Courses

Mountain Skills

Take your mountain and climbing skills to the next level by learning from highly experienced mountaineers.

Tour code: IMG111

Mountain Skills
Price from: 295.000  ISK

Multi-day Mountaineering Training In The Stunning Skaftafell National Park

We have combined three shorter courses to create an extensive course where participants go through the fundamentals of mountaineering. Your highly experienced and professional mountaineering instructors will cover general ropework, making of rock and snow anchors, crevasse rescue, and ice climbing. You will go through safety issues regarding avalanches and beacon search, glacier and mountain travels, crampon technique, self-arrest with an ice-axe and a lot more during the training. Along with learning how to use mountaineering equipment, you will experience camping overnight on a glacier. If the conditions are right, we might build a snow house or other types of snow shelters.

Knowledge about avalanches is a very important and necessary part of this training. With an appropriate choice of routes, it’s possible to minimize the risk of triggering or getting caught in an avalanche. Participants must 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. Upon completion of the course, you will walk away with an all-around base in mountaineering. This will ensure that you are more fit for traveling safely on glaciers and mountains on your own.

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

Tour Overview

  • We pick you up @

    Included

  • Group size

    4 - 6 participants

  • Language

    English

  • Accommodation

    Hostel and camping

  • Difficulty

    Demanding

    Difficulty

    Demanding

  • Availability

    Apr & May

  • Duration

    6 days

  • 18

    Minimum age:

    18 yrs

Guides on this Tour

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Tour Highlights

Included

  • Experienced and qualified guide
  • Hostel sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories (5 nights)
  • Minibus transport Reykjavík - Skaftafell - Reykjavík
  • Breakfast (5), Lunch (6), Dinner (5)
  • All common glacier and safety equipment

Not Included

  • Personal mountain- and glacier equipment

Optional Extras

  • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour

Tour Map and Itinerary

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Mountain Skills

MAP & ITINERARY

Day 1

Skaftafell - Practical Excercises

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

Hvannadalshnúkur

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. Those not in the down town area and IMG staff should come to Stórhöfði 33 – 110 Reykjavík.

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.