Ski-touring – Beginner course IMG119

Great ski touring course!

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 265.000

Departures: 6-11 March 2017

Duration: 6 days

Group size: 6 per guide

Note: – this is not a beginner ski course. Participants are expected to be competent skiers and should be able to enjoy skiing off-piste in variable conditions.

  • Tour Description

    A beginner course for competent skiers wanting to take the first steps into the grate world of ski-touring. The course is also very fitting for those that already have done a bit of ski-touring but want to strengthen their touring and safety skills. Snow safety is the big focus but we will also work on efficient skinning (up track), partner rescue, improvised stretchers and some ski-techniques for off-piste!
    The course is set up to be a healthy balance of hard learning, gaining experience and pure skiing fun – ticking of some of the areas very best runs on the world famous Tröllaskagi (Troll-peninsula) along the way.

    Included in price:

    • One guide/instructor for every 6 participants,
    • all food during the course,
    • accommodation in hostel / guesthouse,
    • all transport including domestic flights to/from Reykjavik / Akureyri,
    • 1/2 day with ski-instructor,
    • lift tickets for one day (Akureyri / Siglufjordur).


    Please notethis is not a beginner ski course. Participants are expected to be competent skiers and should be able to enjoy skiing off-piste in variable conditions.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: After a pick up form you hotel in Reykjavik we jump on a plane for an hour’s flight to Iceland’s skiing capital, Akureyri.  A short drive gets us into the hills above town where we are able to start the course off with a focus on the up-hill and on the essential use of transceivers and probes.
    At the end of the day we head for our accommodation and base for the next day’s near Dalvik.

    Flight: 1 hour; Driving ½ hour Skiing 5 – 6 hours, Ascent / Descent: 600m

    After dinner, a lecture on avalanches that will set the bases for the field work in the coming days.  

    Day 2: The day will start with a look at the current avalanche forecast, weather forecast and other information available. After this the group will set up a plan aiming for both fun and safety.  The work continues on the hill, constantly estimating the different factors that affect safety and fun during the day – this time using the tools supplied by the previous evening lecture.

    Driving: 1 hour; Skiing 6 – 8 hours; Ascent / Descent: 1000m

    Day 3: Time to look at the downhill skiing part. We will split the team up and one part will focus on the downhill skiing with a local ski instructor. The others explore the possibilities of maximizing the skiing experience by combining lift and skins for an efficient uphill travel leading to some high quality downhill skiing.  If we are up for it we will continue the learning process with a lecture on the art of brewing beer at the local Kaldi-factory. The unfiltered stuff they store in the factory is even better than the bottled beer they sell in the local liquor store (Vínbúðin).

    Driving: 1 – 1,5 hour; Skiing 6 – 8 hours; Ascent 600m / Descent: ∞

    Day 4 & 5: We have now covered the basics and it is time to go skiing. The course takes on a more of a trip like character where the focus is on strengthening our good touring habits. We will also take on a few new things as we find the right conditions, those include the use of ski crampons, simple rope work and snow anchor building, use of a rescue stretcher and the making of an improvised stretcher. We will also have to tackle the making of emergency shelter and a few other good tricks to have up our sleeve when the shi..... , eeem, everything goes to custard!

    Driving: 1 – 1,5 hour; Skiing 6 – 8 hours; Ascent / Descent: 1000m

    Day 6: Last change to rip. An afternoon flight gets us to Reykjavik but before that happens we will be able to do one last trip in the area. Having all the tools and the local knowledge; finding the best snow should be almost natural and we will make sure to leave some awe-inspiring tracks and take plenty of pictures, knowledge and good memories back home. For those wanting more fun it is possible to extend you stay in the north for more skiing. If not we will land in Reykjavik in just in time to check out the world famous night life. For those not wanting to hit the bars the south side of Iceland also offers allot of attractions – or you can just fly back home.

    Flight: 1 hour;  Driving: 1 – 2 hour; Skiing 6 hours; Ascent / Descent: 1000m

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  • Equipment List

    Cross Country Skiing Tours - mountain hut

    - Equipment list for Cross Country Skiing Tours
 (Cross Country skiing / Nordic Skiing)

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 

    Boots and Clothing:

    • Sturdy ski boots that fit your binding system. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Long Johns (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer). 
    • Warm Jacket – Wool or fleece (3rd layer). 
    • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
    • Jacket with a good hood – Wind and waterproof, breathable material; e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable. 
    • Pants/bibs – wind and waterproof, e.g. Gore-tex or comparable.  
    • Gloves, 2 – 3 pairs of different thickness. 
    • Mittens – waterproof with good insulation.  
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Hat and/or Balaclava – Wool or synthetic.
    • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down)

    Other gear:

    • Sleeping Bag – Down or synthetic. Aim for light weight and warm bag. Goose down with high “fill power” or top of the line synthetic bags are recommended.
    • Parka – Down or synthetic jacket/anorak. 
    • Backpack (day-tours) for extra clothes and food during the day. Size: 30-50 litres.
    • (Backpack (hut-to-hut) (woman size: 50-60 litres - man size: 60-75 litres) – note that each guest will need about 10 – 15L of space free for food etc.)
    • Sunglasses. 
    • Ski Goggles. 
    • Sun Protection. 
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear, clothes for the hut.
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 1 – 2L. 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, earplugs etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour). 

