Iceland Ski Tour
Iceland is a world-class destination for ski touring, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. The center of activity is the Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland with vertical descents of up to 1500m or almost 5000ft, thousands of peaks and slopes for all abilities with abundant snow fall make this a paradise for skiers and mountaineers. The season lasts from the end of February until the beginning of June, and with the continual daylight of the Arctic Sun overhead and mild temperatures, snow conditions remain favorable with great corn skiing and the occasional powder dump well into June.
The fact that the Troll Peninsula is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean makes for incredible opportunities of skiing right down to the ocean on stable coastal snowpack but also adds the excitement of Arctic weather and conditions. Ski touring in Iceland is always a wild adventure no matter the weather and no matter the time of season.
Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability
- Transportation between Akureyri and the lodge
- Transportation in 4×4 vehicles for the duration of the trip
- All food from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 7 (Breakfast buffet, packed lunch, apré ski snacks and three course dinners prepared by our Lodge Chef)
- Accommodation in double rooms with shared bathrooms for 6 nights
- Entry fees to geothermal baths
- The services of a certified ski guide for the duration of the trip (Beware of local companies using uncertified ski guides)
- Use of emergency equipment and communications
What's not included
- Transportation between Reykjavik and Akureyri before and after trip
- Equipment rental
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal accident insurance
- Helicopter drops for touring
Who is this for?
Ski touring in Iceland is a great first ski expedition. You will love this trip if you have done some ski touring before, enjoy off piste skiing (but you don’t need to be a jedi- there is terrain here to suit everyone) and like a bit of comfort and luxury afterwards. Its a great combination of remote physical ski touring, earning your turns, in amazing terrain without the hardships of expedition living. And it’s all close to the sea which adds a completely unique experience!
Accommodation and huts
Our lodge has been opening its doors to groups and individual skiers since March 2015. The lodge was built in 1920s and has since been beautifully renovated along with the old cow-shed which has now become the main ski storage room.
The main house comfortably sleeps 14 in 7 double or twins that have access to three bathrooms and showers along with a comfortable lounge and dinning room. This makes the Karlsa lodge the perfect location to base your ski touring week from. We have an outdoor hot tub and sauna to relax in after a hard days skiing. This lodge is without any doubt the pinnacle of ski touring lodging options in the North of Iceland.
The lodge is located just 50 minutes from Akureyri airport, 2 minutes away from Dalvik, 10 minutes from Olasfsjordur and strategically located in the middle of the best ski touring terrain on the Troll Peninsula.
Pick up in Akureyri the capital of northern Iceland in the late afternoon followed by a 50 minute transfer to our Lodge for a meet and greet. Welcome dinner is served and we go over the week’s agenda and settle in to our cosy lodge.
Our first day of skiing. The morning is spent on detailed avalanche transceiver and avalanche rescue training, followed by our first peak of many. Our average daily vertical ranges from 1000-2000 meters depending on the group. For those that want more we can go until your legs say stop, for here the night is no excuse as the midnight sun barely touches the ocean before it rises again.
Skiing the peaks above the small fishing village of Dalvik allows us the rare pleasure of sitting in the local geothermal baths and admiring our perfect tracks on the surrounding peaks. Dalvik is the home of some of Iceland’s most accomplished skiers and it is no wonder considering the terrain they grew up in.
Gljúfurárjökull glacier is one of the areas many alpine valley bottom glaciers and one of the best wide open ski slopes to be found on the Troll Peninsula. Situated at the center of the region we will enjoy great views of a large portion of the peninsula. Here you get the real sensation of being in the middle of the arctic with glaciers and snow covered peaks surrounding you wherever you look.
Day 5 – 6
Skiing the “Secret cirques” Our guides are the only ones that know the Troll Peninsula by heart and they will take you to places that have never seen skiers before. Set your tracks down a slope that no one has ever skied. Every week our guides take the opportunity to visit new places giving you a real sense of exploration and achievement.
This is our last ski day, and of course we have saved the best for last. After another great day we say our good byes and head home with the memory of a unique ski touring holiday and already have our plans for future adventures falling into place.
