We are inviting you the a rarely paddled stretch of Lofoten, the wild west coast of Moskenes island. On this expedition we will circumnavigate the island of Moskenes.
Dates: 1-5 July 2024
Price: 8900 NOK, 868 EUR, 757 GBP, 868 USD
Rental kayak: 2000 NOK
Guides: Heidi Grimnes & Ken Johnsen
Sign up by clicking here.
Read our terms for participation here.
The west coast of Moskenes is remote, isolated and rarely paddled. With two experienced guides we are taking you to this amazing location. We will experience the raw and untouched nature the west coast has on offer, we will explore sea caves and dry caves. We will see eagles, seals, fish and a myriad of birds living in an environment rarely visited by man.
Sidetracked magazine featured our story about this area: http://www.sidetracked.com/news/planning-an-arctic-sea-kayaking-expedition/
Read up on the history of the island and the people who inhabited the wild west coast here: http://www.lofoten-info.no/history.htm
Day 1, arrival in Reine for a briefing and packing of kayaks. Paddling will ensue once everyone is ready.
Day 2, the paddling starts from Reine to Lofotodden with a stop in Å for lunch, 17 km.
Day 3, Lofotodden to Bunes beach, 20 km
Day 4, Bunes to Kvalvika with a stop at Horseid beach, 15 km
Day 5, Kvalvika to Reine with plenty of stops on the way, 30 km.
Once back in Reine we will have a BBQ by the sea.
The west coast of Moskenes island is remote and isolated, so our participants need to meet certain standards. There are no roads or populated areas and very limited phone/radio coverage. The weather will decide if we go for plan A or plan B. Safety comes first and in Lofoten the weather is always the deciding factor.
We require that you have passed a 3 star sea kayak course (ISKGA Fundamentals III, teknikkurs from NPF, 3 star BCU or equivalent). Alternatively you must have sufficient experience to paddle in 3 star conditions (1,25 meter waves, 8 m/s wind). Furthermore you must know how to land a sea kayak in surf so some surfing experience will be essential. There may be surf conditions on our landing beaches and surf zones are relatively high risk areas.
We also ask that you are a contributing member of the group. We need all the members of the group to contribute where they can, whether at sea or on land. We will be isolated and it’s therefore important that everyone assist each other whenever possible.
Lastly, the conditions can be rough on the west coast. If we deem the conditions too demanding we will go for our plan B. You must however be prepared and able to paddle and camp under rough conditions; high winds and big waves.
Medical / health issues:
If you have any health issues affecting yourself or the group, please let us know in advance. You are responsible for qualifying yourself fit and healthy enough to participate.
Warm clothing, waterproof jacket
Hiking shoes or boots
Tow rope for sea kayaking
Camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, a stove to cook food, gas or fuel can be bought in Lofoten)
Food for 5 days of camping (4 dinners, 4 breakfast, 5 lunches, minimum)
A map of Moskenes island ( http://www.kartbutikken.no/turkart/turkart-1-50-000/vest-lofoten )
First aid kit
A hat to protect yourself from the sun or a helmet for sea kayaking
Whatever else you require to be comfortable for 5 days in the wild
Helmet for kayaking
Neoprene gloves or mittens
The average temperature in Lofoten is 12 degrees celsius in July. Bring an appropriate sleeping bag and clothes.
Details of plan A:
Arrival in Reine before 12:00. After a full briefing we begin packing our kayaks. Depending upon the weather we will either paddle north or south. Our plan A is to paddle south to the southern tip of Moskenes island where the Moskens tidal current lies.
After a stunning campsite at the very tip of Moskenes island we enter the exposed ourter coast of Moskenes. Our goal is Bunes beacn. There is mobile telephone and radio coverage a 20 minutes hike from the beach.We drive to Ramberg and begin the paddle to Kvalvika.. Distance to paddle: 22 km.
Bunes to Kvalvika. The wild West coast of Moskenes all day. Distance to paddle: 17 km. Lunch is consumed at Horseid beach. We arrive at Kvalvika beach and camp here.
Near Kvalvika beach there are two amazing sea caves to explore. We continue on north east and exits the exposed coastline. We will have to negotiate a couple of currents before we make our campsite oin Selfjorden, near Ramberg. Distance to paddle: 20 km.
Last day of paddling goes from Selfjorden through Sundstraumen tidal current before the final stretch soutwards towards Reine.
Details of plan B:
If conditions on the West coast are too demanding at the start of the trip, we will go for plan B which begins on the east coast of Moskenes with the aim of circumnavigating the island in the reverse order of plan A.
When planning a fairly challenging sea kayak trip such as this, we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Below we have described known risks and how to avoid and deal with them.
On the west coast there are several landing spots. This includes Kvalvika, Horseid, Bunes, Gjerdvika, Turtnbakkvika, Refsvika and Hell. These are all sand beaches (except Hell which is a sheltered bay) and therefore preferable to organising a rock landing. If we need to land we will, if possible, attempt landing at one of these places.
It is possible to hike on foot to the populated east coast from Kvalvika, Horseid and Bunes. From Bunes it is possible to spend a day carrying all equipment from the beach to the sheltered Reinefjord on the east coast. From Hell it is possible to hike to Å, but this is a very long and steep hike. It is also possible to hike from Stokkvika to the east coast, however the landing in Stokkvika is rocky.
If emergency rescue is required, the group should contact emergency services. This can be done at any of the mobile/radio service points marked on the map. Other than the marked points, there is no mobile or radio contact on the west coast of Moskenes.The whole east coast has mobile and radio contact.
If there is a need to evacuate an injured person or the entire group we will land and walk out or if this is not possible, contact emergency services. Equipment will be secured on land for pickup at a later stage.
Each of the group must be prepared to tow another paddler. Everyone must have a tow rope and everyone must also know how to use it.
If you capsize you should be able to either self rescue or roll. Partner rescues are the second line of defence.
If a paddler capsizes in his or her kayak and exits the kayak, a recovery can be performed by a member of the group. Everyone must be able to perform a buddy rescue so that the person gets back into the kayak.
In the unlikely event of resuscitation being required, the casualty will be moved to land if possible or raft up to provide a suitable platform.
Group control: Line of sight between the group members is to be maintained. If you leave the group on purpose you are no longer considered a part of the arranged guided trip, until you return to the group.
If conditions are too rough the group may be forced to remain in camp until conditions improve.
If an emergency occurs and the group or part of the group has to cancel the guided trip, no refund will be given.
By joining this guided tour you accept the risks described in this document; the risks involved in sea kayaking and the risks of being on an isolated coastline over several days.
See here for our terms and conditions for joining this expedition.
Medical emergency telephone number: 113
Emergency VHF radio channel: 16
Local VHF radio channel with weatherforecast: Bodø radio, channel 66
Distress message per telephone or radio:
Nature of distress
Kind of assistance needed
We like the term “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs”. We will bring out all garbage with us. Campfires will be made on a bed of rocks to leave no trace. We will bring a small shovel to to dig small holes and cover any human waste.
Travel insurance is always recommended. You are responsible for having the appropriate accident and travel insurance for sea kayaking on a remote coastline for several days. Call your insurance agency if in doubt. We recommend booking a return flight from Lofoten which includes cancellation insurance.
If you travel by car, the ferry (http://www.torghatten-nord.no/english/) from Bodø to Moskenes (Å) is a good alternative. Several departures a day.
Reine has several places for accommodation beofre and after the paddling. Accommodation is not included in this trip and if you need accommodation before or after the trip, we recommend that you book these as early as possible.
You may want to try booking a room with the following hostels: