A non-stop 129 mile expedition race along the Kungsleden Trail.
The Arctic Spine Challenger is a non-stop, 129 mile (207 km) foot race along the Kungsleden Trail in Arctic Sweden, one of the most stunning winter landscapes in the world. Beginning from Abisko, you will journey through frozen woodlands, rivers, lakes and mountains to Kvikkjokk. Experiencing temperatures as low as -35°C and winds as high 40 mph, this race demands self sufficiency and proficiency in cold weather management. You will travel either on skis or snowshoes, and carry specialist equipment in sleds or backpacks. This race will test everything you have.
An Introduction to the Montane Arctic Spine
Discover what it takes to conquer the mighty Kungsleden Trail in Arctic Sweden.
- Location: Kungsleden Trail, Sweden
- Distance: 129 miles / 207 km
- Start: 09:00 February 6th 2024, Abisko
- Finish: 21:00 February 9th 2024, Kvikkjokk
- Time Limit: 84 hours
- Temperature: -5°C / -35°C
- Terrain: Arctic tundra
- Daylight Hours: 8 hours
- Airport: Kiruna
- Places Available: 25
Get your Race Information Pack
Find out everything you need to know about The Montane Arctic Spine Challenger by downloading our free race information pack. It includes details about the race, the route, itinerary and a summary of equipment requirements.
Ready to take on the challenge of The Montane Arctic Spine? Join us at one of our Arctic intro events to discover step by step knowledge of what’s required to take on this challenge. You can also book a call with the Race Director Phil Hayday-Brown or take a closer look at the route.
Speak to the Race Director
Checkout The Route
Caroline Barrett (GBR)
Caroline's extensive experience in ultra marathons, including the Mongol 100, equips her with impressive endurance for the race. Teaming up with fellow members of the Exmoor Mountain Rescue, she’s looking forward to the winter journey along the Kungsleden. Yet, she approaches the tasks of meal preparation in freezing conditions and manoeuvring downhill with a pulk with a touch of apprehension!
Daisy Goldsmith (GBR)
Daisy finds the prospect of testing her limits in the Arctic an opportunity not to miss. Her peak physical condition, honed through her role in the Exmoor Mountain Rescue Team, positions her well for this challenge. Daisy is eager for that moment of crossing the finish line, a testament to their collective teamwork. However, she acknowledges the biting cold and the inevitable pain that will come with it!
Charlie Wilkins (GBR)
Taking on the opportunity to both challenge himself whilst experiencing the beauty of the Kungsleden Trail was too tempting to pass up. With an extensive background in hillwalking and mountain activities, coupled with a committed role in the Exmoor Mountain Rescue Team, Charlie is well-prepared for the adventure. He eagerly anticipates every aspect, from the captivating winter scenery to the camaraderie within the team, it’s bound to be a journey filled with memories of a lifetime.
Eoin Murray (GBR)
Eoin embraces the challenge of a self-supported endurance event in extreme conditions, especially when surrounded by his trusted Mountain Rescue team. With a history of participating in numerous long-distance multi- and single-sport events, including the Mongol 100, he brings a wealth of experience to the table. Eoin looks forward to the collective effort required to reach the finish line, and sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience with his teammates.
Tony Newton (USA)
"Press On!" has remained a steadfast motto for Tony since his service on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV63) in the US Navy. It continues to serve as a guiding principle in his life. Tony takes on a challenging adventure every few years, and the combination the Arctic locale and the Spine’s professionalism made this an enticing opportunity. With training in wilderness survival and mountaineering, Tony's achievements include summiting Denali and Aconcagua, as well as partaking in multiple Alaska Iditarod Trail Invitationals. He travels from the USA to explore the Kungsleden Trail, holding high hopes for a glimpse of the mesmerising Northern Lights.
Rob Hopkins (GBR)
With a substantial background in triathlons, ultra marathons, and mountain climbing, including notable achievements like Toubkal and Everest Base Camp, Rob is well-equipped for this race. The introduction to skiing through the Arctic Spine training fuelled his hunger for further challenges in this distinctive environment. He’s looking forward to immersing himself in the Arctic terrain again, seeking solace amidst the mountains. While skiing downhill doesn't rank high on his excitement scale, he’s hoping practice will lead to improvement!
We believe this is an epic adventure most people can complete with the rights skills and approach. If you have questions about whether you meet the required experience please speak to us. We can advise on a range of qualification options to get you to the start-line.
Solo entrants must have cold weather experience from similar events such as the Rovaniemi, Yukon Arctic Ultra, 6633, Arrowhead, Iditasport, and have demonstrable cold weather skills and experience from their profession or past experience. Your participation will be discussed with the race organisers prior to your acceptance as a solo participant.
Whilst the above entry criteria and an experience statement is requested, team entries (of 2, 3 or 4 persons) are open to those who may lack the experience to participate as a soloist. Team entries provide additional personal safety to entrants and are recommended for those who lack solo experience in extreme cold environments.
All participants, regardless of their declared or approved experience will have to participate in a pre-event assessment course with modules focused on the core winter safety components such as winter camping, travel, navigation, personal administration, preparing food, water and dealing with emergency situations. If your skill level does not meet the required standard your entry may be reviewed prior to the race start. For example you may be placed within a team or you may be requested to participate in the shorter distance event.
Yes. We welcome team entries of 2, 3 or 4 persons. Team entries provide additional personal safety to entrants and are recommended for those who lack solo experience in extreme cold environments. You can let us know if you want to participate as a team in the sign-up process.
Phil Hayday-Brown, Co-founder of the Montane Spine Races will be the Race Director for the Arctic Races.
Phil started his career at The John Ridgway Adventure School learning the skills that would take him to the North and South Poles. Racing to the magnetic North Pole when working in the High Canadian Arctic (Nunavut) he went on to help organise and take part in the first race to the South Pole since the 1911/12 famous race between Scott and Amundsen. In 2013, Phil completed an expedition to the Geographic North Pole, breaking an unofficial world record for the fastest team to the North Pole over the last 2 degrees. Other recent recces include Lake Baikal in Siberia and Greenland where Phil has been exploring new race opportunities for Spine.
We have provided more detailed information in the race pack but there are a number of accommodation options available to you. We do advise booking early.
ICE HOTEL KIRUNA – JUKKASJÄRVI
N.B. it is worth becoming an STF member before coming out
We would always recommend that every competitor purchases appropriate insurance to cover your participation in a Montane Spine event and the costs of your entry fee, should you not be able to take part.
The race has enormous infrastructure costs, most of which are fixed, which unfortunately prevents the option of a full refund. We want to be as fair as possible though, so while your entry fee includes a non-refundable deposit, if you notify us before the deadline (see Terms & Conditions) 100 days before the race, you will get a partial refund. Please read the T&Cs before make your payment.
The total cost for The Montane Arctic Spine Challenger is £2500.
To secure your place, you can either pay in full when you enter or pay a deposit of £1000. The remaining fee can be split over two payments. £750 will be due 140 days before race start and the final £750 will be due 100 days before race start. See below for the payment schedule.
Payments can be made online via your debit or credit card.
To secure your place in the race, you will need to make a deposit payment of £1000 on entry. The remaining fee is split over two further payments of £750. Alternatively, you can pay in full when you enter.
You can use your debit or credit card to make your payments online. Stripe Payments handles the steps between you providing your card information and learning that the payment has been accepted. Some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon and Shopify, use Stripe.
Pay a £1000 deposit in order to secure your place.
140 days to go
£750 of the total race entry fee is now due.
100 days to go
Final payment of £750 is now due.