Snow holing for total beginners

Hardangervidda - the roof of Norway - is an incredible 1.5 million acre mountain plateau. It's a formidable and inhospitable environment.

With our fun and experienced instructors, however, you'll learn how to construct the snow shelters that the Sami people have used for thousands of years, with little more than a snow saw. Snow walls, igloos, snow holes and quinzees - you'll learn not just what these are, but how to build them from the ground up, and what it feels like to dive into your sleeping bag as the stars rise around you.

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Day 1: Arrival and Introductions

Meet at 8pm at the Dale Skole (old school) Hostel in Rjukan for introductions and a briefing for the course. Most participants arrange to car share for the three hour drive from Oslo airport, using the course Facebook event.

We pitch the tents the night before to practice

Day 2: Shelter building on the Hardangervidda

After breakfast indoors at the hostel, we take the first ski lift up the plateau and hike for a few miles into the Hardangervidda backcountry. We then split the team up and build a range of snow-shelters, such as snow caves and igloos, appropriate for the conditions.

 We’ll rotate you throughout the day so you learn about the different options and mix with everyone in the group.

Hiking in snowshoes with the gear is hard work - but worth it with amazing terrain

Day 2: Evening Food

In the evening, we cook up a meal together and play games on the snow-table. Our favorite is Jungle Speed, and it’s possible to play from your sleeping bag if cold!

Day 3: Hiking on the plateau

On the third day, you wake up to warm drinks and Norwegian breakfast cooked up by your guides.

After refuelling, we leave our equipment near the shelters and head out for a day of snow shoeing on the plateau. We take in the sights and can teach some winter navigation skills for those who want.

We finish at 2pm, leaving time for warm showers at the hostel and last flights home.

Hiking the next day in the sun

1. Requirements

A moderate level of fitness is required (we're outside for both full days). No other experience is required.

2. Logistics

  • Fly to Oslo Gardermoen - usually most affordable with Ryan Air/Norwegian Air
  • Course participants typically rent a car together for the 3h drive to Rjukan. We recommend you use the course Facebook event to arrange this with other participants.

3. Equipment

Syhook Adventure will provide all specialist equipment. You must bring with you:

  • Appropriate cloathing and spares for the winter, including waterproof trousers and tops
  • At least 2 pairs of gloves/mitts
  • Winter hiking boots (you can also rent these from the hostel)

When you sign up, we send you a full pdf kit list.


5 Jan 8pm
Sun 7 Jan 3pm
£330 GBP
0 spaces
12 Jan 8pm
Sun 14 Jan 3pm
£330 GBP
0 spaces
19 Jan 8pm
Sun 21 Jan 3pm
£330 GBP
0 spaces
28 Jan 8pm
Tue 30 Jan 3pm
£330 GBP
5 spaces
2 Feb 8pm
Sun 4 Feb 3pm
£330 GBP
2 spaces
4 Feb 6pm
Tue 6 Feb 6pm
£330 GBP
0 spaces
11 Feb 8pm
Tue 13 Feb 3pm
£330 GBP
4 spaces
18 Feb 8pm
Tue 20 Feb 3pm
£330 GBP
3 spaces
23 Feb 8pm
Sun 25 Feb 3pm
£330 GBP
1 spaces
2 Mar 8pm
Sun 4 Mar 3pm
£330 GBP
0 spaces

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1. Can I come by myself?

Absolutely yes - most people book alone. It can feel a bit intimidating, but we’ll do introductions when you arrive and you’ll get to know the others in no time!

2. How old do I need to be?

The minimum age for all our courses is 18.

3. What does the price include?

It includes accommodation, instruction, food whilst on the plateau and all technical equipment. It excludes travel, food in Rjukan, appropriate clothing and winter mountaineering boots (these can be rented from the hostel if needed).

4. Do I need insurance?

Yes - please make sure you have travel insurance which includes ice climbing. Popular providers include the BMC and Snowcard.

5. What are the options for food?

The local supermarket Kiwi has a broad selection, with equivalent prices to a higher end supermarket in the UK (e.g. Waitrose). It is 10 minutes drive from the hostel.

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