6-day alpine ski touring in the northern mountains of Iceland - a popular winter activity!
Just below the Arctic circle lies Iceland’s longest fjord, Eyjafjörður, home of the capital of northern Iceland, Akureyri. Surrounded by numerous summits ranging from 1200 to 1500 m (4000-4900 feet), Eyjafjörður offers a great number of interesting descents and is an ideal location for a scenic fjord tour. Most of our time will be spent on the west side of the fjord, on the peninsula of Tröllaskagi (Peninsula of the Trolls), but we will also visit the peaks of the east side. The high northern location of these mountains will assure a good quantity of snow and the view over the neighboring mountains and down to the deep blue fjord is both magnificent and surreal. In the late afternoon, local swimming pools, that sometimes look more like a spa (heated with the geothermal hot water), are a welcoming place to relax after a day of skiing from a mountain summit to the ocean. Lodgings in a country guesthouse.
Walking/Alpine Skiing: 3-8 hours day.
Elevation: 250 -1500 meters (850-4900 feet)
Maximum ascent: 1500 m (5000 feet).
Total distance: 63 kilometers (40 miles)
Day 1: Reykjavík-Öxnadalsheiði-Eyjafjörður
Early pick up from accommodation at 8:00. An early morning departure from Reykjavík by road 1 to the north of Iceland. We arrive at our destination, west of the Eyjafjörður fjord, in the early afternoon. The first skiing will take place that day in Öxnadalur at Kinnafjall (1104m/3620’) when we skin up before skiing down the 600 m (1300 ') of elevation gained. Night in a country guesthouse.
Driving: 5 hours Skiing: 3 hours Ascent/Descent: 570 m (1900’)
Day 2: Ólafsfjördur-Dalvík-Eyjafjörður
Múlahyrna is a small peninsula situated between the villages of Dalvík and Ólafsfjörður, and here we will find todays skiing. A gentle climb up the Gvendarskál valley is rewarded with view to the dim blue sea of the Eyjafjörður and the North Atlantic Ocean. From here there are various possibilities of descents. Often we have one run down some excellent ski slopes that goes straight down to the valley, before we climb up again and choose a different descent. In good snow conditions it is possible to ski down a steep open slope that faces Eyjafjörður, with the ocean directly below your skis! After a good day of skiing we can relax in the hot tubs of the swimming pool in the village of Dalvík.
Skiing: 5-7 hours Ascent/Descent: 900-1200 m (2900'-3900’)
Day 3: Eyjafjörður-Kaldabakur-Grenivík- Akureyri
At the East side of the Eyjafjörður fjord a beautiful mountain named Kaldbakur rises from sea-level to an altitude of 1200 m (3900'). The name Kaldbakur means “Cold back” and cold it can be! This impressive mountain boasts one of Iceland’s longest descent has abundant snow in the winter time. The scenery from the top is least to say incredible. A magnificent view of nearby mountains, the fjord and into the Icelandic highlands will salute us from up on the summit. After removing our skins, we hit the slopes and ski down to the coast.
On the way back we will experience a little of the local culture and history with a visit to the tuff farm at Laufás and the town of Akureyri, where it is possible to go for a relaxing bath at the Jacuzzis of the town’s swimming pool.
Skiing: 6 to 7 hours Ascent/Descent: 1100 m (3500')
Day 4: Dalvík - Eyjafjörður
The mountains over the village of Dalvík offer several good ski routes and a few of those can be found on the Sauðaneshnjúkar peaks (992m/3250’). The climb to the top is easy and from there we get a long descent down a great couloir back down to the valley. We can also take a detour to the Jökulbakstindur further in the valley for an a choice of different and possibly steep descents. On the way back we will visit a nearby microbrewery for a taste of the local brew.
Skiing: 6 to 8 hours Ascent/Descent: 1000 - 1500 m (4920')
Day 5: Eyjafjörður-Héðinsfjörður-Siglufjörður
Today we pick up and move further north to enjoy a couple of ski routes on the tip of the Trollaskagi peninsula. This area only came recently accessible with the opening of a new tunnel, and at the same time new possibilities for exciting ski routes came available. Our first destination is in the uninhabited fjord Héðinsfjorður where we will find the mountain Vatnsendahnjúkur. There we will climb up the Möðruvallaskál for a rather steep descent that offers an impressive view over the fjord and the ocean. After a good day of skiing we head back to the guesthoue for a nice dip in the hot tub.
Skiing: 5 - 6 hours Ascent/Descent: 850 m (2780')
Day 6: Siglufjörður-Reykjavík
Before heading back south to Reykjavík we are going to take advantage of the Siglufjorður ski area and use their lifts to get in position for one final ascent. Our target is Illviðrishjúkur (Bad Weather Peak) sitting to the west of the fjord Siglufjorður, with a steep descent that will take us right back to your vehicle. Return to Reykjavík in the late afternoon.
Skiing: 3-4 hours Ascent: 250m (820') Descent: 700m (2300')
***Please note that the itineraries described can change. Final decision on which routes will be skied each day is in the hands of the guide, and is based on snow conditions, avalanche danger etc. There are abundant possibilities for skiing in the area. For example we might do some classic routes like Hesturinn (the Horse), Hestaskarðshnjúkar or Fýlaskarðshnjúkar, or we might try our skills at some known steep descents like Rimar or Finninn (the Finn).
Please note that we need a minimum of 6 passengers to be able to confirm the departure.
Overnight gear: The style of accommodations varies between different IMG tours. Consider the following: