Explore one of the most remote places in Iceland on this backcountry ski and sail adventure.
Iceland’s West Fjords region is one of the country’s most remote areas and offers endless outdoor pursuits in its mountains, sheltered fjords and bays. Our favourite area in the West Fjords is the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, with its rich history and unspoilt landscapes. The area is virtually inaccessible. There are no roads in the nature reserve—the only way to venture there is by boat.
- Ski and sail in one of Iceland’s remotest areas.
Access, remote, hard to get to ski spots on an expedition sailing boat.
Enjoy the use of sea kayaks and SUP’s.
Enjoy hikes ashore in the untouched wilderness.
- Warm and comfortable expedition yacht with deckhouse and just 10 other guests.
|Departure Location||Isafjordur, Iceland|
|Arrival Location||Isafjordur, Iceland|
|Trip Style||Skiing, Hiking and Exploration|
|Maximum Group Size||10|
|Accommodation||Bunk beds in 4 or 2 Person Cabins|
|Duration||6 Days / 5 Nights|
|Time of Year||Spring|
The Voyage & What To Expect
This trip is a true Arctic Expedition to 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 anchorage each night.
Many of the mountains and ridges have never been skied before and our guides are always looking for nice first descents. There is a diversity of slope grades, and we will plan our routes to fit people of all backcountry touring abilities and interests. Most people use AT (randonnée) or Telemark skis, but snowboards, cross-country skis or snowshoes can be used as well.
Join a group of like-minded adventurers
While we usually spend about 6-8 hours in the mountains each day, for those who prefer shorter days, individuals can simply ski down to the anchored boat when they so choose. While the season is prime time for skiing, we will still carry a few kayaks and SUP´s on the yacht for those eager or interested in taking a break from skiing and doing some paddling as well
This is not a “sailing trip”. We will cruise under sail whenever conditions allow but the expedition sailboat primarily serves as our movable backcountry hut, the best option to access interesting and exciting destinations and enjoy great activities on land and at sea.
At the end of the day she will await us with gourmet meals, warm and comfortable bunks, and friendly conversation.
Ski and Sail Itinerary
The itinerary will be set at the time of departure to account for the weather and snow conditions. The plan is to always look for the best possible options.
Below is one example option for an itinerary:
Departure from Ísafjördur will take place at 12:00 noon. Two to four hours of sailing could take us to he abandoned settlement of Hesteyri in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Upon arriving, we will relax at anchor and maybe do some exploration on the Zodiac and take a look at the old whaling/herring station that once was the driving force in the area. Since it will still be bright in the evening during the latter part of the season, for later trips we will have an option to do a short ski run.
We’ll begin the day with a safety briefing, avalanche search exercise and an explanation of what to do in case of emergency. We will then start skiing from the beach. Possibly cross over to Veidileysufjördur. Here it is also possible to drop over to the other side of the peninsula with a view of the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Veidileysufjördur has many great skiing options. Steep couloirs and ridges or gentle, easy runs. Here is also an option to ski to Lónafjörodur (lagoon fjord). The ski down to the first valley in Lónafjördur is one of our favourites and the view of Rangali bay is spectacular. Again there are options to some extra laps before joining our “movable hut” again in the evening.
We may decide to spend two nights at one of our anchorages and often Lónafjördur will be chosen. Here is a fantastic terrain with many good options for ski runs. The lone Einbúi mountain is tempting with its numerous exciting couloirs. This is also a great place to forage for mussels and sea-weed to add to our dinners.
On our last full day we may skin up from the Sópandi inlet and over to Hrafnfjördur (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.
We will have a morning ski session before sailing back to Ísafjördur, with arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon. You can catch the last flight from Ísafjördur that night, though we suggest staying at least one night in Ísafjördur to relax and get to know this old and beautiful town.
The expedition vessel is a Dutch built ketch-rigged oceangoing sailing vessel that is fully equipped and certified to sail around the world with up to 12 guests (we normally only take 10 guests). Ideal for a ski and sail adventure.
The hull shape is directly derived from the famous Colin Archer design, which is also known for good sailing characteristics. Her comfortable deckhouse makes sailing in northern waters very pleasant. With four cabins (two four-person and two two-person), a spacious saloon and a galley there is more than enough space on board.
The vessel has good central heating, hot and cold water, two heads (toilets) and one shower. There is 220V electricity to charge batteries and other electronic devices.
The vessel is equipped according to strict Icelandic regulations in regard to emergency equipment.
Are you wondering if this ski and sail adventure is a good fit for you?
Please get in touch and we will use our expertise to recommend the right voyage for you dependent on your experience and comfort levels.
Dates & Availability
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TRAVELLING TO ÍSAFJÖRDUR
There are a few airlines with scheduled flights into Iceland. Check their websites for prices and schedules. From the domestic airport in Reykjavík, there are 2-3 daily 40-minute flights to Ísafjördur. You can take the Fly-Bus between the airports and, depending on flight arrivals and departures, it may be possible to continue onwards to Ísafjördur the same day.
Browse Air Iceland for schedules and special offers.
You can also rent a car and drive to Ísafjördur. The drive is 450 km (on paved roads in its entirety) and normally takes approximately six hours.
Another option is to hire a small bus to pick up your group in Keflavik and drive to Isafjordur. Contact Gulli at firstname.lastname@example.org