Ski-touring – Beginner course IMG119

Great ski touring course!

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 265.000

Departures: Available for private groups Feb. - April.

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. 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. 
    • Warm hat and/or Balaclava.
    • 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.
    • Backpack (day-tours) for extra clothes and food during the day. Size: 20-30 L (1200 - 2000 cu in).
    • 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.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs etc. 
    • Swim suit (depends on tour). 
    • Head lamp. 

    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. Our Gear Lexicon also contains more information on clothing and gear for this tour. 

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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 downhill skiing.  
    Most IMG Alpine Ski Tours are based off accommodations in guest houses or hotels.

    We also have a tour where we 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 must be reasonably fit for uphill travel.  This gear lexicon details what is needed for tours based in guest houses and hotels. 


    Jacket with a good hood (wind and waterproof)

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    ME Manaslu

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


    Ski-touring pants

    The use of soft shell pants or a combination of thermal underwear and hard-shell pants is sufficient. 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 during uphill mode on warmer days is a great benefit. 


    Base layer

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    Bergans Merino

    The most popular thin base layer (next to skin) is made with merino wool because it is comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with wearing the same merino shirt for 2 – 3 days on harder tours where weight matters. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of your adjustable layering.  We recommend packing short and long sleeve options to adjust 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/mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair of different thickness is recommended. 

    Socks: Wool is the preferred material for skiing socks, and different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots, you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your socks in your ski boots. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to use to keep your feet dry.

    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You can also use a thick buff. An extra buff is 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 is a classic insulating layer material. Wool is also a good option. It is possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket.


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A light puffy is great during breaks. The insulation could be down or synthetic material (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 when wet, but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest is a good option as well.


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut, it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. We highly discourage you from wearing cotton clothing (including jeans!) while skiing or hiking but you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening. If it is cold, a warm sweater (jumper) or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. We always recommend having a 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, a warm sweater (jumper), a few t-shirts and underwear should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day


    Backpack

    Our experience has taught us that it is best is to have a dedicated ski-touring pack. They have a special compartment to carry a beacon, shovel and probe, as well as the option to carry a helmet on the outside. Most people 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 become popular because they have an “air bag” that can be opened in the case of an avalanche. The air bag will help keep the user floating during an avalanche. The down side of the ABS and similar systems, is that they will add about 3kg of weight to the back pack, plus some bulk. They are also quite expensive.


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland, you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine and no chlorine needed! 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 prefer warm drinks, we are 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 favorite brand. Those who like cold drinks might like to bring their favorite powdered 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 those that want to do some reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flashlight 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 fully charged battery will be enough for your trip.  


    Personal first-aid-kit

    All the guides on our tours will have a first-aid kit available. However, it is still nice to have some small items for minor injuries. Band-Aids, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended personal first-aid kit items.  


    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 an antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, such as a small bar of soap or some liquid hand soap. We recommend packing a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spillage. 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 travelers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night’s sleep. Those not accustom to the bright summer nights might want to bring an eye mask.  Please make sure to pack extra contact lenses (if needed), contact lens cleaning solution, 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. 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 material is always a good idea. 


    Ski equipment

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

    Ski Boots:

    Many companies sell downhill boots with a touring option (side country). Although those are good for skiing, they are often very heavy for the uphill part. We recommend that you have dedicated ski-touring boots. Beginners in ski-touring should also avoid having the super light race type boots. Your boot will also need to be compatible with your bindings. 

    Skis:

    A good all-round ski that can be used on perfect powder days and on hard icy snow is the best for Iceland. Lightweight skis are great for uphill. With the development in touring and free-ride skis in the last few years, there are plenty of good options.

    Ski-poles:

    A two-piece telescope pole with an insulated grip in the middle of the pole and the top is ideal. Please 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. The hairs allow for the skis to glide forward but prevent them from sliding backwards. Skins are like the fish-scales on Nordic skis, but they are more effective.  Make sure they are in good condition and fit the width of your skis. Many touring skis come with a pre-cut skin.

    Bindings:

    There are two types of ski-touring bindings - Frame or Tech. The frame bindings resemble regular downhill bindings and tend to be heavier. However, they are easy to use with a higher level of DIN adjustments. 

    Tech bindings (aka pin-bindings) need special connection holes on the boot – so they are not compatible with just any touring boot. They are lighter in weight and most modern tech bindings also have a reasonable range of DIN settings and safety features. 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 for the hard uphill sections. They are required on our tours. Ski crampons are specific to each ski binding and come in a range of sizes to fit different skis.

    Snowboards:

    You are welcome to join our tours on a split-board, but due to the limitations of travel on snow-shoes we cannot allow snowboarders on the tour that plan to carry their board on their back. The split-board still has limitations on travel, due to the soft setup of boots and bindings. Therefore, “ski”-crampons are absolutely necessary. If you are you interested in 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 antenna 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 that is made from lightweight aluminium or carbon material.

    The shovel should be aluminium, foldable, and have 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 while traveling 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

    Because we spend many hours playing in the snow, you will need sunglasses. A high-quality pair of sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection will help to protect your eyes when sun rays are reflecting off the snow and into your face. 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 during downhill skiing, 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 notebook – 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. Make sure you have an adapter plug and/or a voltage converter for 220 V. 

    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel. 

    Cash – showers in mountain huts normally cost about 500 ISK and take 100 ISK coins. 

    Travel pillow – if 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 powders contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day.  

    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts on occasions. They are also nice for sleeping in, and can be worn if you need to get out of your sleeping accommodations at night. For hiking, it is nice to have some pockets to hold items that would normally be in the pockets of your pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif or 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. Additionally, limited opening hours prevent you from buying alcohol in most places unless you are staying in a hotel. Having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travellers in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be a great way top off a good day. You can buy alcohol in the duty-free shops upon your arrival in Iceland. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free! Also, there are government run alcohol stores in Reykjavík called Vínbuðin.  If time allows, you can purchase alcohol there but alcohol is much less expensive in the duty-free shops at the airport. 

    On trips to Greenland, you can buy alcohol in the duty-free shop 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 5000 ISK, which will save you 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/ great products, but not in the downtown area.

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

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor adventure equipment stores and are open on Sundays.

    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

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