Polar Training Course

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

Tour code: IMG121

Polar Training Course

Expert Expedition Training for Travel In Polar & Arctic Areas

Numerous companies worldwide offer mountaineering training, but few possess the extensive firsthand experience in Polar travel that Icelandic Mountain Guides do, thanks to their numerous expeditions in Iceland, Greenland, and both Polar regions.

This course is designed to impart practical knowledge of polar travel, equipping you to either plan and execute your own polar adventures or to become an invaluable member of a commercial or private expedition team.

The skills and insights you'll gain are invaluable, regardless of your chosen mode of travel. However, for this course, Nordic skis will be our primary means of movement.

No previous experience with Nordic skiing is required. We provide rental equipment for those who need it. We do expect participants to have some familiarity with outdoor activities in winter conditions. 

Tour Overview

  • Group size

    4 to 6 per guide

  • Language


  • Accommodation


  • Minimum group size

    4 participants

  • 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.

  • Duration

    6 days

  • 18

    Minimum age:

    18 yrs

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Tour Highlights


  • 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

  • Personal equipment
  • Skiing equipment (can be rented)
  • Lunch and dinner on day 1, dinner on day 6

Optional Extras

  • Sleeping bag
  • Skiing equipment

Tour Map and Itinerary

Click map for detailed itinerary

Polar Training Course


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


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 real 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 is the IMG 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
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