Sea to Summit

A ski adventure Through the Arctic

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We had an exciting idea: What if we ventured past the Arctic Circle to ski the Lyngen Alps, using a boat as our only transportation?

To succeed, we first had to find a team that was experienced and brave enough to join our mission. We made some calls and gathered a group of Norway's finest alpine stars: Aksel Lund Svindal, the former two-time Olympic champion in Super-G and Downhill skiing. Kajsa Vickhoff-Lie, a multiple-time Junior Alpine World Championship winner. And Helene Olafsen, the former world champion in Snowboardcross, would join our venture to the north. And while Aksel and Helene were experienced freeskiers, this trip would be a first for Kajsa.

Together with Nordkapp, the team was embarking on an unforgettable journey across the arctic waters to ascend- and ski two of the most sought-after peaks of the Lyngen Alps. This mission would take a heavy toll on any boat, and it would have to transport up to nine people and carry loads of equipment, all while battling snowstorms, the tumultuous Barents Sea and down to -25 degrees Celsius weather.

In the Nordkapp lineup, one vessel stood out as the perfect fit for the job: The mighty Nordkapp Coupe 905 V12—a fierce wheelhouse boat equipped with a 600 hk Mercury Verado engine. And even though it's a V12, it's quiet, dignified and elegant. Like the kind of friend that is strong and silent but somehow always manages to crack you up with a surprising sense of humour. And most important for this journey, it is highly reliable. Which, as it turns out, would come in handy.

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Tromsø, Norway - Located 350 km above the Arctic Circle. This was the meeting point for our team and a starting line for the journey ahead. Upon arrival, Tromsø welcomed us with mild temperatures and pristine blue skies. And eager to get going, we set out from the dock in Tromsø towards Nord-Lenangen, located in the renowned Lyngen Alps, where we would spend the night and prepare for our first ascent. Snow-covered mountain peaks contrasted with the dark blue waters as we set our course towards the first stop on our journey into the wild, and the mood was soaring high aboard the Coupe 905.

Ascending Klovsteinfjellet

Skis got clipped on, and Helene prepared her split board as the journey to the summit commenced. You could see the anticipation in everyone's faces, including the camera team, who were on hand to capture everything. Aksel, who has become an experienced free-rider since his pro-career, took the lead and started the three-hour journey to the top. The views became increasingly more stunning as we zigzagged up the mountainside. For many randonneuring enthusiasts, this journey towards the top is equally extraordinary as the descent down the slope. "This is what's so special about ski touring and free riding; the climb is a wonderful part of the journey, especially with a backdrop like this," Helene said.

The ocean lay more than 800 meters below when the team finally stopped. Soon, they would experience the adrenaline and joy of skiing back down the mountain. But only after taking a long moment to appreciate the majestic scenes before their eyes. The team reflected on how beautiful Norway is, but also how much of the wilderness still lies inaccessible to humans and how unforgiving the weather can be in the north. Up here, the contrasts in climate are enormous, but on this day, everything showed its best side.

Kajsa, alongside the rest of the crew, found herself amidst the mountain's magic scenery when the reality of the moment hit. It is a moment of deep gratitude. Only a few years have passed since her leg shattered during a Super-G World Cup race in 2021. She had to undergo five surgeries and have spent countless hours rehabilitating the injury. Her career got put on hold, wondering if she could ever ski again. Like a caged bird dreaming of open skies, her essence longed for the white slopes. And here she stood, among the snow-covered summits of the Lyngen Alps, next to two fellow alpine legends and the guide who helped her through her first Randonneuring adventure. This experience represented more than ticking off another box on her illustrious bucket list; it was a testimony that she is back living her life to the fullest again.


"A brilliant picture," she said.

A moment for the bucket list.

The mountain guide, Finn, evaluated the snow before the group got the green light to head back down. This was classic avalanche terrain under poor conditions; with his equipment, Finn could dig, cut out, and assess how the layers of snow bound to each other. "Fantastic conditions," he said, "We can just go for it." The sound of bags being unpacked, zippers closing, and ski boots clicking in place quickly faded into complete silence. The only sounds were the wind and the faint whisper of the sea far below. In this brief moment, the idea of this ambitious expedition set in as reality. We finally made it here. And it's all thanks to the months of preparation, our effort to make it to the summit, and our trusted vessel waiting for us back at shore.

"The moment you set off, you become free."

The team looked out at the ridge with routes planned in their heads. The three world champions have a distinct ability to focus on details: how to get down in the most efficient way possible. But this day, they were not focusing on the clock, the time for thinking was over. "The moment you set off, you are free," Kajsa said before they all made one hard push and let their natural ability take over as they headed down the slope.

There is something special about watching an Olympic champion in action. The dance down the mountainside looked effortless; the skis glided seamlessly through the fresh layers of powder in the same way a boat's hull can carve through waves- with razor-sharp precision. Kajsa followed Aksel close behind, taking the same path downward. Helene has chosen a track further north to get a slightly different terrain for snowboarding. Gusts of ice crystals glittered in the sunlight as they shredded through thick layers of snow. The journey down felt as long as an eternity and as short as the blink of an eye. Eventually, Kajsa reverbed the sounds of ecstasy: "The most incredible conditions I've ever experienced," she exclaimed, stopping next to Aksel. "Imagine getting to experience this with you!"

They finished the last gentle stretch to the beach by slaloming through the birch forest. Elated from the surge of adrenaline and ready for the next step in their adventure: getting on the boat back to civilisation.

