A company called Fjord Adventures which specialises in ski touring adventures bin Norway’s Sunnmøre Alps, has invested £500K in an “eco facelift” of the historic ship, HMS Gåssten, which they use as the base for their trips.
After the darkest of winters, HMS Gåssten will begin a new ski touring programme from February 2020.
There is a blanket ban on snowmobile and helicopter assisted access to the Sunnmøre Alps which provides those arriving by boat access to untracked powder perfection.
“The boat allowed us access to some of the most remote parts of the Sunnmøre Alps, the guides took to us to some of the best terrain I have ever skied, with fresh powder every day,” said skier Charles Ziar who took one of the trips, and added, “One day we toured for eight hours, did not see another skier or tracks – the entire mountain was ours for a day. Simply unforgettable.”
Skiers on the tour skin up past Viking huts and trails leading through pine and birch forests, emerging onto open slopes and mountainous terrain where native guides carefully assist in reaching the summit.
The Sunnmøre Alps, located in the heart of the Western Norwegian Fjords, are home to UNESCO World Heritage sites Geiranger Fjord and the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
From the summit, HMS Gåssten can be seen anchored in the fjord below. An unrivalled descent of the mountain awaits with clean lines and knee-deep light powder.
HMS Gåssten was one of the last wooden Navy ships ever built. She was commissioned by the Swedish Navy as a minesweeper in the early 1970s, with her hull made entirely of oak.
She has now been lovingly converted into a luxurious liveaboard adventure boat and the recent £500,000 ‘eco-makeover’ saw a new electric generator installed, interior low-energy lighting upgrade, new double glazed windows, ethically and sustainably sourced timber and 100% environmentally friendly water treatment.
The generator works with a bank of 8 state-of-the-art batteries which means that the boat can limit the amount of time the generator needs to work before being able to switch to battery power alone for around two-thirds of the day.
Fjord Adventures have also moved to eliminate the use of single use plastic onboard and will use locally and sustainably sourced food.
Ski Touring weeks operate from 20th February 2020 to 22 April 2020, six night stays, [Thursday to Wednesdays] from £3,750 per person including guides; HMS Gåssten sleeps up to 8 guests.
A qualified mountain guide hosts all touring trips, with two guides if the group is eight people.
Nick Parkes UIAGM is guest guiding in March.
(Pics credit: Taylor Burke Photography)