spring 2021
FRI-2580 Safe guiding in the Arctic - 20 ECTS

Last changed 02.07.2020

Type of course

The couse can't be taken as an single course, just for students in the program of Arctic Nature guide

Course content

The course, Safe Guiding in the Arctic, is taught throughout the whole of the academic year. It is mainly practically oriented, but also includes a theoretical approach. It comprises field excursions and courses of longer and shorter duration in the varied nature of the Arctic throughout the year. The course aims to gradually build-up the candidate's expertise in trekking and camping in the Arctic nature.  

Main instruction courses and field trips:              

  • Glacier course: Excursion to glacier, introduction to trekking and camping in the Arctic nature.
  • Multiday hiking excursion with camping over several days: Moving camp and focus on procedures for trekking and camping, and navigation using a map and compass.
  • Day trips with a focus on trip planning; conscious decisions along the way and safe leadership of groups in the Arctic nature.
  • Arctic winter camp: procedures and methods for overnight camping with tents; snow bivouac and emergency bivouac; navigation with GPS. Clothing and equipment in cold weather.
  • Avalanche course: knowledge of snow, avalanche and rescue.
  • Arctic winter skiing. Focus on overall planning and calculated 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


  • Broad theoretical knowledge of topics related to safe travel and camping in the arctic nature


  • The methods and procedures of leading groups safely on glaciers, sea ice and in the Arctic summer and winter terrain.
  • Rescue operations on glaciers and avalanches.
  • Establishing and safely managing a tent camp in summer and winter.
  • Establishing a snow bivouac and emergency camp.
  • Trip planning and navigating with a map, compass and GPS.

General competence

  • Have skills in assessing routes, campsites and group organization in a complex arctic nature.
  • Be aware of their own limitations and that of the group and plan travel according to ability.
  • Be aware of the impact strong winds can have on a camp site and emergency procedures if a tent cannot be used.

Language of instruction

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 study program 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 the day trips from Longyearbyen, and multiday excursions. During the academic year there will be 5 long field excursions of 6 ¿ 12 days duration. 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. Other themes 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 guidance throughout the course, and lectures, discussions and the use of ICT.



The following course requirements must be approved before the candidate may be allowed to take the exam:

  • One hundred percent participation in all field trips and courses, including preparation and follow-up work.
  • Reports and all forms of follow-up work (eg. Photo and video presentations, group work, etc.) after each trip. Teams decide what type of preparation and work will be carried out in relation to each trip.
  • Approved participation on the glacier course and pass the companion rescue and glacier guide test.
  • Approved participation on the multiday hiking excursion and pass the trip planning and navigation test.
  • Approved participation on the arctic intro winter excursion and 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 participation on the arctic winter skiing excursion



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

The grade will be given by litters from A-F, F is fail.

Re-sit examination Re-sit examination will be arranged.

Course overlap

FRI-2582 Safe guiding in the Arctic 20 stp
  • About the course
  • Campus: Svalbard | Annet |
  • ECTS: 20
  • Course code: FRI-2580