March 20th to March 28th
Join us on this mindfulness retreat in the snowy mountain wilderness of Jotunheim National Park in Norway. On this 10 day, 8 night retreat you’ll ski approximately 90km cross-country through the valleys with a mountain guide and a life coach as your guides.
On this retreat you’ll completely unplug from the modern world, de-stress and learn to put attention on yourself, and to share your experience with others in an honest and open way. We will leave phones and email behind. You will get away from the chatter of modern life, and learn tools which will help you connect more deeply to yourself and others, something that will help you in all your relationships in life, all of this in a beautiful wilderness location, whilst staying in wonderful mountain lodges.
Mornings will be spent skiing in silence, which will be punctuated by group check-ins, where we share our experience and any thoughts or emotions that are coming up. The silence allows us to be really present with ourselves and the landscape.
After lunch we will finish our ski and approach the hut we will stay in that night. We stay in a mixture of staffed and un-staffed lodges. The manned huts provide us with a full healthy meal and sometimes a chance to grab a sauna and roll in the snow, whilst at the unmanned ones we’ll collect water from frozen lakes, chop our own wood, tend the wood burning stoves and cook communally, all under candle or gas light. Each morning we’ll breakfast together, make a packed lunch and continue on our journey. The days will have a familiar rhythm where every detail is taken care of for you.
We believe in learning through experience, or learning by doing, we will have a structured day where you learn to do something different in a different setting to what you’re used to. You’ll be in safe hands throughout our journey; physically with our experienced mountain guide Christian, and emotionally with our life coach Robert.
On our first day we will meet at Oslo airport and travel to Jotunheim national park. The next day we’ll hire and fit skis, and have a practice ski to make sure we’re all comfortable and our kit fits.
We’ll spend 6 days skiing through the mountains, returning to our start point under our own power, whilst staying at a different lodge each night. We will have a spare day for bad weather or resting, and at most points along the trip there is an easy escape route in case of extreme weather or emergency, in which case we’d leave the mountains and return to our start point early, where we could do shorter day trips (weather permitting).
We don’t learn unless we’re challenged. You will battle the elements, the cold, the physical challenge and your emotions, but you will be in safe hands, and you’ll be warm and comfortable and well fed each night, with a satisfying ache in your legs, and ready to face the next day.
This trip is not designed to be easy, but it is designed to comfortably push your edges, which is where we believe growth takes place. No prior wilderness or mountain experience required, beyond having some basic ski experience (see below for ski/fitness requirements).
Itinerary March 20th to March 28th:
March 20th: Arrive Oslo, Train to Jotunheim, (leaving at 2pm), Dinner at first lodge (Gjendesheim – staffed). Group will meet in Oslo airport.
March 21st: Ski Hire & Fitting, Equipment test, and ski lesson/refresher with Mountain Guide
March 22nd: 20km ski on flat lake to next lodge, Gjendebu (unmanned)
March 23rd: 20km ski to Leirvassbu (unmanned)
March 24th: 16km ski to Spiterstulen (staffed)
March 25th: 16km ski to Glitterheim (staffed)
March 26th: 20km ski to Gjendesheim, our starting point
March 27th: Spare day (we may take this at any point in the trip, depending on weather conditions), otherwise we’ll spend it at Gjendesheim, and it will be free time.
March 28th: Return skis. Train to Oslo, tour ends at Oslo airport.
Distances are approximate.
Christian Edelstam, Abisko, Sweden
IFMGA certified Mountain Guide, rock- and ice climbing instructor, avalanche instructor.
Guided full time since 2001.
Christian likes exploring the mountains in any mountain range (new routes on high mountains in the Himalayas, Alaska, South America, Africa. 53 day crossing of Greenland, 120 ascents of 4000m peaks in the Alps, 126 times on Kebnekaise, the highest peak in Sweden) and particularly love the solitude and wilderness of northern Scandinavia. The feeling of freedom when no one else is around to steal your skiing- or climbing line. The constantly changing lights from aurora borealis to midnight sun. The late spring, round the clock skiing and the climbing season overlapping. The best thing with mountain guiding: sharing the joy of the clients!
Robert Holden, Abisko Sweden.
Unlike Christian, Rob is a Brit. He’s been working in Ecological Science for the last decade, doing fieldwork in remote places, organizing people and equipment, making sure the group runs smoothly, living in the field. More recently he fixed problems for scientists and crew alike, on a research ship that took him to the North Pole.
He realized that things weren’t working in life, and started making some changes, going on a journey of where he learned to take better care of himself, and to get more from life.
Robert loves helping people, and sharing his joy and wonder for the world. He became a life coach and is now helping people move through those darker feelings, drop them off, and move on in life. King’s Trail Tours is a way to merge those two things, his love of the peace of the outdoors, with the tools he learnt to help himself, creating a unique environment to challenge and help others in.
- A good level of fitness is required, as well as prior skiing experience
- Cross-Country skiing is a mixture of fitness, balance and body-confidence.
- Prior skiing experience is very desirable – this does not need to be cross-country, but familiarity with how a ski feels will help a lot
- Being a competent downhill skier is a good guide (able to ski an intermediate slope on your own)
- We’re going to move 15-20 km each day, so being able to walk this distance, or run for 45 minutes is a good guide to the required level of fitness.
- If you’re very fit and body-confident, then we may be able to overlook the skiing experience – decided on a case by-case basis
- A desire to grow and learn, and a willingness to share your experience with the group.
- Must be comfortable with the idea of sharing yourself and connecting with others – we’ll teach tools to make this easier, and we will help facilitate the group dynamic.
- Willing to take part in the group & live communally for the duration of the retreat.
Connecting travel from Oslo to Jotunheim, including the return.
All food and lodging from arrival in Jotunheim.
Ski & boot hire
Two group video calls before the trip, to introduce one another and answer any questions. The group size will be 6 to 8 guests.
Warm clothing/Sleeping bag liner/Rucksack/Thermal Flask/Water bottle (a kit list will be sent after booking)
Travel insurance (it is a requirement for all guests to have this)
Food during the train journey to and from Jotunheim (there will be opportunities to buy some)
Contact me at: TheWildernessCoach@KingsTrailTours.com
Join the adventure. All are welcome!
*Images are of Sweden, Norway is similar.