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About GuideGunnar

"Gunnar Hildonen, of Finnish and Sami stock, is certainly the kind of man you'd want with you on an Arctic adventure; burly, knowledgable and effortlessly charming, while equipped with a set of survival skills to rival Bear Grylls..." - by Chris Peakcook / National Geographic, 2008.

GuideGunnar making a camp fire in a autumn landscape

I was born and raised on the coast of Telemark county in the south, but with Finnish and Sami blood in my veins, which pulls me to the Arctic areas up north, I guess I feel best up here. As I used to say to new acquaintances: "Then right after I was born, I was dropped down into the bilberry heather, and since then I've stayed there..."

I have always been fond of nature and, unlike others, I don't need an activity like angling or hunting to be out there. If I just can be out in the open, enjoy some good food and be alone with the silence, then it's good enough for me. I received an education to become a cabinet maker in the 80's, and I've been a member of the Boy Scouts half my life, and it was on that track I took off, so to speak: "working for and together with people, close to nature.."

I worked on my last piece of wood furniture in 1994 and made a decision to dedicate myself to nature, full time. I was accepted by a 2-year mountain guide education program in Northern Sweden in 1996 - and with that, the road signs pointed in the right direction for my career.

Reviews and Feedback

"I know Gunnar well, first of all personally as my brother and friend, but we have also worked together on a few projects in relation to his firm, and he is easy to communicate with, reliable and punctual. Since he is a wildlife guide, I think it would be worth knowing what kind of a person he is, and I think that his foremost traits are his enthusiasm and energy. He is also dedicated and believes in what he is doing. He has always had a profound love for nature and the outdoors. That is combined with his love for good cooking.

His enthusiasm does not get in the way of his sense of responsibility, though, and as he is also a social and outgoing person, I cannot think of anyone who is better suited to guide others than him. Although born in the south of Norway, both his parents and we, his older brothers, are from Finnmark County in the north. Thus, his heart always belonged to the north. He has spent all his childhood summers up there, and now he lives in Tromsø, which means that he knows Arctic nature as well as if he had been born there!" - by Wilfred Hildonen, my brother.

"GuideGunnar offers great ski touring adventures based on his huge local knowlegde of terrain and conditions. He also cooks fantastic evening meals! Thoroughly recommend." - by Helen Clark / former Prime Minister of New Zealand (she joined my ski tours in Rondane 2003-2007).

"GuideGunnar dosen't set out to be the best guide, he just devotes himself to being your friend. That sets him apart from the other guides. You get the feeling that he is really proud of his country and heritage, and that he truly, genuinely wants you to see the beauty of his country and the Northern Lights for yourself.

One can't help warming to him on first meeting, and there's a reason why he is almost always fully booked. If you're lucky enough to book a tour with him (and you SHOULD!), you'll see why he has no equal. Thank you, GuideGunnar, for an unforgettable and wonderful experience over March 16-18th, 2014! :)" - by Heidi Tai, Singapore.

"Gunnar is a very competent, reliable and friendly person. He always wants the best for his guests on his tours. On the Northern Lights tours, he finds clear sky, even it is cloudy or raining in Tromsø. He helps people with the settings of the camera so that everybody is able to take pictures in the darkness. And sometimes - while waiting for the darkness - he offers some extra sightseeing (such as a sunset with beautiful landscape or moose safari)."- by Stefani Raneberg, Germany.

GuideGunnar dancing with Lady Aurora - the Northern Lights

GuideGunnar's Jobs and Experience from 1997

  • Summer 1997: Cycling guide, the West Coast fjords & Rallarvegen
  • Winter 1997 / '99 / 2000 / '01 / '03 / '06: Ski guide, Venabu Fjellhotell - Rondane National Park
  • Summer 1998 / '99 / 2001 / '05: Glacier guide, Briksdalbre, the West Coast fjords
  • Winter 2000-01: Ski instructor, Beitostølen Ski School
  • January 2003: Headhunted to Tromsø by the owner of Lauklines Kystferie
  • Easter 2003: Ski guide for Waymark, UK at Sjusjøen, Lillehammer
  • Summer 2003: Hiking guide, Venabu Fjellhotell - Rondane National Park
  • Winter 2003-04: Ski guide for Exodus, UK at Rondablikk / Rondane National Park
  • Christmas 2004 / '05 / '06 / '07: GuideGunnar's Hotel to Hotel Ski Tour, Rondane / Espedalen
  • Winter 2006: Ski guide for XCUK at Høvringen / Rondane National Park
  • Summer 2006 - 2009: Project "Arctic Fantasy" at Lauklines Kystferie, Kvaløya
  • From 2006: GuideGunnar's Aurora Chase
  • Aurora season 2006 - 2012: Theatre of Food in "Camp Aurora" at Lauklines, Kvaløya
  • Winter 2007: Ski guide for Waymark, UK at Lauklines, Kvaløya
  • 2007 - 2009: Host for conference and activities at Lauklines, Kvaløya
  • Winter 2008: Ski guide for Exodus, UK at Lauklines, Kvaløya
  • 2008 - 2012: Basecamp Tromsø
  • 2009 - 2012: Midnight Sun Tours, Beach Relax & Coastal Culture
  • January 2010: Clayton Conservani & Globo TV, Brasil visit GuideGunnar's kitchen >>
  • November 2011: Japanese TV visits GuideGunnar's kitchen >>
  • 2012 - present: Basecamp on Ringvassøya / GuideGunnar's Camp Aurora
  • 2011 - 2013: Arctic Polare - Tromsø's first activity-selling office!
  • 2015 - 2016: Fjords View Excursions - sightseeing around Kvaløya
  • 2016 - 2017: GO Alta cooperation between 5 companies in Alta and GuideGunnar
  • 2016 - 2020: Guides Central Tromsø - where the visitors meet the guides
  • 2017: GuideGunnar's 20-year anniversary!
  • Winter 2018: Jakten på nordlyset / "Chasing the Northern Lights" on National TV Norge / Discovery+
  • Christmas 2018, 2019, 2020, 21 and 22: "Dem Polarlicht auf der Spur" on German NDR TV
  • Autumn 2020: "Jakten på nordlyset" on TV in Poland, Croatia and Switzerland
  • 2022: GuideGunnar's 25-year anniversary!
  • 2023: The final project for GuideGunnar: "The beginning of the ending - 2037: 40 years in the travel business!"

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