Skitouring & Exploration on the Kola Peninsula

PRICE TRAVEL: from 2950

Sapmi, EUROPE

Near the far Western edge of the Russian Federation,like a serpent’s head jutting out into the Bering Sea, lies the Kola Peninsula. Much like the terrain to the West in Norway, the arctic snowfields of the Kola Peninsula, at the East of Murmansk. are an explorer’s paradis. During a two week expedition we will cross the Russian Samiland following Sami reindeer routes and heading finally north all the way up to Barentsz Sea.

Green, White and Windy
The Kola Peninsula is a 100,000-sq-km knob of tundra, bogs and low mountains between the White and Barents Seas. Lying almost entirely north of the Arctic Circle, its mesmerising expanses of wilderness are fabulous places to be dazzled by the aurora borealis or midnight sun.

On our journey, we are going to explore the Kola Peninsula, crossing with skis and a pulk from the Khibiny Mountains to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. A landscape characterised by its large lakes and rivers, snow fields, high tundra, taiga, and the canyons along the Teriberka coast. A journey that covers a total of 180 kilometres, during which we can enjoy this extraordinary wild and isolated landscape.

travel code

KOLA001

fixed departures:

15 – 25 February 2018

groups:

4/6 MIN/MAX

availibility

(1) Places – 5

destination:

Sweden

type:

Arctic

duration:

15 days

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Sapmi, EUROPE

The Kola Peninsula occupies the Northern-Western rim in Russia. It lies between 66° 03′ and 69°57′N and 28°25′ and 41°26′E. Most of the peninsula lays above the Polar Circle. In the North it is washed by the Barentsz Sea and in the South by the White seas. In the West it borders with Finland and Norway.

Green, white and windy

The most peculiar feature of Kola Peninsula’s weather is its instability and sharp changeability, stipulated by frequent change of air masses, cyclones and fronts’ travel. As a whole, the weather in the Kola Peninsula is heterogeneous and depends much on the distance from the sea. In the mountains the thermal regime drops by 0.5° per each 100 m when coming up. Monsoon winds are common in most areas, with southern and southwestern winds being typical during the winter months and with somewhat more pronounced eastern winds in summer. Strong storm winds blow for 80–120 days a year. The average temperature in January is about −10 °C, with colder temperatures in the central parts of the peninsula, reaching minus 25ºC. Record lows reach −50 °C in the central parts and -35–-40 °C on the coasts.

This tundra ecoregion is not only cold, but also very windy. Both of these factors, along with the permafrost, limit the growth of most trees, yielding a landscape that is dominated by grasses, wildflowers and sparse shrubs. Herds of reindeer visit these grasslands in the summer, when the region turns from white to lush green and the flowers add a carpet of colour to an otherwise barren scene.

Nature

In this land of winter ice and snow, herds of caribou support the hardy Laplanders, who migrate with these hoofed mammals. Reindeer (caribou) migrates in winter to the boreal forests and in summer it goes back out to the tundra, where he raises his calves. Other animals found here include polar bears, red foxes and arctic foxes, which are white in winter and gray/brown in summer (if they are not the blue variety). Wolverines also prowl this ecoregion, searching for rodents, birds, and fruit. Mooses (elks) are common in the area and in summer can be found wading along a lake edge feeding on aquatic plants. However, in the winter they rely on pine branch twigs and aspen bark for food.

The Samis

Records confirm that the Sami were already well established on the Kola Peninsula’s landscape prior to the 7th century. The Kola Sami’s long history in this area provides proof of their ability to adapt and their resilience to unfavourable historical circumstances. With a population of roughly 3,100 people, one fourth coming from Sami origin in 2002, Lovozero is considered the capital city of Kola Sami.

Outings

February-March

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival to Murmansk in the night. Accommodation in Murmansk. (22:25H Moscú Sheremetyevo, (SVO) , TerminalD Arrival: 00:55H Murmansk, (MMK)

Day 2 - Transport to Lovozero. Preparation and start of ski expedition.

Day 3-11 - Exploratory crosscountry skiing with pulk, frozen lakes and rivers and tundra (Lovozero, Turmany-Teriberka) (20km per day)

Day 12 - Spare day, sightseeing at the Barents Sea

Day 13 - Teriberka during the day. Transfer from Teriberka to Murmansk airport in the evening. End of program.

Day 14 - (Recommended flight Departure: 02:50H Murmansk, (MMK) arrival: 05:10H Moscú Sheremetyevo, (SVO) , TerminalD)

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