The Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland is fast being recognised as a world class destination for ski touring and ski mountaineering. The scenery is simply stunning and the area offers great variety of terrain, from big open slopes to steeper couloirs and everything in-between. Our trip is planned for late season when the sun barely sets and midnight skiing is a must! Combined with the fascinating cultural experience and the restorative daily soak in the local geothermal baths, it all adds up to a wonderful ski adventure! We ran our first trip here in May 2015 and everyone absolutely loved it. For pure ski touring in breaktaking surroundings, this trip to Iceland is very hard to beat.
Fly to Reykjavik followed by connecting flight to Akureyri, the principal town in Northern Iceland. Transfer by road to the hotel in Siglufjordur. Transfer time is about 1 hr. Welcome meeting and briefing. Dinner in the hotel.
The first of our 6 skiing days. We start the first morning with avalanche transceiver/rescue training. The itinerary for the rest of the day, and indeed the following 5 days is open for us to enjoy. A typical day will involve 1000m+ of ascent/descent depending on the group. For those wanting more, we carry on…with the sun barely setting here, there’s plenty of ski time!
Day 2 - A typical first day tour is to Saudanes-Hnjukar just outside Dalvick, we skin from the road outside Karlsá Lodge towards the summit and enjoy a long ski back down towards the ocean.
Day 3 - A 30 min drive to Olafsfjörður a remote fishing village on the edge of Eyjafjörður gives access to some great touring towards the peak of Kerahnjukur at 1097m. Skinning up the valley towards the summit we can do a circular trip that provides some steeper skiing from the top and a long ski back towards the valley. There is a small cat skiing operation in this area and there is sometimes an option to book the cat for an assisted uplift in the late afternoon. If time allows a visit to the fantastic "Herring Era Museum" in Siglufjordur on the way back to the hotel is a must.
Day 4 - We drive from the hotel past Dulvik deep into the Svarfaðardalsvegur Valley, about a 50 minute journey, parking at the end of the road we tour off into the mountains. This a remote farming valley surrounded by beautiful mountains and ideal terrain for ski touring. There are numerous routes we can do in this area.
Day 5 - A longer drive today back past Akureyri to the village of Grenivik on the "Gold Coast", truly worth the journey this remote and untouched area offers miles of terrain. A typical day would consist of a tour to Kaldbakur an out and return from where we park. The ascent is steady but reasonably long, around 1100m, the descent is spectacular as you wind your way back towards the ocean with views across the Fjord to Dalvik.
Day 6 - A short drive today and we ski and tour a route on the mountain of Langihryggur above Dalvik, we follow the North-East ridge towards the summit before having various options of dropping of to the north side to cross the valley and ski tour back up; or skiing South-West down the slopes toward the valley.
Day 7 - The last day, if the weather is right, is a good opportunity to take the helicopter for a lift assist ride to the top of the mountain and a heli-tour day. To do this we would typically go from Bergmenn's lodge Klængshóll Lodge, located deep in the Skíðadalur Valley and fly into one of the valleys such as Holardlsfjall. Usually we do a long descent before putting skins on to climb to make a second descent in the same valley system. Its possible to return to the lodge by ski for coffee and tea.
Normally we return to the hotel in Siglufjordur, change, pack and drive to Akureyri airport for the late flight back to Reykjavik. Overnight in a hotel in the center of Reykjavik.
A morning at leisure in Reykjavik before returning to the airport for flight home.
The price includes all local transport in private 4x4s including pick-up at Akureyri airport, all accommodation with 6 nights in the Hotel Siglo and 1 night in Reykjavik, daily breakfasts and packed lunches, 6 days guide fees and expenses for IFMGA Mountain Guide
The price does not include international flights to/from Reykjavik (KEF) or the domestic flights to/from Akureyri, evening meals, drinks, equipment hire, insurance and gratuities.
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This is an extensive list of the equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Day Ski Touring trips
During the trip you will be staying most nights in comfortable chalet or hotel accommodation on a half board or B&B basis. You will just need to carry a day pack with your avalanche safety equipment and a few personal items.
