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December 27, 2017

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Islandia

December 27, 2017

 

Well, fokke. Schoot.

 

We've got a few spaces to fill on Cloudsplitter's annual yacht and ski touring adventure in the Westfjords of Iceland. We again have our favorite vessel the Arkitka chartered for March 19-24 to motor-sail out of the village of Isafjordur and over to the wild summits and fjords of the Hornstrandir Reserve for a week of adventure ski touring. The detailed logistics info can be found here, and if you'd like to join, please let us know.

 

Right now, 2 US cents are about equal to 2 Icelandic Krona- so here's my 2 Krona on last year's trip... 

 

Isafordur is the largest town in the Westfjords region of Iceland. The Hornstrandir is a protected penninsula, accessible only by boat. We motor-sail up the Jokulfiroir ('Glacier Fjord'), accessing terrain from a 'basecamp' (anchorage) in each of the 5 fjords that feed into it off the penninsula.

 

 

 

Isafjordur had an unseasonably lean winter last year, but in late March we could still tour above town.

 

Our team members last year came from either Alaska or the Northeast- and showed up prepared for whatever 'arctic maritime' conditions we might encounter. 

 

 

On the motor-sail out of Isafjordur, the snow coverage looked to be better towards the Hornstrandir penninsula.

 

Note the avalanche debris from a fallen cornice and windslab, observed in the far cirque during a stop at the abandoned whaling station at Hesteyri.

 

 

We use a small zodiac to ferry between the Arktika and shore. 

 

 

 

 

 

Les and Brian got some sick footy for the boys back home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the Arktika motor-sails around to the next fjord, we tour up and over the broad ridges and plateaus in search of the best skiing, and rendezvous for a pick-up after our descents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people go to Iceland to ski the legendary corn snow in late spring. The benefit of late March, is that you might also get to ski nice wind-blown powder.

 

The Arktika is a Dutch made, ocean-going sailing ketch, but it's also a cozy ski hut.

 

 

 

You can also get your SUP on after skiing. Just don't fall in.

 

This year will be Emilie's third trip to the Hornstrandir aboard the Arktika. She deserves the credit for the vision and making it happen. For someone who really doesn't like being cold, she still likes cold places...with a little help from Outdoor Research

 

 

Personally, Iceland's Westfjord's remind me of a cross between Alaska and Quebec...maybe somewhere between the Chic-Chocs and Valdez?! The snowpack is arctic-maritime. Occasional whiteouts and flat light are part of the deal. The terrain feels bigger than it is, with rolling micro-terrain in the valleys and broad plateaus on the ridges. Iceland is 'international,' but Rekyjavik is also surprisingly accessible.  Out in the Westfjords, when you crest the broad ridges and look to the north, you can feel the vastness of the ocean, and somewhere out there...Greenland.

 

 

 

 

 

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