Skiing Pow From a Boat in the Arctic Circle

Zach Paley | BackcountryBackcountry | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Peter Schoen makes powder eights towards the sea

(editor’s note:  Our good friend, Zach Paley, has been living in the Arctic Circle of Norway for the past month.  He works on a boat, camps, skis, writes, and takes stunning photographs.  In this entry, Zach finds himself working on and skiing from the ship Vulkana in spectacular Lyngen, Norway)

I’d gotten along well with Gottfried my first time on the Vulkana [the boat they ski from], and he invited me for one more trip that would be the last of the season. It’s tough to say “no” to skiing from a boat with a sauna and hot tub. I bummed a ride to Tromso with plans to return to Lyngen when I was back on land.

Beer aboard the Vulkana. It’s good to be back at sea.

This was one of those trips that simply clicked. Group, guide, crew, captain, weather, and snow all came together and worked in harmony for the next several days.

Sea ice. Like running through dinner plates with your ski boots on.

I’ll remember the moonrise over Lyngen as Captain Carl steered us out to sea after a hectic evening of lost bags and stolen phones in Tromso.


I’ll remember staring down at the reflection of the mountain opposite us in the fjord. Amidst it, the anchored Vulkana is just a small dot amongst the sea ice that mottled the water.


I’ll remember hiking all morning, immersed in wisps of fog that magically part as we reach the top, revealing the shimmering sea.

Philipp Heindl

I’ll remember ski boots in new settings, the greatest apres meal ever, fish heads, smiles, and everything in between.

Waffles, jelly, brunost, sashimi, hot cocoa, whipped cream, beer, champagne.


I can try all I want, but when trips go this well, it doesn’t translate to words or photos.

Some of the local experts on board did a dam good job.

Franca Chiesa

The group rebooked next years trip in less than 24 hours. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again next winter!

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