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Alpine ski touring in Landmannalaugar

Alpine skiing in the volcanic landscapes and steaming hot springs of the highlands.

Reykjavík
5 days
Moderate

Starting at 272.000 ISK

About

Although you might not think or realise it, Iceland can rival continental Scandinavia when it comes to Alpine skiing with its northerly location just below the Arctic Circle. The Icelandic Highlands are Europe’s last true wilderness, and they offer striking contrasts amidst an incredibly diverse volcanic landscape; craters, lava fields, snow filled gorges and canyons where thick steam curls burst out of the bowels of the Earth. Travelling through these magnificent surroundings in the summertime is already an experience of continuous wonder. 

In winter, the Highlands are an extraordinary adventure open to only a few. Landmannalaugar, the base camp for this circuit, is known to summer guests for colorful landscapes and amazing geothermal activity (the world’s third biggest source of geothermal hot springs). In winter, the region regains its calm and serenity and this landscape of ravines and canyons becomes even more memorable with steam clouds rising from the snow-clad hills.

Add to this scenery the pleasure of a nice warm bath in a hot spring under the evening sky, sometimes decorated with the northern light, and you will have an unforgettable experience. 

Walking/Alpine Skiing: 3 - 6 hours per day.
Elevation: 600 - 1000 m (2000 - 4900 ft).
Maximum ascent: 600 m (2000 ft).


Day 1: Reykjavík – Landmannalaugar
Early pick up from the accommodation at 7:30. Leaving Reykjavík we head east on the road towards Hellisheiði. After passing the village of Selfoss, we push north-west into Iceland’s interior, in the direction of the Atlantic rift. This road, the only road to the mountains that is cleared of snow, brings to Landmannalaugar where our vehicle drops us off. After getting our luggage into the hut we put on our skis. Our path takes us to a nearby mountain Reykjakollur. On our way, we will explore beautiful hot springs in the foothills of the mountain. When back at the hut the geothermal hot pool awaits us just a few dozen meters from the hut.  
Driving: 4 hrs.        Skiing: 3 hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 200-300 m.



Day 2: Brennisteinsalda and Bláhnúkur

We start our day by touring through the stunning Laugahraun lava field. We then ascent through a concentration of steam vents on the hills of Brennisteinsalda and to the summit. From there we ski down to Brennisteinsöldukvísl from where we ascent up the hills of Bláhnúkur for a wonderful view over Landmannalaugar and Laugahraun.  After skiing down to Brandsgil we head back to the hut for a hot bath in the pool.

Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 600 m. 



Day 3:  Suðurnámur 
On our skis we head out through the lava fields and towards Vondugil, before ascending a crater up to the summit of the mountain Suðurnámur. When the weather is good we can see the vastness of the open spaces extending from Vatnajökull to the east to Hofsjökull in the west of the vast rift. From there, there is an option to ski down the north side and ascent again before we descend towards Landmannalaugar.
Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 300-600 m. 



Day 4: Háalda and/or Breiðalda
After touring through the Laugahraun lava and towards Vondugil we will explore the canyons and hot springs of Vondugil. We then ascent Breiðalda and/or Háalda from the canyon. From there we descent to Vondugil again before heading back to Landmannalaugar and its hot springs.

Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.      Altitude gain/ascent: 600 m.



Day 5:  Landmannalaugar – Reykjavík
Today we head out for a short tour to Reykjakollur, Bláhnjúkur or Suðurnámur before we get picked up around noon. We leave the Landmannalaugar hut and head north past Frostastaðavatn and the lava fields of Dómadalur and towards Sigalda. We return to Reykjavík where we arrive in the late afternoon.

Driving: 4 hrs         Skiing: 3 hrs.     



***Please note that the described itineraries can change. The final decision on which routes will be skied each day rests with the guide and is based on prevailing conditions. There is an abundance of skiing possibilities in the area. Also note that all times are approximate.

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What's included?

  • Guide for 5 days
  • Full board for 5 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 5)
  • Transport to and from Landmannalaugar
  • 4 nights in a mountain hut

What do I need to bring?

Alpine Touring

Ski touring:

  • Touring skis (AT – Telemark – Split-board)
  • Ski boots
  • Skins, cut for the skis, in good working conditions.
  • Ski-crampons
  • Ski poles
  • Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel
  • Small first AID kit including a blister kit
  • Ski socks
  • Warm underwear / wool or synthetics
  • Pants, e.g soft-shell
  • Light fleece jacket
  • Soft-shell jacket or other wind proof and breathable layer.
  • Waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Light puffy jacket (e.g. down or primaloft).
  • Ski-goggles.
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat.
  • Water bottle / thermos (1 – 2 liters total).
  • Gloves – two pairs thin and thick
  • Sun block, lip balm etc.
  • Back-pack with straps for skis (30 – 40 liters)
  • Ski helmet (optional)
  • Ski strap
  • Favorite sweets / energy bars (optional)

Overnight gear: The style of accommodations varies between different IMG tours. Consider the following:

  • Comfortable clothes for indoor use and non-skiing activities.
  • Toiletries
  • Any medication
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Head lamp
  • Bathing gear (most tours in Iceland)
  • Aperitif or likewise (optional)

Know before you go

Please note that we need a minimum of 4 passengers to be able to confirm the departure.

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík – Landmannalaugar

Early pick up from the accommodation at 07:30. Leaving Reykjavík we head east on the road towards Hellisheiði. After passing the village of Selfoss, we push north-west into Iceland’s interior, in the direction of the Atlantic rift. This road, the only road to the mountains that is cleared of snow, brings to Landmannalaugar where our vehicle drops us off. After getting our luggage into the hut we put on our skis. Our path takes us to a nearby mountain Reykjakollur. On our way, we will explore beautiful hot springs in the foothills of the mountain. When back at the hut the geothermal hot pool awaits us just a few dozen meters from the hut.  

Driving: 4 hrs.        Skiing: 3 hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 200 - 300 m.

Day 2: Brennisteinsalda and Bláhnúkur

We start our day by touring through the stunning Laugahraun lava field. We then ascent through a concentration of steam vents on the hills of Brennisteinsalda and to the summit. From there we ski down to Brennisteinsöldukvísl from where we ascent up the hills of Bláhnúkur for a wonderful view over Landmannalaugar and Laugahraun.  After skiing down to Brandsgil we head back to the hut for a hot bath in the pool.

Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 600 m. 

Day 3: Suðurnámur

On our skis we head out through the lava fields and towards Vondugil, before ascending a crater up to the summit of the mountain Suðurnámur. When the weather is good we can see the vastness of the open spaces extending from Vatnajökull to the east to Hofsjökull in the west of the vast rift. From there, there is an option to ski down the north side and ascent again before we descend towards Landmannalaugar.

Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 300 - 600 m. 

Day 4: Háalda and/or Breiðalda

After touring through the Laugahraun lava and towards Vondugil we will explore the canyons and hot springs of Vondugil. We then ascent Breiðalda and/or Háalda from the canyon. From there we descent to Vondugil again before heading back to Landmannalaugar and its hot springs.

Skiing: 5 - 6hrs.        Altitude gain/ascent: 600 m.

Day 5: Landmannalaugar – Reykjavík

Today we head out for a short tour to Reykjakollur, Bláhnjúkur or Suðurnámur before we get picked up around noon. We leave the Landmannalaugar hut and head north past Frostastaðavatn and the lava fields of Dómadalur and towards Sigalda. We return to Reykjavík where we arrive in the late afternoon.

Driving: 4 hrs.        Skiing: 3 hrs.     

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