Posted by: neilh10 | February 28, 2011

Skiing in the Westfjords

This post considers skiing in the Westfjords.

Many people do not realise that it is possible to go skiing in Iceland. However, it is, and the Westfjords are have some of the best facilities in Iceland, if skiing is what you want to do.

The main ski area is in nearby Isafjordur. There are two areas, a cross country skiing area and a downhill area. The cross country area is open most of the time from November to May, as it is higher up the mountain (basically on top of the mountain – its a flat mountain, like most of the mountains in the Westfjords), and frequently attracts Alpine ski enthusiasts from Norway, who are apparently attracted by the fact there are no trees to distract them while they make their way around the circuit.

For the rest of us, the cross country skiing area offers an excellent way to get up in to the mountain and see the countryside, and get some exercise at the same time. With advance notification, it is possible to hire cross country ski boots and skis from the local ski club. You can also rent an instructor to show you how to use the cross country ski tracks. The tracks are cut both for skate skiing, and regular alpine skiing.

There is also a downhill ski area. This is clearly more dependent on snow conditions than the cross country ski area, but the Icelanders take skiing seriously, and it is often possible to go downhill skiing in wintertime, possibly with the help of the snow machine.

As well as the tracks near Isafjordur, there are a lot of possibilities for backcountry skiing and snow shoeing in the mountains surrounding the village and local area. I can help set up tours with local guides to suit pretty much any budget or specifications. Send me an email at westfjordsapartment@yahoo.com

Further information about the ski area (in Icelandic) can be found here

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