Our leaders are explorers at heart, and we love hearing about their adventures outside of Wilderness Travel. This one comes from Bohdan Fashtrya, our Trip Leader for the Great Carpathian Traverse, who embarked on an epic ski adventure in northern Norway during his off-season. Check out what he and his friends experienced in this wintery realm.

lofoten norway
A typical town in Lofoten

I have been dreaming about visiting Norway since I was a boy, when I first read about the courageous Vikings. After I grew up, I was drawn to this place not because of the legendary warriors who dwelled among the fjords, but the fjords themselves—and even more, by the mountains that towered over them. Rocky, black, mystical fjords have been engraved in my memory for years from the work of Theodor Kittelsen, my favorite painter. This culture is so far from the Hutsuls (the people from my home country of Ukraine).

In the summer of 2016, after leading adventures for Wilderness Travel, I got an offer to go on a winter trip to Norway from a photographer and ambassador of The North Face Ukraine. We were accompanied by two incredible skiers, and together we set off on our journey north in search of good snow—and witnessed the elusive yet astounding Northern Lights.

Our destination included the Lofoten archipelago—rocky islands beyond the Arctic Circle, and where Wilderness Travel has their Northern Norway and the Lofoten Islands adventure. Because we were traveling in the winter with all our snow gear, we had quite the experience getting from one place to the next, but it all adds up to a great adventure. I hope you enjoy some of the photos from my journey.

photogrpaher in a packed car
Packing the car trunk was a daily ceremony that usually involved some type of squeezing into tight spaces

The isles and Norway enchanted me right away. Endless fjords, steep mountain slopes, thick woods, fast rivers, meandering roads, bridges, tunnels—I barely managed to switch my sight from one thing to another!

man standing in norway near Lofoten
Enjoying life above the Arctic Circle
tent camping snow norway
Nothing says adventure travel like camping in the snow with your friends
skiers in norway
Gearing up for what would become one of the best ski days of my life
snowmobile ski norway
Hauling all our gear by snowmobile on one of our ski days
ski norway
This was the beginning of our third ski day in the valley, with one of the ranges marking a border between Norway and Finland
northern lights lofoten
Witnessing the Northern Lights. Watching the phenomenon I dreamed to see for such a long time added a new dimension to this journey up north

The more places we visit, the more we realize the uniqueness, marvels, and different cultures of our planet. As much as I love sharing my hiking days in the Carpathian with Wilderness Travel adventurers, I also love exploring some of the other places WT visits. It’s a reminder of why we do the things we love.

—Text and photos by Trip Leader, Bohdan Fashtrya. To learn more about our Trip Leaders, visit www.wildernesstravel.com/leaders.

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