Iceland Ski Touring

Fitness level
Tech level
Number of guiding days
6
Guiding ratio
1:6

Our Iceland Ski Touring week explores the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland, which is fast gaining a reputation as a world class ski touring destination. The geology of Northern Iceland creates perfect ski terrain – with long, open and uniform slopes, covered in a well stabilized snowpack at this time of year.

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£1950

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I had a great time and enjoyed the trip! Al did very well finding good places to take us touring – visiting the geothermal centre on the Wednesday was very good too.
Otherwise all fine, I liked Olafsfjördur and the Brimnes Hotel, all well organised. Al is a very good and caring guide and it was nice to meet him.
Christine Menzies

Graham was a fantastic guide – he has a great personality and is obviously very knowledgeable.  We would very much like to ski with him again which is probably the best recommendation we can give!  The accommodation was good and the evening meals excellent; the staff at the Siglunes were very accommodating.  The group bonded well, which made the holiday very easy and relaxed.

Ewen Cameron

Trip overview

Our Iceland Ski Touring week explores the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland, which is fast gaining a reputation as a world class ski touring destination. The geology of Northern Iceland creates perfect ski terrain – with long, open and uniform slopes, covered in a well stabilized snowpack at this time of year.

Download factsheet (PDF)

This is a hotel based day touring week, offering summit to sea skiing amidst unique volcanic scenery. Our accommodation for the week is at a good local hotel, with all meals included.

Skiing in Iceland

The Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland lies very close to the Arctic Circle. Due to the geology of the region, the mountain sides are long and open and set at a perfect angle for skiing! For this reason (and the fact that the area receives so much snow) the Troll Peninsula is becoming recognised as a world class ski touring destination.

Our accommodation during the trip is at a local guesthouse in the village of Siglufjörður. This is a picturesque spot between the mountains and the sea, surrounded by lovely touring peaks in all directions. There are numerous excellent inland ski peaks on the peninsula too, as well as coastal summits offering descents right to the sea. The highest peaks in the region rise to over 1400m and boast small glaciers – due to the excellent spring snow pack at this time of year, it’s possible to gain height very efficiently and do a large amount of skiing each day.

Trip reports >> Video – Iceland ski touring 2017

Suitability

This is an intermediate level trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 3+ and Tech Level 3+ (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines below). You need previous ski touring experience to join this tour, which has long climbs involving kick turns on spring snow slopes – ie you need to be proficient at kick turns – plus the odd short boot track to reach summits. The trip includes 5-7 hour days and typically we’ll be doing ~1000m+ of ascent a day – so you can expect to be skinning for 3-5 hours a day. Type of ascent: we use 100% skinning on this tour – approx 6000m of skinning up, 6000m of skiing down, all at sea level.


Guiding ratio

One IFMGA guide skiing with 6 clients.


Included in price

  • 6 days of guiding
  • All guides expenses
  • 5 nights accommodation on the Troll Peninsula, including breakfast and evening meal.
  • 2 nights accommodation in Reykjavik, including breakfast.
  • Travel during the trip in shared hire vehicle

Excluded from price (see factsheet for extra costs info)

  • Evening meals in Reykjavik
  • Drinks and hill snacks
  • Buses and Taxis in Iceland
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Equipment hire

Accommodation

Our accommodation on the Troll Peninsula is at a unique ‘antique boutique’ themed guesthouse in the village of Siglufjörður – everyone loves the decor here and the food is great!  The itself village is surrounded by stunning mountains and has good ski tours in all directions.  In Reykjavik we stay a convenient city centre hotel, eating out in local restaurants. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements. Hotel details can be found on our Accommodation page.

Siglufjörður:

Reykjavik:


ABTOT Protected

This trip is protected by ABTOT – Alpine Guides Ltd, Membership Number 5394.  For further information, please visit our Financial Protection page.

Detailed Itinerary

Sunday

Fly from Uk to Keflavik International airport in Iceland. Flight bus into town and evening briefing at our hotel, before heading out for a meal.

Evening Briefing – your guide will run through kit checks and safety routines, before going on to discuss the current weather and mountain conditions and how these affect our plans.

We’ll have maps and guidebooks of the area to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up.


Monday

AM Early morning flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri in Northern Iceland. Pick up hire vehicle and drive to the Troll Peninsula.

After an early breakfast and taxi to Reykjavik city airport, our 40 minute internal flight arrives in Akureyri at 8am in the morning, so we have time for a full days skiing on Monday.  Depending on weather and conditions, we’ll either do a ski tour en route to Siglufjörður, or drive there first and drop our kit off before heading out.


Tuesday-Friday

Ski touring on the Troll Peninsula. A wide variety of day tours are on offer, with both summit to sea descents, as well as higher inland peaks.

There are several excellent tours right above the village, as well as numerous outings in neighbouring fjords and valleys, which are easily accessed by road.

At this time of year, the days are long and the snowpack is very well stabilized – so it’s often possible to skin and ski two good peaks and accompanying descents each day, before relaxing in a hot tub before dinner.