On some of our trips you will stay 1 night out in a mountain hut. Huts in the Alps are comfortable but very basic with limited facilities – running cold water, European-style toilets and dormitory-style accommodation. All the huts provide ‘hut slippers’ – these days they are usually Crocs - and so you will not need to carry additional footwear. You will need to have a sleeping bag liner for any hut nights; huts provide a duvet or blankets plus a pillow for sleeping so its not necessary to carry a sleeping bag.
For all touring trips it is essential you ski with an all-mountain/freeride type skis, ski touring boots and ski touring bindings. If you have your own skis but they do not have ski touring bindings then you will need to rent skis. The same applies if you have downhill ski boots, you will need to rent ski touring boots.
For alpine ski touring we recommend an all-mountain/freeride touring ski that isn’t too heavy, a really lightweight ski comes at a cost to performance on the descents so are only recommended for really good off-piste skiers with a strong interest in ski touring.
There are plenty of great skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from the following manufactures:
Dynastar Skis: www.dynastar.com
Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com
Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com
Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us
Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com
Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com
If you are planning on buying skis for ski touring and general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us to discuss the options available to you.
It is essential that you have ski touring boots for all touring trips as walking up hill is much more comfortable in these types of boots with a walk mode and great flex. A dedicated touring boot or a hybrid freeride boot is best.
Avalanche airbag rucksacks can be used for touring but they are heavy, adding somewhere between 5-8kg just for an empty pack plus canister. So unless you are sure you can carry it and fit all you need in, we do not recommend you use one.
Over a long multiday tour every gram of weight is important as you have to carry and move it yourself. Carrying a heavy pack will hinder and tire all but the most experienced and fit ski tourer.
The “Safety Trilogy” - required on all our ski tours and off-piste courses.
Food and Water
We suggest you bring with you or buy in resort snack food that you can take out on the hill with you each day. Things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favorite hill snacks. When you’re staying overnight in huts its best to take supplies for the days you are away. Huts do sell food but it’s expensive and sometimes stocks run low.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements especially if you are a Coeliac (Gluten free) or have a dairy allergy we strongly recommend you bring some food with you that you can supplement your dinners with. The huts are fairly good at providing for vegetarians but less so for other dietary needs.
You have to buy bottled water in the huts as usually any running water is non-potable. Bottled water is expensive in French and Swiss huts; you can be paying upto 12-16CHF per 1.5L bottle of water. So please ensure you budget for this cost.
Iceland is a Nordic nation, a country defined by its dramatic volcanic landscape of hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches.
The capital city is Reykjavik and home to the majority of the countries population which is around 323,000 people (2013). The country sits far out in the North Atlantic Ocean just outside the Arctic Circle. Warmed by the Gulf Stream it has a temperate climate.
Famed for its glaciers, volcano's and dramatic landscapes the north of the country has some fantastic skiing and ski touring available on the Troll Peninsular.
It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.
For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
All our ski tours are led by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides. The team is led by Olly Allen, Matt Dickinson and Nick Parks.
Our Introductory level is suitable for people who can ski red and black pistes in resorts without problems and you can deal with moguls and some ice. You will be new to off-piste skiing or maybe have dabbled a little on the sides of the piste or even attended a previous off-piste specific course. You would like to ski powder snow with confidence and learn to link turns off-piste in a variety of terrain as well as being able to control your speed and adjust your turn radius.
Introductory level ski touring trips are appropriate for people looking for their first touring experience. The pace is relaxed and typically we skin for 2-4hrs per day so ascents are about 500 - 800m vertical. You need to be a reasonable off-piste skier (at our Off-Piste Development level), able to link controlled parallel turns in powder snow and ski through trees in control. You need to be prepared to hike short sections on foot carrying your skis on your rucksack (though you won’t need any specific mountaineering knowledge, so crampons and an ice axe are usually not required).
Off-Piste Coaching and Adventure
For our Intermediate graded off-piste ski courses and trips you will have at least a couple of weeks off-piste skiing experience and /or received some previous instructions on an off-piste specific course. You can link 10-12 turns together in reasonable control, speed and style, following the fall line in most conditions. If you’re looking to improve your technique in deeper snow and steeper slopes then our Off-Piste Coaching Development trips are for you. These are instructor-led courses.
