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Mountain Skills - IMG111

A mind blowing experience!

Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson




Price from:  

Adult: 230000

Departures: 10. - 15. April 2019 and 08. - 13. May 2019

Duration: 6 days

Group size: Minimum 3 persons needed to confirm

  • Tour Description

    Intensive six-day mountain skills course operated in and around Skaftafell National Park, Iceland. A course for those who want to get to know real mountaineering with experienced instructors. 

    “This was an excellent course, all the preparation and operation was first class and that directly resulted in positive experience for the participants and good spirits of the whole group. The instructors were very professional.” 
    – Vilhjálmur Árnason (IS) 

    The aim of the course is to give participants all-around base in mountaineering and make them more fit for travels on glaciers and in the mountains on their own in safe way. Among the course objectives are general rope work, making of rock- and snow anchors, crevasse rescue and ice climbing, safety issues regarding avalanches and beacon search, glacier and mountain travels, crampon technique, self-arrest with an ice-axe and a lot more.

    The course covers the three shorter courses: Winter MountaineeringGlacier Travelling Course and Ice Climbing I.

    No prior courses or experience is required but participants have to be in a fairly good physical and mental shape. They need to have appropriate outdoors clothes and gear that suites winter travels. Registered participants will receive a detailed equipment list.


    • Pick-up in Reykjavík and the ride to Skaftafell and back to Reykjavík
    • All food during the course (except food on the way to Skaftafell and back)
    • Sleeping bag accommodation (common toilets/showers and cooking facilities)
    • All common glacier and safety equipment
    • One instructor for every six participants
    • Glacier tents and cooking equipment when staying on the higher glacier

    Participants bring their own personal mountain and glacier equipment (e.g. stiff sole shoes for ice climbing, rock climbing shoes, harness, crampons, helmet, prussiks, carabiners, proper clothing, sleeping bag etc.). What is necessary to bring can be found on the equipment list sent to registered participants.

    It´s possible to rent mountaineering equipment from IMG if needed. That package includes crampons, ice axed, helmet, harness, carabiners and prussiks. 

    “Your country and people are unique. I feel a great affinity here. A mind blowing experience our mountain course.“
     – Douglas English (US)

  • Tour Itinerary

    „Course program is very good, I think everybody will agree, we got all we expected and much more. Your training, instructions and attention to details were so great. I liked the weather too, thanks for arranging it“
     – Alexey Timanovsky  (RUS) 

    Day 1.  Pick-up starts at 7:30. Everyone needs to be ready by then. First stop will be at the IMG office to sort out boots and rental gear and take care of any last minute equipment issues. We leave town, stopping for lunch on the way, arriving in Skaftafell around 14:00.

    When we have settled down it´s time for action. We start slowly, the first topic is avalanche safety. We go through few slides and discussions. After that we introduce and practice the use of avalanche beacons and go through the search process. No snow at this point but it´s still possible to go through some practical excercises. Dinner is at 19:00 and after that we go through the plan for day 2 and take a look at the gear we will be using.

    Day 2.  Breakfast at 8:00. We go to Hnappavellir, Iceland´s biggest sport climbing area. There we practice rope work, rock protection and making of belay anchors, rappelling (abseiling) and we also want to get some rock climbing done. So bring the rock shoes with you. In the evening, after dinner, we start planning the glacier trip that starts on day 4. We try out the stoves, put up the tents and think about what we take with us, gear and food.

    Day 3.  Breakfast at 8:00. We go to Svínafellsjökull outlet glacier for hard-ice training. We go through crampon techniques, step-cutting, route finding and crevasse rescue. We also go through different ways of setting up protections on ice. In the evening after dinner we pack our back packs and prepare the food for the next day.

    Day 4.  Breakfast at 4:00. Departure from Sandfell (where the hike up to Iceland‘s highest summit starts) no later than 5:30. We practice self-arrest with an ice axe, step-cutting and how to travel in snow and steep terrain. Also we go through beacon search in snow. On the glacier we rope up (glacier-mode). We practice crevasse rescue in snow. At the end of the day it´s time to find a good spot for camping, prepare dinner, melt water and do what has to be done before a night on the glacier.

    Day 5.  We wake up at 5:00. We melt snow to use for breakfast and for the day. We leave the tents, sleeping bags and other such gear and head higher up on the glacier. The aim is Iceland´s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2110 m). We travel over crevassed terrain, introduction to snow anchors. After summiting Hvannadalshnúkur we head back down to camp and pack. Then we head all the way down.

