May 9-15, 2022
For this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we will be using the Aurora Arktika. The ship sleeps 12 and is well proven in Arctic sailing / base camp for ski expeditions.
The West Fjords of Iceland is one of the country’s most remote areas and offers virtually endless ski touring/ mountaineering options in the sheltered fjords and bays. We will have the opportunity to explore the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, which is very remote and wild. There are no roads in the nature reserve—the only way to venture there is by boat, hence we will often be by ourselves.
The weather in Iceland is arctic maritime and in May we will have spring like ski conditions with long days (18 hrs of day light). The temperature in early May ranges from 25-40 degrees F. Spring can bring more stable/calm weather with higher pressure; but be prepared for possible white out conditions and strong winds.
The terrain has a variety of options from open low angle slopes to steeper chutes, with generally a well settled maritime snow pack.
Day 1 / May 9
Ísafjörður airport pick up or transfer from hotel and transfer. Depart from Ísafjörður port at 14:00, with 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. With long days this time of year, we will then have an option to do a short ski run.
Day 2 / May 10
We’ll begin the day with safety briefing, avalanche search exercise, and an explanation of what to do in case of emergency. We will then ski from Hesteyrarfjörður to Veiðileysufjörður. The climb up Hesteyrarfjörður is 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° in steepness (of course this is optional—you can head down to the boat if you prefer!). Dinner will be at anchor in Veiðileysufjörður.
Day 4 / May 11
Today we will ski to Lónafjörður (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. We then ski down to the first valley in Lónafjörður and climb at least two more mountains before meeting Aurora again in the afternoon.
Day 5 / May 12
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 Snókur mountain with a good view of the coastal mountains on the east side of Hornstrandir. Often there is an opportunity to pick mussels for an après ski snack!
Day 6 / May 13
Today we skin up from the Sópandi inlet and over to Hrafnfjörður (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.
Day 7 / May 14
We will have a morning ski session before sailing back to Ísafjörður, with arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon. We will catch the last flight from Ísafjörður back to Reykjavik for another night.
Day 8 / May 15
Return home or continue on for more adventuring.
$6800 (based on minimum of 6 guest). USD Cost includes: Ísafjörður Airport transfer; 6 nights lodging on the Arktika including all food while on-board; double occupancy lodging in Ísafjörður on the night of May 14; IFMGA professional mountain guide. Max 5:1 client to guide ratio.
Does not include: International or domestic flights; lodging in Reykjavik; personal ski mountaineering gear; guide or boat crew gratuity; alcohol.