Mountain Skills Course

The course that will give you the skills to build your climbing and mountaineering carrier on, the sky is the limit!

Two participants needed to confirm.

Tour code: IMG111

Mountain Skills Course
Price from: 285.000  ISK

Multi-day Mountaineering Training In The Stunning Skaftafell National Park

Our Mountain Skills Course has built the foundation for up-and-coming guides and mountaineers in Iceland for decades. The aim of this course is to build a broad foundation for any type of mountain activity that participants can build on with their individual skills and interests, be it climbing, skiing or classical mountaineering.

There is a large focus on glacier travel as this will build outstanding rope skills and open up access to interesting mountain terrain the world over. This course is ideal for those wanting to enter the training system for glacier guides in Iceland as well as those wanting to move from hill walking in a steeper world.

No prior experience of mountaineering is required but participants are expected to be in good physical shape and able to take care of them self’s in the outdoors.

Tour Overview

  • We pick you up @


  • Group size

    4 - 6 participants

  • Language


  • Accommodation

    Hostel and camping

  • Difficulty



    Demanding some effort and certain endurance. Good health and some hiking experience is required. 6-8 hours walk per day. Often involves carrying your own gear.

  • Availability

    Apr & May

  • Duration

    6 days

  • 18

    Minimum age:

    18 yrs

Two needed to confirm

We still need two participants to join in order to confirm the course.

Book this tour

Customer Reviews

Tour Highlights


  • Experienced and qualified guide
  • Hostel sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories (4-5 nights)
  • Communal camping equipment (1 night)
  • Minibus transport Reykjavík - Skaftafell - Reykjavík
  • Breakfast (5), Lunch (5), Dinner (5)
  • All common glacier and safety equipment

Not Included

  • Personal mountain- and glacier equipment
  • Lunch on Day 1 and Dinner on Day 6

Optional Extras

  • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour
  • Sleeping bag rental
  • Mountaineering gear rental

Tour Map and Itinerary

Click map for detailed itinerary

Mountain Skills Course


Day 1

Skaftafell - Practical Exercises

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 exercises. 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

Hnappavellir - rope works

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

Svínafellsjökull - hard-ice training

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

Hike up to Iceland's highest summit - training

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/6000 ft). 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

Svínafellsjökull - Reykjavík

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 10 and 11. 

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
Click to activate the map

Practical Information

Participants will be picked up from designated bus stops in down town Reykjavík. Pick up starts at 07:30 on day 1.

Participants in the course take care of the cooking together but all food is provided by IMG. Should you have special dietary needs please make note of that when you book.

We stay one night in tents on the glacier. Otherwise, we will stay in simple sleeping bag accommodation with shared facilities.

For your own well being and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!

  • Hiking Boots – Waterproof with good ankle support. 
  • Gaiters.
  • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
  • Long Johns (early season – April / beginning of May). 
  • Light sweater, wool or fleece (2nd layer).
  • Warm Jacket – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).
  • Pants – light and fast drying – e.g. soft-shell. 
  • Jacket with a good hood – Waterproof and breathable. 
  • Rain pants – Waterproof and breathable material.
  • Gloves – 2 pairs - different thickness.
  • Mittens – insulated (early season climbs / April beginning of May). 
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic. 
  • Extra warm socks and thermal shirt.
  • Warm hat– Wool or synthetic.
  • Puffy jacket – down or fibre.
  • Casual clothing for wearing off the mountain.
  • Bathing suits (you never know when you might run into a hot pool in Iceland).
  • Extra warm jacket, down or synthetic.
  • Stiff boots for ice climbing and mountaineering (can be rented, but best if it´s your own that you are used to).
  • Larger backpack (60 – 75L).
  • Camping mattress (e.g. Thermarest).
  • Sleeping bag (-10 to -18°C). A liner bag is also a good idea.
  • Ski-goggles.
  • Sunglasses – rated for glacier travel.
  • Sun protection / face and lips. High SPF 30 or more. 
  • Camera.
  • Headlamp (at times of year when it gets dark). 
  • Classic ice axe / technical ice axes.
  • Crampons.
  • Harness.
  • Helmet.
  • Belay device (Reverso, ATC-guide or similar) .
  • 2 – 4 locking carabiners.
  • 2 – 4 non-locking carabiners.
  • 1 – 2 pulleys (optional, not essential but makes the crevasse rescue easier).
  • 3 – 6 m prussic-cord (6mm).
  • Other climbing equipment as available – ice screws, slings, rock-climbing shoes, rock-protection – if you have it bring it and learn using your own gear. If not, we will have it available.