The World’s Greatest Summer Ski Festival

Greg Limeberry

Skiing in Norway

Sometimes you just can’t give up the ski season. That’s the case for attendees of the world’s northernmost ski touring festival,  Toppturfestivalen Svalbard in the north of Norway. As Yahoo travel reports, ski bums from all over the world who could not bear to part with winter made the trek this year to the festival that took place from May 29 – June 1 of this year.

Svalbard archipelago, the festival’s location and namesake, is located halfway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The area is cold, has snow year round, and is remote enough that is does not make it on to many tourists’ “must visit” lists.  But that has been changing over the past three years since the festival began, with tickets to attend becoming harder and harder to come by. This year, 80 hardcore ski enthusiasts opted to make the trip to ski amongst the polar bears in the midnight sun.

Most Norwegians embrace what little summer they have, but there are those who will never miss a chance to hit the slopes. They weren’t alone with many skiers attending the fest from Russia and Germany. Each day, skiers would set out to tackle another nearby mountain. The excursions were all accompanied by volunteers armed with rifles, trained in warding off polar bears. After the day’s skiing, the sun stays out all night and so do many of the skiers partying in the bright midnight sun.

With each year, tickets are getting harder and harder to come by, so anyone hoping to attend should be on their computer the moment they go on sale in January at Cost is around $750 can includes a ferry ride, local food for four days, campsite, seminars and entertainment and of course, armed polar bear guards.