If you want to get some miles under your skis then look at our Off-Piste Adventure Intermediate trips which are led by our team of Mountain Guides. On the Adventure courses you can expect to hike or ski tour short distances to get to better snow and terrain, although no previous ski touring experience is required.
These tours will involve around 3-5hrs of skinning per day, achieving around 800 – 1000m of vertical ascent. We would expect you to be able skin to a pace of 300m of vertical ascent per hour. You need to be able to execute good uphill kick turns on steeper slopes and have some familiarity with use of crampons and ice axe. You need to be a reasonably strong off-piste skier able to deal with a variety of snow conditions (powder, crust, slush) and able to ski on steeper and narrower slopes with the requisite ability and confidence for exposed sections.
For our Advanced Off-Piste Coaching courses you should be an excellent piste skier and have many years experience of skiing off-piste. You should be able to ski off-piste in most conditions linking controlled parallel turns, ski bumpy terrain, trees, narrow gullies and enjoy pushing yourself to achieve new things. Your skiing should be reasonably fluid and autonomous i.e. you can already adapt your turn radius and speed to the terrain and snow conditions off-piste. This course will focus on the technical and tactical skills to ski steep terrain, jump turns and line choice as well as refreshing your avalanche skills and mountain safety. The mission is for your skiing to become more dynamic and reactive!
You are an experienced and confident off-piste skier able to handle most snow types and conditions, you can ski steep slopes (30 degrees+) and make short turns in gullies and ski through trees. These skills have been learned over a number of years of skiing off-piste with mountain guides or experienced groups of friends. You are happy to ski tour to access descents and better snow, so you will have previously used ski touring equipment and can do effective and safe uphill kick turns. You aspire to ski the best snow available and are happy to push yourself to reach the best snow and terrain.
Advanced-level tours are for experienced ski tourers who’ve previously completed another hut-to-hut trip or multiple day tours. A large proportion of the terrain may be steep and exposed; thus confidence in your uphill kick turns on 35+ degree slopes is a must, as is your ability to ski slopes of 40 degrees. You will be a strong, fluid off-piste skier able to handle all conditions. You will be confident of using crampons and an ice axe and happy scrambling/climbing on snow and rock on short climbs to summits, and in gullies to gain a col.
You can ski fluidly and autonomously on all terrain. You often ski couloirs and gullies and seek out steep slopes and you can jump turn in narrow couloirs and have experience of abseiling and sideslipping on steep terrain. You can ski fast with fluid ‘freeride’ style turns and can jump off small rocks and ski trees with no fear or problems. You are happy to ski tour and hike to reach the best snow and terrain and you should have some basic knowledge of using crampons and ice axe. Your aims are to push your skills and challenge yourself further.
Expert level ski tours are pure ski mountaineering journeys in the high mountains. You must be confident skiing steep exposed terrain and ski touring for at least 5 hours per day with long ascents. You will be expected to climb on your feet carrying your skis on your pack to summit mountains above 4000m in altitude. You must be completely confident with your crampon placement and use of an ice axe and you will have some basic rope skills and be happy walking along exposed ridges on mixed terrain to gain the summits of peaks.
You are fit enough to ski all day with only short stops for food and drink. You can ski off-piste all day without being too tired at the end of the day; you can ski in this way for multiple days on your holiday. You can also hike or ski tour for around 2 hours per day. You’re used to doing cardiovascular exercise 3 to 4 times a week (bike, run, gym) to maintain your fitness, and you’re able to push yourself if needed for short periods of time at a higher rate than usual.
You can ski all day comfortably off-piste with only short stops for food and drink, you can do this for multiple days on your holiday. If necessary you can ski tour for around 1-2 hrs up hill plus your happy to do a few short hikes to access good snow with your skis on your shoulder or rucksack. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
You can ski all day comfortably and will be expected to ascend on skis at around 400m/hr and be able to skin for at least 5hrs with up to 1000m to 1300m of ascent per day. Your stamina and endurance fitness is good and you work hard to maintain a good level of fitness. You will be exercising 3-4 times a week and also at the weekend; thus running a half marathon, doing a 50 mile cycle ride, 3-4 hours on a mountain bike or a full day’s hill walk would all prove possible with this stamina level.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.