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A Day in Norway, with Whitecap Alpine


We caught up with Whitecap head guide, Hayden Robbins, to get some more insight into his yearly migration to Norway each spring. Hayden leads Whitecap’s ski touring/ splitboarding trip to the Lyngen Alps with a small group of adventurous clients, in search of corn snow, long descents, and beach side saunas. Below, Hayden explains to us why he continues to return to this northern mecca of mountain sports. If you’re inspired to learn more about our trips to Norway, send us an email: You can also take a look at the Norway Trip details here.


Q: How many spring seasons have you guided in Norway?


Hayden: I have been to Norway 4 times. Missed a few years because of COVID, and was super stoked to get back. My first year going was with Lars (the Whitecap big boss), which was great as it was the perfect opportunity to glean some valuable knowledge about the area. Lars has been guiding in the Lyngen Alps area since 2013.


Q: What do you find unique about ski touring and guiding in the Lyngen Alps?


Hayden: Probably the most unique thing is the sensation of skiing in the alpine while simultaneously skiing right back to the ocean. It is always wild to look at our objective for the day. Often a peak that seems to rise vertically from the sea below, and you think “well the summit is 1400m and we are starting here at 0m, so you do the math on the length of the first climb!”
I also love stepping off a boat and walking, with skis on shoulder, through a seaside village with drying fish laid out everywhere. Not the normal sights we are used to in North America.


Q: What do you find unique about Norwegian ski culture?


Hayden: The skis are skinnier! Haha, the Norwegians are incredibly strong skiers. The racing cultures is very dominant there and it percolates down through the whole community. In recent years the Norwegian Alpine program has been a force, and historically the nordic program has been one of the best in the world… A good combo for some great ski tourers if you ask me. Combined that with great alpine terrain, lots of ski mountaineering objectives, and you have a really great culture of adventurous skiers. Additionally, skiing was a crucial mode of transport for many northern people and has been an integral part of the Norwegian lifestyle for a long time.
Q: Where is the Whitecap accommodation in Lyngen located exactly? Is it close to town?
Hayden: We stay at Magic Mountain Lodge, which is located in the small town of Lyngsedeit. This quintessential Norwegian town is nestled in between fjords in the heart of the Lyngen Alps. It’s a pretty sleepy town, with a fishing community, northern lights culture in the winter, mountain biking in the summer, and a strong ski culture. The lodge is the happening spot in town. They host a daily après so you get a great opportunity to have drinks with a real melting pot of global skiers. It is family owned and operated by Henrika and Patrick who live with their family next door to the lodge. They share a deep passion for biking and skiing.


Q: Daylight in Lyngen lasts for around 16 hrs in April. Is this all spent skiing? Or are there other activities on the menu?


Hayden: At least 16 hours! It seems like it just gets ‘dim’ overnight, which is certainly a cool experience and totally surreal. Luckily all the rooms have blackout blinds! Days are largely spent skiing, with some days starting earlier than others if we are planning to catch a ferry or boat to zones further afield. There are some pubs in town right on the water that are great to check out, or the amazing Bivrost distillery which is the Northernmost distillery in the world. The area also has a beach sauna that is on the way home from one of the ski zones. Think arctic ocean dips! Tromsø is the major city in the north, and where we fly into. It has a ton of amazing history, museums, ships and is sometimes worth the road trip, whether it is a down day or we are skiing in that area.


Q: What does a typical morning look like with Whitecap in Lyngen? Give us all the details…


Hayden: We are super lucky with Magic Mountain Lodge, as breakfast is served in house. The breakfast spread includes a mix of granolas, yogurts, fruits and traditional Scandinavian options. We are usually out the door at a reasonable time, around 8.30 am, and have our own vehicles to drive to the various trailheads. Some days  we jump on a ferry to cross to the other side of the fjord, or we hire a high power zodiac to get to some zones with no road access.


The lodge has everything you could want in a ski lodge, with a dedicated drying room, laundry, workshop, ping pong set up… All the things needed to get you ready for a day of skiing.
Q: Run us through the typical après ski routine. Do you head into town? Beers at the lodge? Sauna? Other activities? What’s the dinner set up?


Hayden: All of the above. The lodge has a fantastic barrel sauna that is available everyday and complete with amazing views of the arctic sea. The bar upstairs is usually a go to spot, with Aperol Spritz on special and an array of beverages to choose from. There are some neat pubs in town that are worthy of investigating as well. Dinner is served at the lodge as well and is always fantastic. Lots of traditional meals get served, think fish and reindeer stroganoff, as well as many more classic options.


Q: Your favourite Norwegian food?


Hayden: Reindeer stroganoff is high on the list! Also there are lots of hot dogs and waffles on the ferry that I always seem to gravitate towards. The brown butter is a must try as well.


Q: Your favourite thing about Norwegian culture, in general?


Hayden: I really appreciate getting to know the people. At first, it may seem as if they are a bit standoffish, but it couldn’t be further from the truth, and once you get to know them they are incredibly warm.


Q: Three reasons you think a ski touring trip to Norway is worth the travel?


1.  The landscape: It is truly one of the most stunning environments I have spent time in. There is a unique colour palette that is so rich. The mountains themselves are severe and rise straight out of the ocean.


2. It is real ski touring, i.e. there is lots of variability in snow and you can encounter all types of conditions in a day, which forces you to use a mixed bag of tools and skills for mountain travel. A lot of the days are big circuit style tours or loops which I love, and usually start and end with boot hiking through a farmer’s field, or up a river. When the corn lines up after a big tour and you have a huge descent, it is truly epic. Every time I have gone I have had some pretty good powder as well!


3. The Location! Being 400km north of the Arctic Circle is epic and an adventure to get there. Despite being way up there, it is still modern and has great infrastructure combined with the idyllic landscapes and scenery.