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Polar Training Course - IMG121

A six days Polar Training Course

Tour type: A Polar Training Course




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Adult: TBA

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What's included: About 14 topics, lectures, practical exercises, 4 day training expedition on Vatnajökull ice cap.

Departures: 2019

Duration: Seven days, including 4 days training-expedition

Meeting point: IMG´s head office: Stórhöfði 33, 110 Reykjavík.

Group size: One instructor per 6 participants.

Language: English

Note: There is a meeting with the guide before departure to go over the equipment and other travel details.

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Polar training course in Iceland
    • A combination of lectures and practical exercises
    • Covers about 14 topics

    A seven days Polar Training Course based on IMG‘s extensive experience in running expeditions in the Arctic and the Antarctic.

    The course is a combination of lectures and practical exercises and includes a four days training-expedition on the Vatnajökull ice cap. The aim is to train people and make them prepared for expeditions in cold weather conditions like found in the Arctic, the Antarctic and in cold mountain areas.

    The instructor will be Leifur Örn Svavarsson, founder of Icelandic Mountain Guides and the companies most experienced expedition guide. Leifur has done the Explorers Grand Slam, all the 7 summits plus the poles and much more.

    The focus is on polar travels using cross country skis. Still, no prior experience of cross country skiing is needed. The course content, the training and the experience gained will be highly beneficial and practical for any type of cold weather expedition settings, expeditions to the North Pole, kite-skiing over the Greenland ice cap, skiing to the South Pole or mountaineering expeditions in cold environments like found on Denali/Mt. McKinley in Alaska for example.

    Few of the topics covered:  

    • Crevasse rescue
    • Cross country skiing
    • Nutrition
    • High altitude sickness
    • Logistics
    • Communication
    • Avalanche risk / rescue / estimation
    • Leadership skills
    • Expedition politics (keeping the team together and every ones eye on the ball)
    • General rescue response (keeping patient safe, rescue options in different areas)
    • Polar bears
    • Crossing open waters
    • Camping and daily routine 
    • Hydration 

    Students are expected to have some background of outdoors travels and a good general level of fitness. All prior experience related to rope work is beneficial. No prior experience of cross-country skiing (Nordic skiing) is needed.

    Appropriate out doors clothing is necessary. Equipment list will be sent out after booking. All gear can be rented from Icelandic Mountain Guides. If participants bring their own gear the instructor has the right to reject it if he thinks it‘s not up to safety standards.

    For booking, contact

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1:
    Participants meet the instructor/s at IMG‘s head quarters. Last minute check-up on gear. The group drives to Skaftafell.

    Day 2:
    The day is dedicated to lectures, covering practical things regarding expeditions: 

    • Arctic expeditions:  Specific expedition requirements; equipment, insurance issues, general safety, rescue, polar-bears, logistic issues, communication (Iridium/GlobStar other). Spiced up with real stories and pictures from the field.
    • Antarctic expeditions:  Specific expedition requirements. As above (but no bears).
    • Expedition nutrition and food preparation: Food, fuel, stoves etc. Tricks of the trade and pitfalls to avoid.
    • High altitude: Light weight travels in cold environments. Difference from polar travel. Brief talk on high altitude sickness. 

    Day 3:
    Preparing for an expedition. Packing food and gear. 

    Day 4:
    We go from Skaftafell to Skálafellsjökull glacier. Expedition starts and we go skiing on the glacier. We find a suitable place to set up a camp and raise our tents. 

    Day 5:
    Training day on Skálafellsjökull glacier. Cross country skiing technique and more training in setting up a camp.

     Day 6:
    We head higher up, to Esjufjöll mountains. 

    Day 7:
    We leave Esjufjöll mountains and ski down Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.



For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.