After catching up on some much needed sleep last night, we ate a very late breakfast before setting our sights for Tromso’s iconic local mountain – Tromsdaltinden – which is featured in the photo below. Looming large approx. 4000′ above this Arctic island town, Tromsdaltinden was impossible to resist. And at the crack of 2:30pm (gotta love 22+ hour daylight!), after a short bike ride to the edge of town, we were on our skis.
The nearly 4000′ climb landed us on the summit around 6:00pm. On our way up the approaching valley, we we encountered dozens of local Norwegians – most on skinny skis, many ski-joring with dogs, some skiing in family groups, and a few pushing 70-80 years – sliding home after a day on and around the mountain. Higher up, views from the summit ridge toward the slightly higher mountains of the Lyngen Alps held us in a trance. Impossibly steep peaks dotted the horizon. Small glaciers filled their valleys. In other directions, we spotted distant fjords, a few small towns and the highland Swedish-Finnish border region – and far below, we could almost make out our bikes.
The ski was a classic, multi-pitch descent that was highlighted by boot-deep powder! off the summit and some relatively steep turns down a very aesthetic chute below an ice strewn sub-peak set aglow by the evening sun. Back in the valley, we passed a beautiful mountain hut, skied some gentle birch glades, and whizzed along a groomed nordic track before finishing off the day with a 2 mile coast on our bikes back to Tromso. The sun was still shining bright behind the distant, Teton-like peaks on the northwest horizon – our destination for the coming days.