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Iceland backcountry skiing and sail expedition

  • Trip Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Trip Notes
  • Dates
  • Enquiry Form

Iceland Backcountry Skiing and Sail

A 6 day Iceland backcountry skiing and sail expedition to the stunning Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the West Fjords of Iceland- only a few miles from the Arctic Circle. With a fantastic variety of mountains and ridges to ski, stunning scenery and a comfortable sailboat to act as your ‘movable base’ taking you to remote spots otherwise out of reach, this sell out trip is sure to be a highlight of your year… and possibly your best ski trip ever.

The West Fjords region is one Iceland’s most remote and exciting areas. The mountains, sheltered fjords and bays offer endless pursuits for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is packed with unspoilt landscapes and a rich history.  There are no roads in the nature reserve— and the only way to explore is by boat. Unsurprisingly then, you can expect to stay there for days without meeting a single soul. Doing so, you will have a chance to discover the absolute essence of remote Iceland.

Marine and aviary life abound in the deep and dramatic fjords and the unexplored landscapes make for an adventure playground for a curious and adventurous explorer.

Sailboat Ski Iceland There are roughly 6-8 hours of skiing available each day and all backcountry skiing abilities are catered for. If you wish to have a shorter ski day you can simply ski down to the yacht which will serve as our base for the week.  This is the most unique way to spend the week – on the slopes by day and the water by night. If you like, the yacht even comes equipped with some kayaks in order to give you a different perspective on this incredibly moving landscape.

Each day will be spent exploring new slopes and each night you will anchor in a different location and the evenings will be spent refueling on outstanding gourmet food that will have you daydreaming on the slopes each day. At night, you will relax in comfortable bunks as the gentle waves rock you to sleep.

The expedition yacht that you will be sailing is a former race yacht and serves as the perfect movable base for you to spend these six days skiing between the remote fjords and the unexplored mountains – many of which have never been skied before. Your crew is experienced, friendly, professional, and ready to help you have the most fantastic week.

Highlights include:

  • Sailing the remote fjords of NW Iceland
  • Exploring the area by zodiac dingy and on snow shoes
  • Iceland backcountry skiing a variety of slopes up to 45 – 50 degrees
  • Stunning views of the bay and ice fjords every day
  • Picking mussels in Arctic waters to enjoy as prepared by the chef
  • Kayaking around the bay to get a closer view of this beautiful area

Absolutely no sailing experience is required and those of all backcountry ski abilities are welcome.

Join the adventure solo or as part of a group. The yacht has been fitted to accommodate ten guests and two crew – so the groups on this expedition are small and cozy. Fill out the enquiry form today and be sure to get some serious snow under your skis.

ITINERARY

This trip Iceland backcountry skiing and sail expedition has a focus on backcountry skiing between the remote fjords, anchoring in a different harbour each night. Many of the mountains and ridges have never been skied before and the guides are always looking for nice first descents. There is a diversity of slope grades, and we will plan our routes to fit people of all backcountry touring abilities and interests. Most people use AT (randonnée) or Telemark skis, but snowboards, cross-country skis or snowshoes can be used as well. While the group usually spend about 6-8 hours in the mountains each day, for those who prefer shorter days, individuals can simply ski down to the anchored boat when they so choose.

While the season is prime time for skiing, there may also be a few kayaks on the sailboat for those eager or interested in taking a break from skiing and doing some kayaking as well (please enquire about the kayaks).

Day 1

Departure from Isafjordur at 19:00 for 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.

Day 2

Full safety briefing covering avalanche search and what to do in case of emergency.

Ski from Hesteyrarfjordur to Veidileysufjordur, a relatively easy climb that offers many slope options the other side. Option to ski the steepest slope of the trip (45°-50° steep).

Day 3

Ski to Lonafjordur taking in 3 mountains and the views of the bays on the North side

Day 4

Based at the beautiful Rangali anchorage that offers endless options for great skiing from steep couloirs to rolling hills.

Often an opportunity to pick mussels for après ski!

Day 5

Sopandi inlet over to Hrafnfjordur. The mountain at the head of the fjord is very beautiful and the anchorage is a perfect spot to spend the night.

Day 6

Short ski in the morning before sailing back to Isafjordur with arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon.


TRIP NOTES

Who is the trip suitable for?

There are many different slopes and routes to fit people of all backcountry skiing abilities and interests.

Whats included in the cost?

Included in the trip cost:

  • All food onboard and during day activities, except alcohol
  • Accommodation onboard
  • Use of sailing clothing (Gore-Tex jacket and pants), safety harness and life jacket
  • Guiding

Not included in the trip cost:

  • Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary
  • Food the first day until boarding the yacht in Ísafjörður
  • Personal medical insurance
  • Ski equipment and other personal equipment as recommended in equipment list (contact us for full details, ski hire can be organised)

There are a few airlines with scheduled flights into Iceland and you can  get a great flight quote via our site by completing the short form.

From the domestic airport in Reykjavík, there are 2-3 daily 40-minute flights to Ísafjörður. You can take the Fly-Bus (www.flybus.is ) between the airports and, depending on flight arrivals and departures, it may be possible to continue onwards to Ísafjörður the same day. 

You can also rent a car and drive to Ísafjörður. The drive is 450 km (on paved roads in its entirety), and normally takes approximately six hours – our flight finder link above can also be used to get a quote for car hire and pre/post trip accommodation.

We strongly recommend spending a few extra days visiting the West Fjords near Ísafjörður as well as other parts of Iceland. We are happy to help you plan your trip in more detail.

You will need to arrive in Ísafjörður ahead of the planned sailing time to meet the crew, stow your gear aboard our sailboat and pick up any last minute supplies. Arrival transfers are included from Ísafjörður Airport to the harbour.

Dates & Rates

All start on a Monday – ending six days later on Saturday in Ísafjörður , NW Iceland. There are daily flights from Reykjavik to Isafjorour.

The 2017 season is now fully booked. 

2018

  • 19 March 2018 – 24 March 2018
  • 9 April 2018 – 14 April 2018
  • 23 April 2018 – 28 April 2018
  • 7 May 2018 – 12 May 2018

Cost

The cost is 1,950 EUROS per person.

Enquiry Form

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