The turn of the tides

It was a joyous group that arrived at the pebble beach that afternoon. The temperature had risen to -9 degrees Celsius, and the sun hinted at warmth against the wall of a 100-year-old sea shed, which served as a refuge from the wind. The silhouette of the Coupe 905 looked like a painting as it lay against the picturesque backdrop. We were ready to begin our journey back home to our cabin in Nord-Leangen. However, two critical aspects had changed from the morning; the tide had turned, and the currents behaved differently than when we arrived.

Expeditions like this always have a surprise waiting for you around each corner, and it's all part of the adventure's charm. Aksel, once again, took charge of the tender boat and started transporting gear and team members back to the Coupe 905. He timed the waves as they came in and out of the lagoon to avoid puncturing the rubber boat on the sharp rocks emerging with the low tide. With only 10 minutes to spare before the rock’s edge pierced the waters edge, which would close the window to reach the boat again for multiple hours, Aksel got everyone safely aboard. We were heading back to Nord-Leangen at a speed of 45 knots, with the Webasto heater on, cool drinks from the fridge in hand, and After Ski music blasting through the boat's sound system. It was a worthy end to a fantastic day of skiing.

A midnight surprise

A well-deserved celebration took place back in Nord-Leangen at Xlyngen. The tales of great adventures, laughter and songs echoed across the fjord as the festivities continued into the dark of the night. "If we get to see the Northern Lights now, too, then we might as well just head home," exclaimed Patrik Westli, the film's director and creative head at Nordkapp Boats. "Well, Patrik, you might as well pack your bags then; it's time to bring out the camera," Aksel responded while looking out the window. And, in the next moment, there we all stood for the first time in our lives. In the ambers of newly kindled friendships, looking up at the infamous marvel of the northern sky: the Aurora Borealis. Bright green, blue and purple lights danced like curtains on the black backdrop of a starlit sky. And we felt like the luckiest people on earth.

The rumble of the storm

The day of the second peak started idyllic, but Finn told us that a storm was brewing out in the Barents Sea, so we moved swiftly. The Coupe 905 lay at the dock, eager to start the day's adventure. We set out from the fjord towards Blåtinden, a peak 1142m above sea level on Uløya, just east of the Lyngen Alps. The wind had picked up since the day before, and the boat's hull had to cut through larger, sharper waves towards our destination. Luckily, we would be shielded from the currents of the Barents Sea since we were travelling further south. The routine of unloading the boat went smoother than at Arnøya, and we all reached shore with relative ease. But the climb towards the top would be rougher than the day before, with increasing winds and an additional 300 meters of altitude to ascend.

However, the spirits in the team still reigned supreme as our pro athletes have become primed to overpower most challenges. Using the same zigzag tactic up the mountain, we made swift progress. But the camera crew started struggling with 250 meters of elevation left to the top. And time was of the essence since the storm could come crashing at any moment. Climbing over 1000 meters on skis and carrying safety equipment is rough. But add 20 kg of camera gear to the mix, and it becomes a different story. Aksel waited for the guys and carried one of the drone bags the remaining distance to the top. Michael, a mountain guide who joined the crew for the second ascent, waited for Patrik, the director, to give him food and water and held his company until they reached the top.

Reaching the summit of the second peak was a team effort, and we celebrated that we made it there before the storm. Kajsa, who already had adapted to the randonneuring lifestyle, looked even more in her elements on this second climb. Aksel and helene made easy work of the expedition, climbing up the steep ridge like a pair of mountain goats. The views from the top were breathtaking, and we found it hard to stop praising the allure of the Norwegian wilderness. The stoic expression of the ragged mountaintops that seemed to pierce the sky and the untouched beauty of the landscape was enchanting. After taking in the moment, the former world champions hit the slope again and painted lines in the snow like an artist's brush on their way down. It was another perfect day of fresh powder and another action-packed journey to the foot of the mountain.

Final thoughts

Our brief time in the Arctic created memories that we will cherish forever. Aksel and Helene successfully ticked off Randonneuring the Lyngen Alps on their bucket list. And Kajsa got her first taste of free riding in the Norwegian mountains. We got a fresh perspective on how magical and harsh our Nordic nature can be. And we learned that cold places breed warm people. We are grateful to meet extraordinary people like our host, Miriam, at Xlyngen and our incredible mountain guides, Finn and Michael. And we are thankful for the stunning views we got to experience along the way, from the majestic snow-covered peaks to the Aurora Borealis.

Yet, we agree that the true marvel of the journey was the Coupe 905. It had survived snowstorms and the surge of the Barents Sea. And at the same time, keeping our team warm and safe aboard, along with a vast amount of equipment. We put it through -22 degree weather and water temperatures of 0,5 Celsius. It froze stuck to the dock during the night and still purred to life instantly when needed. It enabled our adventures in the Arctic and carried us home safely across the sea at 50+ knots while spoiling us with luxuries of heat, cool drinks and music. In every challenge and situation, the boat remained steadfast. And for that, we are genuinely in awe.

A gentle giant resting in the fjord of Nordlenangen.

Important Note

Our team from Nordkapp Boats, Aksel, Helene, Kajsa, the Norwegian Alpine ski team, Above Media, our mountain guide Finn Hovem and our photographer Kristoffer Lorentzen would all like to give our warmest thoughts and condolences to the families and next of kin of all victims of the avalanches at Lyngen on April 2nd and April 3rd 2023. We got to experience the same unpredictable weather that triggered the avalanches in this area just hours after we headed back home. Our key message is this: do not take any uncalculated risks, and listen to your mountain guide at all times. Stay safe.



The boat used on this trip had customised equipment a regular Coupe 905 V12 is not designed for, like a roof box and a tender boat. This equipment is not approved for use on commercially available Coupe 905s. The driving and handling of the boat was done by boating professionals.