Iceland is becoming one of the world’s most sought after backcountry ski locations. The Troll Peninsula sits in the Northern section of Iceland, close to the Arctic circle. With minimal vegetation, the terrain provides opportunities for long open runs ending near the sea. Spring in Iceland offers skiers and split boarders a full winters snowpack to play with as well as 4 am sunrises and sunsets at close to midnight. The unique skiing options are incredible. An added bonus of Iceland’s active geography is there are plenty of opportunities to soak in local hot springs and see interesting geological areas after a good day of skiing.
We will stay at a local guesthouse situated in a beautiful valley near Akureyri with many options for backcountry skiing. The trip will be supported by a vehicle to transport us to various ski locations close by. Backcountry skiing is an amazing way to explore the Troll Peninsula of Iceland. I hope you can join us in 2020!
Day 1: We will pick you up at the Akureyri airport and shuttle you to a private lodge where we will be based for the week. We will settle in and complete an avalanche companion rescue review before enjoying a home-cooked meal and a soak in the Lodges hot tub.
Days 2-7: The ski days! The Troll Peninsula has numerous areas for skiing and we will look for the best snow and peaks in the area given daily conditions. Summits in the area are up to 1500m above sea level and descents can often end with your final turns stopping very close to sea level. There is minimal vegetation in the area so long open runs are the norm. Being near the Arctic Circle, we will experience over 19 hours of sunlight per day, providing unique opportunities for skiing! Sunset ski at 11 pm anyone?!
Also, Iceland is famous for its local hot springs and geological formations; the Troll Peninsula is no exception. We will aim to visit different hot springs near the areas that we choose to ski for the day and when the opportunity arises we will make scenic side trips.
Day 8: After a hearty breakfast we will depart for the airport having completed a great adventure in a unique and beautiful part of the world.
Instructors & Group Size
Our instructors are certified professional ski guides or mountain guides who are licensed to teach and guide in the backcountry. The minimum group size is 5 participants, the maximum is 8.
There will also be a cook who will accompany us for the trip and prepare meals.
Meeting Time and Place
Guests will be picked up at the Akureyri Airport (AEY) in Iceland on April 19. We will arrange pick-ups based on the various flight arrival times.
You will be responsible for your travel costs to arrive and depart from Akureyri, Iceland. Included in the price of the program are all ground transportation costs starting from an airport pick-up on day 1 through an airport drop off on day 8.
Accommodation in Akureyri is included in the program price.
We will be staying at a secluded local lodge which we will have exclusive use of for our trip. Beautiful wide-open views of the Troll Peninsula, a friendly living area and a private hot tub for a soak after skiing will all be part of our home base for the trip. Being close to the town of Akureyri we will also have access to the amenities the town offers.
The program is priced based on double occupancy. Where possible single occupancy can be booked for an additional charge on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would prefer your own room, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to organize this.
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in this trip. Meals will be prepared at the lodge and will consist of a varied menu throughout the week. Alcoholic beverages are also not included.
You will need to bring adequate clothing and equipment for a backcountry ski trip. Yamnuska will supply group equipment and can rent certain pieces of technical equipment (avalanche safety equipment) if required. Please see the list below.
You will need to bring your own clothing and gear for day ski tours.
The equipment and clothing you bring will have a big impact on the quality of your experience. Please be sure to bring all the items listed. If unsure about anything, please don’t hesitate to call and ask us!
There are two ski systems you can use: System 1 Alpine Touring skis are essentially downhill skis with a special touring binding which allows the heel to lift whilst going uphill or across the flats and then ‘locks down’ to become a regular downhill safety binding. We recommend this system to anyone with a background of downhill skiing who is not already an advanced telemark skier. System 2 Telemark skis. These should only be used for this program if you are at least an advanced-intermediate telemark skier with some backcountry experience. This system is more difficult and less forgiving than the other.
Which should you use? If you are a downhill skier, then you should use Alpine Touring gear. Only if you are already an advanced Telemark skier should you bring Telemark gear.
Splitboards are also great in Iceland if you are experienced with them in the backcountry.
You need to bring:
- Skis We recommend a short (160 – 185cm) wide ski designed for powder skiing and ski touring. Please see note under rental information if you are renting ski equipment.
- Climbing skins
- Ski Poles
- Ski boots
- Ski crampons
- Avalanche Transceiver – digital transceiver with a triple antennae rentals available
- Avalanche shovel – collapsible metal shovel designed for companion rescue rentals available
- Collapsible probe rentals available
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothes, lunch & equipment)
- Sunglasses and ski goggles
- Thermos flask and water bottle
- Sunblock & Lip Cream
- Headlamp with fresh batteries
- Small Blister & 1st-Aid Kit
- Personal Toilet Items
- Ear Plugs
April on the Troll Peninsula should provide spring conditions with cold mornings and warm afternoons it is important to have a range of layers with you to adjust for the temperature changes. We suggest bringing light clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility. The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature as you change from periods of activity to periods of rest and from the ascent to the descent.
- Synthetic or wool long underwear (top & bottoms)
- Softshell or Gore-Tex pants
- Warm shirts (not cotton)
- medium weight fleece sweater
- Softshell jacket (or equivalent)
- Lightly insulated jacket
- Waterproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex)
- Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex or nylon, with side zippers)
- Socks (wool or synthetic)
- Wool or fleece hat
- Ski Mask
- Waterproof ski mountaineering gloves or mitts (warm)
- Lightweight gloves
- Casual clothing to wear for travel and after the ski day
- Snow boots or high topped hiking style boots
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require a 35% deposit on booking with the balance due 8 weeks before departure.
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident whilst here. Obtain extra coverage if necessary.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the program. Please view our sample waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We highly recommend you purchase it.
Includes certified guide, land transfers, all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8. There is no GST (sales tax) on this program.
Not included in this program are flights to and from Akureyri. You will be responsible for your own alcoholic beverages on the trip which can be purchased locally as well as any admissions costs to additional local attractions such as hot springs.
Is it for you?
This is a challenging trip with multiple days of touring in a row. There are days of ascent over 1000m (3300ft) and you should be comfortable skiing with a pack (15-20lbs/7-9 kg) on most terrain in variable conditions. Skiers and riders should be intermediate skiers at a minimum and be able to link turns in variable snow conditions.
Skiers and Splitboarders should be competent with their transitions (switching from ski tour mode to downhill mode). Splitboarders should be comfortable skiing downhill in split mode.
Splitboarders should have their downhill kick turns dialled, as this skill will be used frequently to traverse downhill and across slopes at mellow angles.
We strongly urge skiers and Splitboarders to bring spare parts for their setups. Most of our guides are familiar with splitboarding sets ups, but each system is different, and our expectation is that guests will have basic knowledge on common Splitboard concerns (i.e. replacing toe straps on Splitboard bindings).
Understanding the prerequisites should help with your training throughout the winter. Winter ski tours and walks with a 15-20lb pack are recommended as the best training, however other activities such as cross country skiing and hiking can also be good training. Please read the itinerary and ‘Is it for you?’ sections and be both physically and mentally prepared for the trip. If you are uncertain about your experience level, please call us.