Sailboat Skiing in Iceland
A true Arctic Experience in the beautiful Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the West Fjords of Iceland - only a few miles from the Arctic Circle. We focus on backcountry skiing between the remote fjords, anchoring in a different spot every night. Many of the mountains and ridges have never been skied before so don't expect to wait in a line-up before cruising down the mountain of your choice! There are many different slopes and we will plan our routes to fit people of all abilities and interests. Most people use AT (randonnée), Telemark skis or snowboards. We usually spend about 6-8 hours in the mountains each day but those who want shorter days, can just ski down to the boat when they choose. This is prime time for skiing but we still carry a few kayaks on the yacht and people are quite welcome to take a break from skiing and do some kayaking as well.
The Expedition yacht AURORA is our movable backcountry hut and awaits us every day with gourmet meals and warm and comfortable bunks.
Please drop us an email for 2021 dates.
- 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
- Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary.
- Food the first day until boarding the yacht in Ísafjörður
- Personal medical insurance
- Personal equipment
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Departure from Isafjordur at 19:00. 2-4 hours sailing to Hesteyri in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Relaxing at anchor and maybe do some exploration on the Zodiac and take a look at the old whaling station that once was the driving force in this now abandoned settlement. Also optional to do a short ski run since it's still bright in the evening.
We'll begin the day with a safety briefing, avalanche search and what to do in case of emergency. Then ski from Hesteyrarfjordur to Veidileysufjordur (e. Fjord with no fish!). The climb up Hesteyrarfjordur is very 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° steep. Of course it's optional. You can head down to the yacht if you prefer! Dinner at anchor in Veidileysufjordur.
Ski to Lonafjordur (e. 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. Then we ski down to the first valley in Lonafjordur and climb up at least two more mountains before meeting Aurora again.
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 Snokur mountain with a good view of the coastal mountains on the east side of Hornstrandir. Often there is an opportunity to pick mussels for après ski!
Today we skin up from the Sopandi inlet and over to Hrafnfjordur (e. 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.
Short skiing in the morning before sailing back to Isafjordur with arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon. You can catch the last flight from Isafjordur the same day but we suggest staying at least one night in Isafjordur, relax and get to know this old and beautiful town.
- Skis, shoes, poles and skins. Make sure the glue on the skins is good. If wearing new boots, make sure you have tried them out few times to see if the fit properly. Blisters are never fun.
- Avalanche gear (beacon, shovel and probe) for the backcountry trips. It´s a must to carry all three items. We have few beacons and shovels that you can borrow. Just ask us before leaving.
- Thermal underwear, at least two sets of shirts. Wool or synthetic. No cotton!
- Wool or fleece thermal mid layer, take two thin layers instead of one thick one.
- Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket.
- Ski / hike pants. Windstopper pants or similar.
- Thermal jacket (down or fiber) optional.
- Wool / fleece hat.
- Two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens.
- 3 to 4 pairs thick wool / synthetic socks and 2 to 3 pairs thinner socks.
- Casual clothes to wear in the evenings.
- Slippers or trainers to wear inside the hut or Aurora.
- Hiking boots. Need to be high up on the ancle for support.
- Sleeping bag. Summer rated to at least 0°C. Down is best since it packs better than synthetic.
- Sleeping mattress. Thin inflatable one is the best as it fits easily inside the boat.
- Dark sun glasses.
- Sunscreen / after sun cream.
- Swim suit and towel.
- 15-20L backpack for day walks. Keep it small so it fits inside the kayak.
- Binoculars is nice to have for watching wildlife.
- Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, sea-sickness tablets etc. Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it).
- Small thermos. Preferably 0.5 liters.
- 1 litre water bottle.
- Don't forget your camera!