To maximise your chance of success and enjoyment during this trip it is important to get as fit as you possibly can. So we have partnered with Uphill Athlete, specialists in strength and conditioning for peak mountain performance.
Mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for many hours (typically 5 to 12 hours) and your training should reflect this. Balance is important too as you will spend many hours walking in crampons. For this a good chore strength is important.
Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.
We highly recommend this 8 Week Ski Touring Training Plan to get you in shape for the trip.
If necessary it is possible to rent most hardware items on arrival including a full ski touring set up.
1. Skis with ski touring bindings. Your skis should be a minimum of 90mm underfoot and should be off-piste specific.
2. Ski poles
3. Skins and ski crampons
4. Ski boots and boot crampons – these must fit and be comfortable as we will spend time ascending throughout the week.
5. Ski Helmet
6. Rucksack – 30-40l. with ski straps
7. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner(can be rented in Chamonix)
8. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
9. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
10. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
11. Insulating layers.
12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
14. Water bottle (minimum 1l)
Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent most of the above on arrival.
To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +33 (0)845 527 58 12.
We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 6 weeks before the course start date.
We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.
Make sure that it covers glaciated mountaineering and climbing/skiing in Iceland. We recommend the Dogtag (www.dogtag.co.uk) – they have comprehensive policies and a good reputation.
Getting to Akureyri
It is reasonably easy to get to Akureyri Airport with Air Iceland where your transfer will pick you up.
This normally involves one stop from London.
How big will the group be?
Our ski courses will be no more than 6 people per guide. If the group is larger than 6, there will be a second guide and we will have the ability to split the group if necessary.
Is it possible to book individually rather than a group?
Yes. We run our courses with a minimum of 4 people. You can either book individually into a group or you can book as a group and fill the spaces yourself.
What equipment will I need?
Please read the kit list above.
When is the best time?
Good conditions in Iceland are generally from January until late May. In January and February we tend to have more frequent snow falls and from March to May we’re spoilt with excellent spring skiing conditions.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need to take out a comprehensive backcountry skiing package to cover yourself for your trip.
What’s the weather like?
The weather in Iceland is always changeable, but generally we are confident to say that January and February will be snow-filled and cold with temperatures hitting -20 on occasion. Fast forward to March till May and the weather is generally sunnier and we experience warmer temperatures around the 0 and above mark.
How do you match up people on the course?
It is very important for you to let us know your previous experience and ski ability level before booking with us. Then we are able to match you up to suitable groups with similar abilities to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
What will we do if the weather is bad?
Should the weather not play ball for a day, we’ll aim to drive somewhere where the weather is clearer. The days are long in Iceland, and skiing up until midnight is possible from March onwards. This allows us great flexibility and we may head to a thermal natural hot spring if the weather is bad in the morning. Then ski in the evening if it clears up, or the other way round. Either way we have great flexibility to fill our time with outdoor adventurers whatever the weather.
Why choose Adventure Base?
What makes this trip so special?
The possibility of skiing a peak at midnight basking in the rays of the Midnight sun in the late season
Northern lights in the early season
Skiing all the way down to the ocean, watching your altimeter drop to 0 as you take your last turn on to a black volcanic sand beach
The cultural experience; meet the people who live in this remote region bordering the arctic circle
Staying at the finest ski touring base in Iceland situated at exactly at 66 degrees North
Experience the exquisite local cuisine specializing in organic fish and lamb prepared by our in house chef
Ski with Iceland’s only certified mountain guides in their home region, guides that not only will keep you safe but also who know all the secret spots that only the local experts would know
Bathing in Geothermal pools at the end of each day or relaxing in the Lodge hot tub or Sauna overlooking the Arctic Ocean
The option of doing a heli drop on one or more of the days to access virgin slopes and areas where no other touring groups are able to go and get some extra vertical in
Extensive choice of great activities for bad weather days including cultural visits, whale watching, sea angling, hot springs, lava fields, geothermal areas, fat biking, Brewery tours, Beer Spa, horseback riding and much more.
3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.
1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients in the backcountry for over 8 years with a very high safety rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in assessing the current snow conditions, and educating our clients on mountain safety.
2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Skiing in the backcountry can be a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, knowledge, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.
3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.