l capacity
  • Shell jacket and trousers. Wind-, and waterproof.
  • Mid-layer in wool or fleece
  • Insulated jacket. Synthetic or down. Alternatively an extra fleece.
  • Base layer, top and long-johns. Wool or synthetic
  • Ski socks, wool
  • Underwear, wool or synthetic
  • Gloves or mittens, one pair of thick, one pair of thin
  • Hat and balaclava or Buff to cover your face
  • Sunglasses and goggles
  • Sun cream
  • Water bottle
  • Head torch
  • Passport and money 
  • Travel insurance
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Personal snacks (chocolate, nuts etc) for touring

Vatnahalsen specifics


  • Ski Crampons (Harscheisen)

Good to have

  • Thin windproof/soft shell jacket
  • Soft shell trousers
  • Extra base layers
  • Extra underwear (wool/synthetics)
  • Extra ski socks (wool)
  • Day wear/civvies (to be left in the hotel)
  • Normal shoes (to be left in the hotel)
  • Thermos
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Toiletries bag
  • Ear plugs
  • Blister tape

Always aim to minimise weight when packing.

If you’re missing some of the equipment listed above, we’ll be happy to help arrange equipment hire or purchase. Contact us on info@pureskitouring.se for details.

Knowledge & Equipment

Läs mer & bilder

Articles

Läs mer & Bilder

Reserve

Price &
Itinerary
  • Package including train travel to & from Oslo C

    • Estimated 1900€
    • 22 000 SEK
    • Single room
    • 24 000 SEK

Included

  • 4 full days’ ski touring with certified IFMGA mountain guide
  • Avalanche safety training with certified IFMGA mountain guide
  • Ski touring technique skills with certified IFMGA mountain guide
  • Equipment orientation with certified IFMGA mountain guide
  • Equipment test centre with Black Diamond and ATK
  • Guest lectures
  • Personal account access to Pure Ski Touring’s website
  • Pure Ski Touring’s goodie bag
  • Accommodation, Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell, 5 nights
  • Breakfast, lunch and evening meal, 5 days
  • Bedding, towels, cleaning
  • Rail travel, Oslo-Myrdal-Vatnahalsen – we ski the last bit down to Vatnahalsen Høyfjellshotell
  • Rail travel, Vatnahalsen-Myrdal-Oslo
  • Luggage transfer, Myrdal-Vatnahalsen return

The event commences at Oslo Central Station. We’d be happy to help you with travel arrangements from your location to/from Oslo. Please contact us on info@pureskitouring.se for more details.


  • Tuesday, March 5th

    • 07:36 Departure from Stockholms Centralstation (not included)
    • The event starts for everyone at Oslo train station!
    • 16:25 Departure from Oslo train station with Bergenbanan to Myrdal station
    • 21:17 Arriving at Myrdal station and here we pack the backpack with the essentials and ski down to the hotel (our luggage arrives at the hotel the next morning and is placed in the respective room).
    • Once at Høyfjellshotellet, check-in will be followed by supper and drinks before bedtime
  • Wednesday, March 6th - Saturday, March 9th

    • 07:00 Breakfast in the hotel restaurant
    • We make up packed lunches for the day
    • 08:30 Full day ski touring with our guide
    • After ski on the hotel’s veranda as we return
    • Own time, shower, sauna and change
    • 19:00 A well-deserved dinner served in the hotel restaurant
  • Sunday, March 10th

    • 07:00 Breakfast served in the hotel restaurant
    • 09:00 Check out
    • 09:32 Depart with the Flåmsbanen train from Vatnahalsen station to Myrdal station
    • 10:05 Depart Myrdal station with the Bergensbanen train, destination Oslo
    • 15:05 Arrival Oslo C, where this year’s Pure Vatnahalsen event formally ends
    • 16:36 Departure with SJ train for those heading to Stockholm C (not included)
    • Departure, long distance bus, for those heading to Gothenburg (not included)
    • 22:32 Arrival, Stockholm C (not included)
Price & Itinerary
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