    Day 6.  Breakfast at 8:00. After that we prepare for our return to Reykjavík, get everything done for check-out. Before hitting the road we go again to Svínafellsjökull outlet glacier for some ice climbing. We train until around five in the afternoon. After that we drive back to Reykjavík, stopping for dinner on the way. We should be in town between ten and eleven. 

    “A great course, with fun people.” 
    – Guðjón Kjartanson (IS)

  • More info
    „From one of the [old] pictures on your website I thought that this course would be a lot of sitting around just listening and learning... how wrong was I??!!  There was no sitting around at all; it was all hands on, one thing after the other. It was the best holiday ever! I learned so much.

    I think I’m in love... and I need to get back as soon as possible. Thank you so much for an unforgettable time in Iceland.“

    – Lee Causey (UK)

    Extensive course

    The Mountain Skills Course is IMG’s flagship when it comes to courses for the general public. The course is a combination of three shorter courses into one. The result is an extensive course where participants go through the fundamentals of mountaineering. After completing this course, participants will be much better prepared for travelling in the mountains on their own, in a safe way.

    On the course, participants will get to know how to use some of the equipment necessary in mountaineering, as well as experiencing camping overnight on a glacier. If the conditions are right, we might build a snow house or other types of snow shelters. Participants will learn practical and useful techniques and the basic rope work.

    Avalanches have to be kept in mind and taken into account when travelling in the mountains in the winter time. Knowledge about avalanches is therefore very important and simply necessary in order to realize the potential avalanche risk in various conditions and how, with appropriate choice of routes, it´s possible to minimize the risk of triggering or getting caught in an avalanche. It´s important to bring along, and know how to use, the necessary gear needed for finding avalanche victims and getting them to the surface. The course offers an introduction to this gear and how it is used.

    Experienced instructors

    The instructors on this course are in every case very experienced mountaineers and climbers with a lot of experience in training others. To insure the quality of the training and personal experience there are only six participants per one instructor.


    Even though we do not have any specific prerequisites regarding physical shape, we like to point out that the course includes some demanding tasks in the mountains that require stamina and strength and therefore it´s an advantage to be physically prepared. Good physical shape will make the experience of the course more comfortable and pleasant. This is a basic course and participants are not required to have taken any prior courses or have experience in mountaineering.


    Quite a lot of gear is necessary for the course. Participants are to bring their own personal mountain gear. Common gear (e.g. tents, ropes, stoves, etc.) will be provided by IMG. Detailed equipment list will be sent to registered participants but here below is a list of the main things:

    • Stiff sole mountaineering shoes (suitable for crampons)
    • Warm sleeping bag
    • Sunglasses and ski-goggles
    • Ice axes
    • Crampons
    • Carabineers
    • Harness
    • Helmet
    • Backpacks (day-pack and a 65-80 L pack)

    It’s possible to rent mountaineering gear from IMG if needed. The package includes crampons, ice axes, helmet, carabiners and prussiks. If participants have their own gear we strongly recommend that they use it rather than using rented gear. It´s best to use the gear you are used to and also it´s good to get to know the gear well that you will use in the future. It´s especially important to be used to the shoes you will be using.

    Safety and insurances

    The safety of participants during courses and tours by IMG is always number one. Therefore we emphasize on risk analysis and training of our guides.

    We recommend that participants seek information about suitable insurances from their insurance agent. The main goal of IMG guides is not to get people to the top – but to get everybody safe back down.

    IMG reserve the right to alter the before planned schedule if necessary to insure the participants safety. Mountaineering and glacier travels are never without all risk.

    If any questions arise regarding gear or anything else related to preparation for the course, don´t hesitate to contact us.

    “I had a great time on the course; it’s literally one of the best things I’ve spent money on. It was hard enough, without feeling dangerous or too risky, and covered enough content in great detail, while allowing lots of time for practice

    IMG provided two fantastic instructors for the 2013 course, and I made a group of friends I would fall in to a crevasse for, or dive off the edge of an ice cliff at the drop of a hat.... Because I know they'd have me out again in record time! “
    Nick Sutton (UK)
    “For me this was very valuable. The course added enormously to my prior knowledge of mountaineering, the risks that come with it and how it´s possible to reduce that risk by avoiding certain situations and conditions and bring along gear that are useful to get obstacles out of your way. Also how it´s possible to use various equipment and rope work to get yourself and others out of trouble if something comes up.“
    – Vilhjálmur Árnason (IS)