Skiing in the land of fire and ice
Posted 1 year, 1 month ago by Brad Foley
The thought of getting on the plane and traveling to Iceland not knowing what to expect yet knowing the possibilities of endless exploration and wonder await was keeping me up, I could not sleep. Iceland had never been on my radar as a destination for an off-season trip, certainly not after spending the winter in the snow, but sometimes strange things happen.
4:30 am the wake up and its time to rally and drive to the airport. 17 hours later we are at the Keflavik airport meeting up with the last member of our crew, Grant, then into the city for a night of what can only be described with one word, “Reykjavík”.
The next morning driving west out of Reykjavík we had lots of ideas but not wanting to set anything in stone for fear of we did not know we found ourselves on the western Snæfellsnes Peninsula, sunny skies, lots of snow and an amazing displays of northern lights in the sky above us. A truly spectacular place.
Rising out of the Atlantic Ocean over four thousand feet Snæfellsjökull, the highest point in western Iceland, a giant in any landscape and a point of intense energy and lore, said to magnify feeling inside the soul of those who make the journey to the summit. After a long night lying on our backs watching the show of green and white light dancing across the sky we rose to a calm warm morning at camp. Coffee and a little food, skis and gear on our shoulders we started out, skiing in the land of Fire and Ice. Skinning up the rolling terrain past the old ski lift shack and towers that looked like something out of an end of days movie, missing towers, no cable or chairs, rusted, leaning and tired, we reached the ridge just few hundred feet from the summit then booted up to take in the view over the north Atlantic and snap a photo or two. Feeling energized, and alive we put on our skis and made turns down toward the ocean, something I will not forget.
Making our way north and east from Snæfellsjökull to Akureyri and the Troll peninsula for more skiing we passed small fishing outpost, ate putrified shark from a “farm” on the northern coast, and sat in hot pots to revitalize our bones.
Continuing north from Akureyri through Dalvik then to Ólafsfjörður, a picturesque fishing town at the end of a small bay we found all kinds of snow, soft turns up high, boiler plate, and amazing corn. The skiing around Ólafsfjörður is vast and diverse, with steep couloirs, mountainsides that appear vertical, and perfect bowls, all rising out of the ocean over for over 3000 ft. We stayed a few days based out of Akureyri enjoying the snow and sun.
Iceland is a hard place to come to and just ski, the waterfalls, boiling mud pots, geysers lakes and volcanic craters made the days fly by as we made our way clockwise around the island on the Ring Road.
Before our return to Reykjavík we stopped one last time at a small ski area (closed for the season) in the Blue Mountains. Looking down at Iceland’s largest lake we made a few last turns in the perfect corn. A great trip to a spectacular place.
Permalink · Posted by Brad Foley · May 9th, 2012 · Tags: Backcountry, brad foley photography, custom skis, Iceland, mountaineering, Pete Wagner, road trip, ski touring, skiing, Wagner Custom · Read 2 CommentsYou can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.