Ski Iceland from a Sailboat!
After a phenomenal trip to Iceland’s Westfjords in March 2016, including a week aboard the Aurora Arktika, I have chartered the Arktika for a week next winter and we hope you can join me!
Arktika is the newest member of Captain Siggi’s fleet (Aurora being the other). She’s sturdy, 60ft long, and sleeps twelve. On board you’ll find warm, dry, comfortable accommodations…including a hot shower, TV, and library! All meals are included and you won’t go hungry; fish, soups and stews, sushi, mussels, vegetables, bread, cheese, Icelandic yogurt, coffee, tea, and more. The food is gourmet, healthy, and fresh.
As for the skiing — well, it’s endless! From Isafjordur we’ll sail to the remote Hornstrandir Nature Preserve and spend our days skiing deep in Iceland’s fjords, just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. And while we probably won’t see another skier out there, we will likely see northern lights, Arctic Fox, seals, whales, and Eider ducks.
This trip is suitable for a wide variety of skiers and abilities but is recommended for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers. Depending on weather and conditions, days might include as much as 4000′ of vertical and 6-10 miles of touring. AT or telemark skis are preferable but experienced splitboarders are welcome, too.
This trip is especially practical for east coasters. There are many cheap flights from Montreal, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. direct to Reykjavik on WOW Air and Icelandair. Being a popular eco-tourism destination, Iceland is well set up for travel. You’ll find friendly, helpful people, easy transportation, great food, a wide variety of lodging options, and you’ll have no trouble getting around if you don’t speak Icelandic (Icelander’s also speak flawless English).
As with all mountain expeditions, flexibility and a willingness to take things as they come will make for a more relaxed and enjoyable trip. After all, Iceland is an Arctic country in the North Atlantic with notorious winds and storms. But if you live in the Adirondacks or the Northeast, this won’t be new to you!
A sample itinerary is as below:
Depart from Ísafjörður at 14:00, with 2-4 hours of sailing to Hesteyri in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. We will relax at anchor and maybe explore on the Zodiac and take a look at the old whaling station that once was the driving force in this now abandoned settlement. Since it will still bright in the evening during the latter part of the season, we will then have an option to do a short ski run.
We’ll begin the day with safety briefing, avalanche search exercise, and an explanation of what to do in case of emergency. We will then ski from Hesteyrarfjörður to Veiðileysufjörður. The climb up Hesteyrarfjörður is easy and the ski slopes on the other side offer many possibilities. We may end the day by skiing the steepest slope of the trip, 45°-50° in steepness (of course this is optional—you can head down to the boat if you prefer!). Dinner will be at anchor in Veiðileysufjörður.
Today we will ski to Lónafjörður (Lagoon fjord). We begin the day by climbing up to one of the cols to take a look at the bays on the north side. We then ski down to the first valley in Lónafjörður and climb at least two more mountains before meeting Aurora again in the afternoon.
Here, we normally spend an extra day at the beautiful Rangali anchorage. Here are endless opportunities for skiing. From steep couloirs to rolling hills. One route will take us to the Snókur mountain with a good view of the coastal mountains on the east side of Hornstrandir. Often there is an opportunity to pick mussels for an après ski snack!
Today we skin up from the Sópandi inlet and over to Hrafnfjörður (Raven Fjord). The mountain cirque at the head of the fjord is very beautiful and the anchorage is a perfect spot to spend the night.
We will have a morning ski session before sailing back to Ísafjörður, with arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon. You can catch the last flight from Ísafjörður that night, though we suggest staying at least one night in Ísafjörður to relax and get to know this old and beautiful town.
TRIP DATE: 13-18 March, 2017
PRICE: USD 2,650*
*The trip is full at the moment, but please enquire if you’d like to be on the Waiting List!
Price per person
|Group of 2||2650USD|
|Group of 3||2650USD|
|Group of 4||2650USD|
- Guiding fee
- Transport during the trip
- Luggage transfer during the trip
- Mountain guide's expenses
Lodging in Isafjordur before and after the sailing trip, otherwise 5 nights aboard the boat Arktika.
Daily skiing itinerary can be customised to the requirements and levels of the guests on board.