Courses

Polar Training Course

Gain highly beneficial & practical training for any type of cold weather expeditions in the world.

Tour code: IMG121

Polar Training Course
Price from: 280.000  ISK

Expert Expedition Training for Travel In Polar & Arctic Areas

This course was created based on our extensive experience running expeditions over the last two decades in the Arctic and the Antarctic. We have designed a comprehensive training that combines lectures, practical exercises and a training expedition on the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. The aim of the course is to prepare people for expeditions in cold arctic conditions. The focus is on polar travel using cross country skis. No prior experience of cross country skiing is needed. After completing the course, you will have the knowledge and practical experience to do expeditions. Whether you want to go to the North Pole, kite-ski over the Greenland ice cap, ski to the South Pole or to do mountaineering expeditions, like Denali/Mt. McKinley in Alaska, you will be prepared. The course is designed by Leifur Örn Svavarsson, co-founder of Icelandic Mountain Guides and one of Iceland’s most accomplished expeditions. His extensive experience includes completing the Explorers Grand Slam, all 7 summits in the world, both poles and more.

Prerequisites: Students are expected to have some background in outdoors travel and a good general level of fitness. All prior experience related to rope work is beneficial. No prior experience of cross-country skiing (Nordic skiing) is needed.

Note: Appropriate outdoors clothing is necessary. Equipment list will be sent out after booking. All technical gear can be rented from Icelandic Mountain Guides. If participants bring their own gear, the instructor has the right to reject it if he thinks it's not up to safety standards.

Tour Overview

  • Meeting point

    Stórhöfði 33, Reykjavík

  • Group size

    4 to 6 per guide

  • Language

    English

  • Accommodation

    Camping

  • Difficulty

    Demanding

    Difficulty

    Demanding

  • Availability

    TBD

  • Duration

    6 days

  • 18

    Minimum age:

    18 yrs

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Tour Highlights

Included

  • Qualified guide(s)
  • Camping on and off the glacier for 5 nights including all communal gear
  • All transport during the course
  • Breakfast (5), lunch (5), dinner (4)
  • All common gear and safety / mountaineering gear

Not Included

  • Sleeping bag
  • Skiing equipment
  • Lunch and dinner on day 1, dinner on day 6
  • Personal equipment - see gear list
  • Cross country skiing equipment (rental is available)

Optional Extras

  • Sleeping bag
  • Skiing equipment

Tour Map and Itinerary

Click map for detailed itinerary

Polar Training Course

MAP & ITINERARY

Day 1

Meeting - Lecture - Driving to Mýrdalsjökull

Participants picked up at their accommodation at 08:30. This first day is spent indoors on a combination of lectures and planning and sorting gear and ends with a 2 hour drive to our base at Mýrdalsjökull. 

  • Gear check and discussion.

  • Arctic expeditions: Specific expedition requirements; equipment, insurance issues, general safety, rescue, polar-bears, logistic issues, communication (Iridium/GlobStar other). Spiced up with real stories and pictures from the field.

  • Antarctic expeditions: Specific expedition requirements. As above (but no bears).

  • Expedition nutrition and food preparation: Food, fuel, stoves etc. Tricks of the trade and pitfalls to avoid.

  • Food packing and intro on communal gear for the expedition.

 Lunch at a local restaurant (not included), dinner at a restaurant (not included).

Accommodation – camping; Base camp style

Day 2

Exercises

Getting sorted to go out in the field – pulka sledges need packing, food needs sorting, getting acquainted with tents and cooking equipment and setting up a navigation plan for the days to come.

Short into to roped glacier travel and the use of a mechanical advantage for crevasse rescue.

Accommodation – camping; Base camp style.

Day 3

Expedition Training - Mýrdalsjökull glacier

Heading up on Mýrdalsjökull with an all-terrain truck. The day starts with some basic instruction on skiing (Nordic) and different ski styles, skins etc. We might move gear to a suitable campsite – making sure we have plenty of time to set up camp, building wind-walls and going over the small but important details of winter / expedition camping.

Camping on the glacier.

Day 4

Expedition Training - Mýrdalsjökull glacier

We are on the move, heading up onto the main Ice-Cap of Mýrdalsjökull, working on our ski technique and covering some navigation issues associated with travelling in white out conditions.  This time setting up camp should work like a well-oiled machine.

Camping on the glacier.

Day 5

Expedition Training - Roped up travel in crevassed environment

Time for some roped up travel, we are heading down towards the Sólheimajökull glacier – and as the 8km long outlet glacier pulls on the main ice cap it gets pulled apparat, forming mighty crevasses.  The topic of this day is travelling with the pulka sledges as a rope team through the crevassed glacier in a safe and efficient manner. At a suitable location we will stop to do practical training in hauling a teammate out of the icy depths of a crevasse.

Camping on the glacier.

Day 6

Coming down from the glacier - return to Reykjavík

We are heading out through the Sólheimajökull outlet glacier. As we come further down to a warmer climate we will need to shoulder our loads – this is where the really glory of expedition life comes through, carrying the heavy loads, pulkas and skis down through the glacier passed the herds of tourists on their glacier adventures. Our destination, the IMG / Arcanum base at Sólheimajökull where a private transfer awaits us to bring us back to Reykjavík. On the way one final stop for a well-deserved meal – and if you like – a beer or two (not included).

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