    Ski equipment:

    • Nordic touring / Cross country skies (min width of 50 mm) with steel edges and strong but lightweight bindings, e.g. Rottefella 75 mm, NNN BC or SNS XADV Raid. 
    • Skins covering the whole ski length and width in good working conditions. 
    • Extra glue (adhesive) for skins. 
    • Ski poles, strong with a big basket. 
    • Wax/Klister – depending on your type of ski.

    Optional gear:

    • Gaiters (optional) – Calf or knee height and wide enough for the boots. 
    • Pocketknife.
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
    • Heart-warming spirits. 
    • Light slippers for indoor use.

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Alpine Ski Touring

    What is Alpine Ski Touring?

    Alpine Ski Touring is the activity of climbing mountains on ski gear that can be converted from a walk (uphill) mode to a down hill mode. The objective of the climb is both the enjoyment of the uphill movement and the thrill of the downhill skiing.  
    Most IMG Alpine Ski Tours are based off accommodation in guest houses or hotels. It is also possible to have tours that travel from Hut-to-Hut (IMG 55).  In all cases only daypacks are carried.  Participants are expected to be capable of skiing in most snow conditions and be reasonably fit for uphill travel.  This gear lexicon deals with tours based in guesthouses and hotels. 


    Jacket with a good hood (wind and waterproof)

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    ME Manaslu

    A good “hard-shell” jacket with a large protective hood. Gore-Tex membrane or similar to keep you dry. Make sure it is not too tight and that you can fit insulation underneath. Note that a soft-shell jacket is a great addition but will not replace a good waterproof hard-shell when you really, really need one! Good rain-gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all IMG tours.


    Ski-touring pants

    Most will use either soft shell pants or a combination of thermal underwear and hard-shell pants. In both cases the pants need to have pegs wide enough to accommodate the touring boot in walk mode. 
    Normal insulated ski pants will not work as they will simply be too warm when walking uphill. 
    Those using softshell pants should also have a pair of wind and waterproof hard-shell pants for bad weather days. 

    Having extra ventilation openings for the uphill on warmer days is a great benefit. 


    Base layer

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    Bergans Merino

    A thin base layer (next to skin). The most popular is merino wool – comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with the same merino shirt on for 2 – 3 days on harder tours where weight matters. Having short and long sleeve is great for adjusting to different weather conditions.  Women might want a sports bra as a part of their base layer. Cotton t-shirts are not advisable for any strenuous outdoor activity. 


    Hands, feet and head:

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    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.
    Socks: Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.
    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. An extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Insulation layer

    A fleece jacket would the classical insulating layer. Wool would also be a good option. Here it is also possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of adjustable layering. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (such as Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky for summer time use. Synthetic insulation is preferred as it keeps most of its insulating properties also when wet but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest would also be a good option. 


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. Even if we do not like you to wear jeans during the hike you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening - same with a cotton T-shirt. If it is could a warm jumper or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. Few pairs of comfy socks and some fresh underwear.  Avoid bringing too much extra clothing – life in the mountains is simple and nice, so one pair of extra pants, warm jumper and a few t-shirts and briefs should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day. 


    Backpack

    The best is to have a dedicated ski-touring pack. They will have a special compartment to carry a shovel and probe and the option to carry a helmet on the outside. Most will get away with a pack of 30 – 35 L in size.  We rarely need to put skis on the pack but it is recommended to have a pack where strapping the skis on is an option.
    ABS bags have also become popular, they have a “air bag” that can be opened in the case of an avalanche and they will help keeping the user floating in the avalanche. The down side of the ABS and similar systems is that they will add about 3kg to the weight of the back pack plush some bulk. They are also quite expensive 


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine or chlorine! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. A 1L bottle should be plenty as water is easily found all over. If you are a warm drinker we will be happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available (very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favourite brand). Cold drinkers might like to bring their favoured powdered flavouring/vitamin/energy drink. 


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright the inside of the hut/tent might not be. A headlamp is also useful for a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flash-light will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one set will do for your trip.  


    Personal first-aid-kit

    The guides on our tours will have a first aid kit available. It is still nice to have some small items to be self-sufficient with minor things. Band-Aid, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.  


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you, if you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies having antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid hand soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements you should continue to do so during your holiday.
    In most cases you are sharing sleeping facilities with one or more fellow travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep. Those not used to the bright summer might also like to bring an eye mask.  Contact lenses, lens liquid etc. Pack shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight.
    A big towel is nice to have – especially if you are taking a bath in one of the natural hot-pools. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland (depending on the tour). Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying is good. 