Outings are selected to cater for group interest, ski ability and the current snow and weather conditions.


Saturday

AM Final ski tour on the Troll Peninsula, before driving back to Akureyri and catching the evening flight back to Reykjavik. PM Night out in Reykjavik!


Sunday

Bus to Airport, flights home.

Location and Travel

Arrival/Departure

Your meeting point for this trip is our hotel in Reykjavik  on Sunday 19th April 2020 (or UK airport(s) depending on peoples’ flights). If you plan to fly to Keflavik via another route than from the UK, then please let us know.

The closest airport to the Troll Peninsula is Akureyri in Northern Iceland, requiring a short internal flight. On the way out and back we spend a night in the capital Reykjavik, then fly from the domestic City Airport in Reykjavik to and from Akureyri.

Use Skyscanner comparison site for your best international flight options. For internal flights go directly to the Air Iceland (not to be confused with Iceland Air!) website.


Outward Travel

  • Fly to Reykjavik, Keflavik International airport (KEF). Sunday 19th April 2020.There are lots of options with Easyjet, Wow and Icelandair, flying from London, Manchester and Glasgow. Keflavik International is also well served by other European and long haul flights.
  • Take Flybus into town, which will drop you off at hotel.  Stop in Reykjavik on Sunday night – hotel BnB.
  • Morning taxi to Reykjavik City Airport.
  • Fly Reykjvik City Airport to Akureyri. Mon 20th April 2020. Dep Keflavik 07.10 – Arr Akureyri 07.55 – NY-112. Air Iceland
  • Collect minibus and onwards transfer to our hotel.

Return Travel

  • Fly Akureyri to Reykjavik City airport. Sat 25th April 2020. Dep Akureyri 19.05 – Arr Reykjavik 19.50 – NY-159. Air Iceland
  • Stop in Reykjavik on Saturday night – hotel BnB.
  • Fly Keflavik International airport – home. Sunday 26th April 2020.  Same flight options as the outward leg, into Manchester, London and Glasgow with Easyjet, Wow and Icelandair.
  • Taxi/bus transfer for journeys between airport – hotel – airport.

You will need to book 1x Hold Bag and 1x Ski Equipment on all flights.

Further information and travel links can be found on our Travel Planning page.


Fitness and Experience

To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 3, and Ski Tech Level 3:

Fitness Level 3
You do 3-4 hours cv training/sport per week. At this level you are happy doing a 5-6 hr hillwalk, 50ml cycle or 3-4hr mountain bike ride without being totally exhausted. If you are into challenges – then the thought of doing a road sportive, or training to do a 1/2 (or maybe even a full) marathon, wouldn’t seem too ridiculous. On foot: you should be able to do the full Langdale Horseshoe: Langdale – Pike of Stickle – Angle Tarn – Bow Fell – Crinkle Crags – Pike of Blisco – Langdale in a day without finishing up exhausted. On skis: you can skin uphill at 300m/hr for 3-4 hrs a day (ie 8-1200m of ascent each day).


Tech Level 3
Confirmed Off Piste Skier. You can put down a reasonable set of tracks in powder, but difficult snow types – eg heavy wet snow, crusts, poor visibility or 40dg slopes – can all cause problems (though you can cope with them safely, if not elegantly!) *Equivalent to Ski Club of GB Off Piste Level: Purple – Advanced*
Likely to say: ‘I’d like to handle difficult snow/steep slopes more confidently in better style’
Our Advice: Off piste coaching still useful. Intermediate off piste weeks are at your level too. If you want to get into ski touring, try a touring course or intro level ski tour. If you’re an established ski mountaineer, then intermediate level tours are generally suitable.

To view all of our Ski Fitness Levels and Off Piste Technical Levels, please visit our Ski Ability page.

If you need to top up your fitness for this trip, please see our Ski Touring Training Advice page.

Equipment

Day Touring/BC Ski Course Equipment List

Just remember, every extra kilo on your back knocks 10% off your enjoyment on the descents – so try and keep the weight down!

Technical Clothing

  • Waterproof Jacket – preferably lightweight and breathable
  • Overtrousers/ski pants – preferably with side zips
  • Fleece mid layer or equivalent
  • Spare fleece or lightweight insulated duvet jacket
  • Socks – specialist ski socks or a warm loop lined pair of mountain socks
  • Wicking thermal top – not cotton please…
  • Thermal leggings or ski pants
  • Thin inner gloves
  • Warm ski gloves or mittens, if you suffer from cold hands
  • Warm hat

Personal Items

  • Water container – at least 1 litre
  • Personal medications and blister kit – regular meds, zinc oxide tape, compeed and painkillers etc
  • Ski goggles
  • Sun glasses – CE rated 3 or 4 with side protection
  • Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
  • Wallet, passport and insurance docs

Technical Equipment

  • Rucsac 25/35l – try and avoid ones covered in too many features, just ski and ice axe attachments required
  • Freeride boots or ski mountaineering boots – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred boots
  • Skis with touring bindings – check detailed factsheet kit list for preferred skis and bindings
  • Velcro ski strap – to keep skis together on your rucksack if we need to carry them
  • Ski poles – with good size 5cm+ baskets (telescopic poles are not needed)
  • Climbing skins – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Harscheisen (ski crampons) – they come with the skis if you hire your kit
  • Metal snow shovel – must be a full metal shovel (plastic blades don’t work in real avalanche debris!)
  • Avalanche probe
  • Avalanche transceiver – must be a modern digital model (older analogue models are now obsolete)
  • Harness, with 120cm sling and locking karabiner
  • Crampons – bring them if you have them
  • Ice Axe – bring if you have one

Your guide will have all other safety kit, first aid and survival equipment.


Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website, where we publish an annual review of the years best new skis, boots and touring equipment, plus a range of other interesting tips and recommendations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!

Purchasing Equipment
Backcountry UK in Ilkley offer an excellent ski boot fitting service, one of the best ranges of ski mountaineering equipment in the UK and top notch advice.

Hiring Equipment
Please visit our Equipment Hire page for recommended hire shops in your resort, and Alpine Guides hire equipment price list.


Insurance

For this trip you must have specialist travel insurance providing medical, emergency search/rescue and repatriation cover for the following activities: off piste skiing and ski touring in glaciated areas requiring the use of ropes, up to 5000m altitude. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.

Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.


Insurance for UK residents

British Mountaineering Council. The gold standard in insurance for UK residents. Very competitive single trip or annual cover for all climbing activities. Use this link to book your BMC insurance.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This gives you reciprocal health care in European countries. You can apply for an EHIC card online here or from most Post Offices. You need an EHIC in addition to your travel insurance.


European residents (non-UK)
Austrian Alpine Club. Available to all European residents. AAC insurance is cheap and works ok for minor accidents and rescues, but is not as comprehensive as many other insurance providers. The medical cover included would not be enough for complex treatment or a prolonged stay in hospital. It also doesn’t include cancellation cover. If you choose to use AAC we recommend you take out extra medical cover with another provider, to ‘top up’ the AAC medical limit, as well as a separate cancellation policy.


USA residents

Travelex. For US citizens – a range of policies with comprehensive cover.


For any nationality

Global Rescue. Cover offered to all nationalities via a combination of GR membership and their separate insurance policy.


If you choose an alternative provider, or if there is any doubt about the scope of your chosen policy we recommend that you send your insurer the link to the relevant Alpine Guides trip webpage, and ask them if cover extends to those activities and has the required components (search/rescue, medical, repatriation and cancellation). It’s worth mentioning that rescue and medical expenses in Switzerland can be significantly more expensive than in other countries, so a decent level of cover is required for Swiss tours.

We recommend that you send us your insurance details before the trip commences, and they must be brought to the course briefing at the start of your trip. However, we cannot check the detail of every individual policy, and it is your own responsibility to ensure you are adequately insured.

FAQ's

What happens to my deposit if I book a trip, but it isn’t confirmed to run due to insufficient bookings?

You may transfer your booking to different dates, a different course, or choose a full refund.

See our terms and conditions


What happens if the weather or snow conditions are poor, or the avalanche risk is high?

We will make every effort to stick to the itinerary, but sometimes its necessary to change plans and ski in a neighbouring area or even further afield. Many of our itineraries are designed with flexibility in mind, and it’s usually possible to ski in most conditions with some careful alternative planning.

Keeping the ball rolling - Val Claree


Does Alpine Guides ski with customers from overseas, including the USA and Canada?

Yes!

See our tips for overseas customers


Who goes on our trips?

We climb and ski with a broad range of ages and experience levels, and a large number of our customers come back year after year. We’ve guided 10 year old Ollie up the Old Man of Hoy in Scotland – now the youngest person to climb it. And 70 year old David has climbed the Matterhorn with us, as well as out-skiing people half his age!

The Matterhorn at 70 yrs young


How do I book a ski trip?

For scheduled ski trips it’s easy to book online, directly from your course page. For hire a guide/bespoke courses please get in touch for a quote.

More booking information


Is there an age limit on any of our ski trips?

Under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is no upper age limit, but please get in touch to discuss suitability if you are concerned about your age, with regard to fitness and pace.

See our fitness and training article


How do I rent ski equipment?

You can rent certain items of specialist equipment from us, and the rest can usually be hired in resort.

Ski equipment rental info


What happens if I need to cancel my course?

If you wish to cancel you must notify us in writing, where upon the following charges will be applied from the date we receive your notice of cancellation:

  • More than 8 weeks (56 days) before start date – loss of deposit.
  • Between 4 and 8 weeks (28-56 days) before start date – 50% of course fee or loss of deposit, whichever amount is greater.
  • Less than 4 weeks (28 days) before start date – full course fee.

See our terms and conditions


Can I book a single room on my ski trip?

Yes – this can be done during the online booking process. Please add the single room option to your order, and we will confirm availability asap.

More hotel information


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£1950