autumn 2024
FRI-2582 Safe guiding in the Arctic - 20 ECTS

Type of course

The course can't be taken as a single course.

To enrol the course the student must have passed the first year of the Bachelor programme of Arktisk friluftliv og naturguiding.

Obligatory prerequisites

FRI-1440 Arctic friluftsliv and outdoor leadership 1, FRI-1441 Arctic friluftsliv and outdoor leadership 2

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

FRI-2580 Safe guiding in the Arctic 20 ects

Course content

The course is taught throughout the whole of the academic year. It is mainly practically oriented, but also includes a theoretical approach. It includes field excursions and courses of longer and shorter duration in the varied nature of the Arctic.

The course content is related to the content of the first year in the bachelor program in Alta. This year is a high arctic specialization, in a nature and climate that raise high demands on the students’ personal skills, mental strength and group awareness. The course aims to gradually build-up the candidate’s expertise in hiking, skiing and camping in the Arctic nature. The course content and learning outcome is harmonized with the Specification of competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities of the International Mountain Leader in accordance with the UIMLA standard, managed in Norway by the Norwegian Nature Guide Association.

Main training courses and field trips:

  • Glacier training: Glacier travel and crevasse rescue, both summer and winter. Starts at a basic level. Skills are developed further over the year of study. It includes multiday field trips and day excursions with glacier training during summer and winter. The total extent of the glacier training during the study program is more than 15 days. A more detailed content of the glacier training will be distributed at the start of the course as learning goals in the lecture and excursion plan.
  • Snow and avalanche training: knowledge of snow, avalanche and rescue. The course builds on the snow and avalanche training during the first year of the bachelorprogram. This year the training is in the high arctic and tourism context. It also are aiming for deeper understanding of the topic on the same level as an advanced snow and avalanche course.
  • Multiday hiking excursion with camping over several days: Moving camp and focus on procedures for trekking, camping, and route finding using a map and compass.
  • Day trips with a focus on trip planning; conscious decisions along the way and safe leadership of tourist groups in the Arctic nature.
  • Arctic winter camp: procedures and methods for overnight camping with tents; snow bivouac and emergency bivouac.
  • Arctic winter skiing. Focus on overall planning and risk assessments in a complex and challenging Arctic nature
  • Exam skiing trip: teacher-led skiing in small student groups. Students independently plan and lead guests on skis.

Objectives of the course


  • Has broad knowledge of topics related to safe travel and camping in the arctic nature
  • Can update his/her knowledge in the methods and procedures of leading groups safely in Arctic summer and winter terrain.
  • Has knowledge of the largescale meteorology for the Arctic in general and the local effects and weather prediction in special.
  • Has knowledge of the dynamics of an avalanche, typical avalanche weather, detecting weak snow layers and avoiding avalanche terrain, run out zones and terrain traps.
  • Has knowledge of the arctic glaciology as the background for safe travel and camp on glaciers. Is familiar with research and development work in the field of snow and avalanche safety.
  • Is familiar with research and development work in the field of winter travel and camp routines.
  • Has knowledge of various forms of emergency snow bivouacs.
  • Has knowledge of cold injuries and hypothermia.
  • Can update his/her knowledge in the use and development avalanche warning, avalanche problem and trip planning.
  • Can update his/her knowledge in the use and development of compass, GPS, altimeter, various orienteering techniques and topographic maps of different types, accuracy and scale.
  • Can update his/her knowledge in the use and development of commonly used clothes and equipment for travel and camp in arctic nature during summer and winter.
  • Can update his/her knowledge in the use and development of equipment and procedures for emergency communication.


  • Can apply knowledge into practical skills in organizing and taking care of oneself and the tourist group in arctic summer and winter nature.
  • Master relevant tools, techniques and styles for establishing and safely managing a tent camp in summer and winter.
  • Can apply knowledge to practical use in establishing a snow bivouac and emergency camp.
  • Can carry out planning for singel and multiday trips
  • Master relevant tools, techniques and styles for safe travel with groups on glaciers and in mountainous terrain, both summer and winter
  • Can apply knowledge to practical use for orienteering with a map, compass and GPS.
  • Can carry out rescue operations, companion rescue and self-rescue from a glaciers crevasse in summer and winter.
  • Can find, recognise and evaluate avalanche terrain.
  • Can apply knowledge weather and snow conditions to assess avalanche danger.
  • Masters relevant scholarly tools, techniques and forms of communication for safe travel by avoiding avalanche release and runout zones.
  • Can carry out rescue operations and companion rescue in avalanches.

General competence

  • Can plan and lead a tourist group safely in Arctic summer and winter conditions
  • Can plan, and lead assessment of routes, campsites and group organization in a complex arctic nature.
  • Can plan and lead an accident situation and apply knowledge of the procedures for emergency communication.
  • Can plan and lead a tent camp in summer and winter.
  • Can plan and lead a tourist group in establishing snow bivouac and emergency bivouac.
  • Has insight of their personal and the groups limitations and plan travel according to ability.
  • Has insight of the impact strong winds can have on a camp site and emergency procedures if a tent cannot be used.
  • Has insight of the importance of being able to adapt the program to changes in group limitations, conditions and weather.

Language of instruction and examination

English is the language of teaching and exam.

Teaching methods

Each student is expected to work 500 hours to achieve the learning outcomes of the subject. A large part of the subject takes place in nature and includes practical exercises and the development of experience. The preparation, execution and follow-up of field trips are important. The field trips will include day trips from Longyearbyen, and multiday excursions. Student-work related to field excursions will be organized in groups. During the course of the academic year, students will be given an increasing degree of leadership responsibility for the planning, execution and follow-up of the field trips. Some topics will be covered in a single course or in a series of courses and includes exercises and practical work. The teaching and learning methods will be student-focused and involve problem-based learning, project work, group work, practical and methodical work with supervision throughout the course, and lectures, discussions and the use of ICT.



Examination: Duration: Grade scale:
Oral exam 1 Hours A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Field trips Approved – not approved
Assessment Approved – not approved
Navigation test Approved – not approved
GPS and snow bivouac test Approved – not approved
Avalanche Approved – not approved
Observations Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

The following course requirements must be approved:

  • Approved participation in all multiday field trips and courses, including preparation and follow-up work.
  • Pass the assessment of knowledge and techniques needed to safeguard groups in mountainous terrain and glaciers.
  • Pass the trip planning and navigation test.
  • Pass the GPS navigation and snow bivouac test.
  • Approved participation on the avalanche course and pass the test on avalanche awareness and companion rescue.
  • Approved 3 snow and avalanche observations on regobs

More info about the oral exam

Individual practical training - oral examination. The candidate should practically demonstrate knowledge related to the course based on a given assignment. The assignment will emphasize the safety and experience aspects of the guiding profession. During the presentation there will also be an oral dialogue between the student, teacher and examiner. The candidate will also be questioned and examined on other parts of the course

Re-sit examination

Re-sit examination is offered for the course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Svalbard | Annet |
  • ECTS: 20
  • Course code: FRI-2582
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet