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Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Iceland
What makes this trip special
The Iceland Ski Adventure uses a 60 foot sail boat to explore one of the most beautiful places in Iceland – Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Each morning we’ll embark on a new exciting ski tour. The terrain features everything from long wide open cruiser runs to steep committing couloirs. You’re certified guide will begin each day outlining the day’s tour. The area provides excellent opportunities to complete short ski traverses. These traverses start the day in one fiord and finish in another, taking in the spectacular scenery. At the end of each day we’ll ski all the way down to the ocean and our waiting mother-ship.
- A real ski touring adventure in a very remote part of Iceland
- 6 days on board an expedition sailboat, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery
- Fantastic ski traverses with the ability to start the day in one fiord and finish in another
- Lots of different terrain choices to suit all levels of ability
- Kayaks and SUP’s available for use
We start this expedition in the small hamlet of Ísafjörður. Located in the far North West corner of Iceland.
Ísafjörður is the gateway to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve the most isolated, unspoiled and spectacular area in Iceland. We will spend 6 days in Hornstrandir travelling and skiing from one fiord to the next. At the end of each day we’ll return to the warmth and comfort of a well equipped sailboat for a cold drink and warm meal. At the end of the expedition we’ll return to Ísafjörður.
We begin with a 12:00pm meeting in Ísafjörður. While on dry land we go over final preparations and take the opportunity to go through the safety briefings and become familiar with our new floating home.
By 2:00pm we cast off and head out into the fiords of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve . The next six days sees us exploring the magic of this area. The weather determines everything in this remote area but we hope to explore and ski in six different fiords.
The Iceland Ski Expedition takes place in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, located in the North West corner of Iceland. This is one the most remote and beautiful regions in Iceland. The area has no road access with the only way to get there is by boat. It is very unusual to see other people in the area which allows us to have the slopes to ourselves. The scenery is dramatic and spectacular, featuring rugged sheer cliffs, massive and impressive bowls which allow views north to the Arctic ocean.
Iceland is a land of very mixed weather. Usually the spring and summer brings higher pressure and settled weather but can be everything from dead calm and sunny days to a blizzard.
- Six nights on the yacht
- All meals from dinner on day 1 to lunch on Day 7
- Expedition kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, skirts and safety equipment
- Dedicated ski guide
- Experienced Skipper
- Sailing instruction
What's Not Included
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in Ísafjörður
- Alcoholic beverages
- Breakfast and lunch on Day 1
- Travel Insurance
- Ski equipment
Ísafjörður : We start our journey by meeting at Ísafjörður harbour at 12:00pm. We’ll move your gear onboard and have a safety briefing. We’ll aim to depart Isafjordur harbor at 2:00pm and sail to Honrstrandir Nature Reserve. A journey of about one to two hours. We’ll anchor at Hesteyri and if there’s time go for a short evening ski.
We’ll begin the day with a 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). 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 Arktika 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 4:00pm 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.
B-L. Accommodation and dinner are not provided.
Arktika is the perfect expedition boat for explore the wilds of the Arctic.
She’s a Dutch built, steel hulled ketch that is fully equipped and certified to sail anywhere in the world.
Arktika is also a very comfortable home, able to house up to 12 guests (we limit it to 8). She’s an excellent mothership and provides the perfect level of comfort in which to explore some of the world’s most remote areas.
- Length – 18.2m or 60ft
- Breadth – 6m or 20ft
- Draught – 2.5m
- Number of Guest Cabins – 4
- Number of Guest Bathrooms – 2
There are four guest cabins all located on the lower deck. There are two 2-man cabins with single beds and two 4-man cabins with single beds. All cabins have central heating and are well ventilated. There is plenty of space to store gear as well as a couple 220 volt charging stations to keep your electronics topped up.
The Living Spaces
Arktika features a large saloon with plenty of space for meals or for quiet relaxing time. The saloon contains a detailed library with lots of information about Greenland, Iceland and Arctic exploration.
There is also a heated pilot house which contains a lounge and table. The pilothouse allows guests to comfortably sit inside and get a fabulous view of the spectacular scenery as Arktika cruises by.
For those happy to challenge the cold there is also plenty of open deck space to sit outside.
Arktika features two heated bathrooms with a toilet and sink in each. There is also a large separate shower room, with hot water servicing all.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of weather can we expect?
Is there communication onboard the boat?
Can I charge my electronics onboard the boat?
What is the food like onboard?
Do I need to be an expert Skier?
Is the ski gear and avalanche gear provided?
What is the skiing like in Iceland?
Is there a high avalanche risk?
Do I need a Visa to enter Iceland?
What language do they speak in Iceland?
Dr Guido Wagner – Germany, 2017
It was a fantastic trip and the whole group loved it.
The corn snow was great and the really steep terrain perfect.
The boat was awesome, the food excellent and the guiding amazing.
Once you’ve filled out our online application form we will contact you within 24 hours. Our follow up email will include the detailed trip notes.
We’ll also send you a medical for. This helps us make any necessary preparations, it does not exclude you from the trip. To secure the booking we require a 500 Euro deposit for each person. If you’d prefer to contact us directly we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +12502662515
We’d be happy to discuss different trip options and help you find the perfect expedition holiday.
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