The land of fire and ice is mostly known for its volcanoes and glaciers, geysers and waterfalls, as well as trolls and sagas. Less known are the beautiful mountains and fjords around this island just below the Arctic Circle. It is even less known that some of these mountains are well suited to be climbed and skied. In April 2013 two brothers (Skieb and rfrieling) went on a roadtrip around Iceland to discover these mountains on skis. This photo report shows the beauty of the country of ski mountains and ski fjords.
Tröllaskagi is situated in the far north of Iceland and is officially the peninsula of the trolls, but also the region with the most ski mountains in Iceland. It is for this reason that Skíðadalur (Icelandic: ski valley) is located here. This is where mountain guide Jökull Bergmann (Icelandic: Glacier Rockman, what a coincidence…) runs Arctic Heli Skiing.Skinning to the top of Hestur (Icelandic: The Horse) in Skíðadalur
Descent from “The Horse”
Winter camping on Tröllaskagi
Northern light on Tröllaskagi
The eastern part of Iceland is formed by the rough Eastfjords, where the mountains around Seyðisfjörður are very suitable to ski. The Sandhólatindur is one of the most beautiful ski mountains in the region and to help you with the first vertical meters there is a drag lift nearby.
Descent from the Sandhólatindur with Seyðisfjörður in the background
Descent from the Sandhólatindur
On the opposite side of Iceland, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Snæfellsjökull is situated on the very far end of the peninsula Snæfellsnes. This stratovolcano with an elevation of 1446m served as a starting point of the journey that is described in Jules Verne's Voyage 'au centre de la terre'. Next to the fact that this volcano is apparently well suited to discover the inside of the earth, it is also a beautiful mountain to climb and to ski because of the scenery.
Ascent of the Snæfellsjökull
The Snæfellsjökull covered in clouds
Ísafjörður is located in the most northwestern part of Iceland and is the “capital” of the thinly populated Westfjords. This village counts only 2600 inhabitants, 1 supermarket, 1 hostel, 1 bar and by chance also 1 airstrip. The surroundings of Ísafjörður form a fantastic fjord landscape with numerous awesome ski lines down to the sea. We got to know local Haukur (Icelandic: Hawk) from Aurora Arktika, who gave us some tips for nice skitours in the area. After one of his favourite skitours, on which we joined him at the end of the day, he talked about a friend from town called Örninn (Icelandic: Eagle) who just got skis for his small airplane. The next day the small airstrip in the fjord of Ísafjörður was very useful!
Flying around with the local “Hawk” and “Eagle”
Landing place found, “Hawk” and “Eagle” landed safely!
The last vertical meters to Icelandic powder just below the Arctic Circle
Dropping in with the result of severe Arctic storms above you like the sword of Damocles
Perfect polar powder with a view on the Skutulsfjörður
The ski lines in Ísafjörður blend perfectly into the sea
Skiing until the bottom station of the ski lift
The stoke was very high after this plane-skiing day
Please note that we were very lucky with the conditions at that time, because normally these are very unpredictable in Iceland. If you are also up for such ski mountaineering adventures, don't hesitate to reply below!
Text: Siebert Frieling
Images: Siebert Frieling, Rombout Frieling, Haukur Sigurðsson & Óðinn Árnason