What do I need to know about snowmobiling?
Snowmobiling in Spitsbergen is bit different than anywhere else. There are a couple of things you should be aware of.
There are no roads outside Longyearbyen, so once you head out with your guided groups there is no turning back by yourself. You cannot call a taxi or ask someone to pick you up. If something happens the whole group will have to return back to Longyearbyen.
Your guide tows a sled behind his or her snowmobile packed with gasoline, food supplies, emergency shelter, satellite phone. For emergencies there is of course a possibility for helicopter pickups, but this is only in extreme cases.
The distances are very long in Spitsbergen, so it will take a whole day to get to your destination. Be prepared with a lot of warm clothes. The weather can change in an instant in the high arctic, and you can never be too prepared. Also note that there are no toilets on the way.
Snowmobiling can vary from moderate to difficult depending on the trip you choose. You do not need to be in excellent physical condition, but you need to have some strength to sit on the snowmobile and steer it.
Good to remember
You need to have a driver’s license with you for driving a snowmobile. We have two prices for the snowmobiling trip, one for the driver and one for the passenger. You cannot purchase only the passenger place.
Due to the local regulations, we always have to count in extra places in case one snowmobile breaks down. This means that at least two out of six snowmobiles need to be driven solo. In general we recommend driving the single snowmobiles on longer expeditions, because handling a snowmobile is lot easier when you do not have a passenger.
Remember that pregnant women cannot participate in any of the snowmobile trips.