Trip Log - Iceland 2023
Destination: Hauganes, Iceland
Dates: April 10, 2023 to April 17, 2023
When you simply Google Iceland, it says that the country is defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields. This may be true, but they seem to forget to mention the massive mountain range that spans across much of the island nation.
We stayed in a small coastal town called Hauganes in the northern part of Iceland with Acadia Mountain Guides. From here, we had views of the Norwegian Sea and massive mountains. Incredible skiing was just down the road, and our guides, Al Mandell and Rob Benton, knew exactly where to take us.
We had four days of incredible skiing. The weather allowed for a perfect freeze-thaw cycle which minimized avalanche danger and made everything ski super well. We explored wide open faces, bowls, and couloirs on skis and the steeper areas with crampons and ice axes.
Backcountry athlete Ben Mallory said, “My favorite ski day was our first day on the slopes. The corn and weather was perfect and it was so nice that myself and a few others decided to take a second lap!” This day brought us up ‘The Bulge.’ Another favorite among many of us was skiing the Dalvík Couloirs on Bæjarfjall.
After each ski day, we would relax in the geothermally heated hot tubs. The water comes straight from the ground, naturally heated, and uses no chemicals or electricity. Some of us even chose to take a dip in the chilly Norwegian Sea before eating a local, home-cooked dinner.
Along with the endless ski terrain, the local area is also home to many other draws and landmarks. We spent a day exploring this local region and soon found out how different Iceland is than many other places on Earth. All of the geothermal heating not only makes hot springs, but also creates pits of boiling mud and holes in the ground that hot steam pours out of.
Although quite dim to the naked eye, we did experience a night with some brief northern lights that danced over the mountains and the sea just outside our door. This was a first for most people on the trip, and was a night that many of us never forget.
This trip was a bit different than any other previous CVA Backcountry trip, as some of the athletes’ parents joined us. Backcountry skiing is a great opportunity for people to come together in the outdoors. Not only did these parents get to see what really happens on our trips, but they got to experience the backcountry lifestyle while bonding with their teens.
From great skiing, to exploring the local area and culture, this trip was an incredible way to finish off the 2022/23 travel season.