    Ski equipment

    Iceland and Greenland often have variable snow conditions. Your ski gear depends on your personal preference but if you are new to the wold of ski touring you should consider a mid-with ski (ca. 100mm at the waist) with a good all terrain rocker. Rental of ski-touring gear is very difficult in Iceland and impossible in Greenland.

    Ski Boots:

    A dedicated touring boot, many companies sell downhill boots with a touring option (side country), although those are really good for skiing they are often very heavy for the uphill. 
    Beginners in ski-touring should also avoid having the supper light Race type ski boots. Your boot will also need to be compatible with your bindings. 

    Skis:

    A good all-round ski that is a compromise between perfect powder days and days on hard icy snow. For the uphill they should be light weight. With the development in touring and freeride skis in the last few years there are plenty of good options.

    Ski-poles:

    A two-piece telescope pole with an insulated grip on the middle of the pole as well as the top is ideal. Note that regular ski-poles often have a handle that is very uncomfortable to hold while touring uphill.

    Skins:

    Climbing skins are essentially hairs that are glued to the bottom of the skis, allowing them to glide one way but stopping them from sliding backwards. Much like the fish-scales on Nordic skis, but more affective.  Make sure they are in good condition and fit the width of your skis. Many touring skis come with a pre-cut skin.

    Bindings:

    Ski touring bindings are essentially of two types, Frame or Tech. The frame bindings resemble regular downhill bindings and tent to be heavier but easy to use and with a higher level of DIN adjustments.
    Tech bindings (aka pin-bindings) need a special connection holes on the boot – so they are not compatible with any touring boot. They are lighter in weight and most modern tech bindings also have a reasonable range of DIN settings and safety fetures. Due to the light weight most dedicated ski-tourers prefer a tech style binding.

    Ski Crampons:

    Ski Crampons fit to the binding and are needed on hard uphill sections. They are compulsory on our tours. The ski crampons are specific to each ski binding and come in a range of sizes to fit different with skis.

    Snowboards:

    You are welcome to come to our tours on a split-board, but due to the limitations on travel on snow-shoes we cannot allow snowboarders that plan to carry their board on the back.
    The split-board still has limitations on travel due to the soft setup of boots and bindings – “ski”-crampons are there for absolutely necessary. If you are looking into buying a touring setup for snowboarding and expect to do much touring with skiers, you should consider investing in a “hard-boot” setup. We also ask you to practice putting your board together so that it takes the minimum amount of time.

    Avalanche gear:

    You will need a modern Avalanche Beacon, an avalanche probe and a shovel. We recommend 3 antennathe Beacons. Dual antenna will do – but it is far more difficult to use. 

    Any working probe will work – we would recommend it being 220 – 260cm and your will want a lightweight aluminium or carbon prob.

    The shovel should be aluminium, foldable with a good blade for digging snow.
    The avalanche gear can be rented from IMG.

    Helmet: 

    A ski helmet is optional on our tours. If you choose to bring one, then you will need to make sure that you can carry it on your pack as you will not wear it on the uphill.

    Ski mountaineering equipment:

    On our regular ski-touring trips we do not need to have mountaineering equipment like a harness, crampons, ice-axe etc. This may be appropriate for some special tours and if that is needed we will specifically let you know. 


    Sunglasses, sunblock and Goggles

    Playing in the snow you will need sunglasses. When the sun comes out the reflection from the snow can be quite strong so we would recommend a quality pair. The reflection can also do damage to unprotected skin – so a small tube of sun-block SPF 25 – 50 is advised.
    When the wind picks up and for the downhill you will want a pair of quality goggles. The bigger the better. 


    Other cool things to have

    Book – to read during the evenings.
    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music.
    Diary or note-book – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also a pen or pencil.
    Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland so a pre charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in huts in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Having converters adapters for 220 V will help.
    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel.
    Cash – in mountain huts shower normally costs about 500 ISK and work on 100kr coins.
    Travel pillow – as long as it is not very bulky, otherwise you can just use your clothes.
    Powder drink mix – Good water is never a problem – but you might like a bit of variety. Some also contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day. 
    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits - Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places unless you are staying in a hotel. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!
    On trips to Greenland you can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland. Duty free in Kulusuk, Greenland does not sell high % spirits – but if you make it to the supermarket they will have beer. 


    Gear shopping in Iceland

    Already in Iceland and need to grab some extra gear? No worries. There are a few shops in Reykjavík to go to (remember to ask for a VAT refund slip when you buy over 5000ISK, saving 14%):

    Íslensku Alparnir: http://alparnir.is/  this is where IMG gets its Mountain Equipment gear, much of with is featured on the pictures above – can’t go wrong there.

    GG-Sjósport: http://www.gummibatar.is/ grate products, but not in the down town.

    Laugavegur: the main shopping street down town has a few stores, including some local brands like 66°North and Cintamany.

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor stores – and they are open on Sundays and till 21:00 on Thursdays. 

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!  Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 
    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact
    incoming@mountainguides.is


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

Optional extra services

  • Total price for all passengers:

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