Frequently Asked Questions

We have tried our best to provide answers to our most frequently asked questions from guests.  Of course if you do not find the answer you are looking for below please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to provide you with further information.

  • Why choose Arctic Heli Skiing?

    There are several reasons for choosing Arctic Heli Skiing. Please visit our WHY AHS page for further information

    • Adventure of a lifetime
    • Chance to ski from the peak right down to the Arctic Ocean
    • Closest adventure heli skiing destination to both sides of the Atlantic
    • Exclusive Heli ski packages with maximum 16 guests per week
    • Ski while basking in the rays of the midnight sun late into the night
    • Iceland's only certified Mountain Guides and heli ski experts with over 20 years of experience operating ski trips on the Troll Peninsula
    • Canadian certified heli ski guides and pilots
    • Unique cultural experience
    • First descents, volcanoes, hot springs, awesome food and company
  • Is the skiing as good as everyone says it is?

    Yes it is, but what makes the whole trip worth while is great skiing mixed with a great cultural adventure and visiting Iceland, the magical land of fire and ice.

  • Can snowboarders join your programs?

    Of course!  We do not discriminate against our single board friends!  Although all of our guides use skis for guiding they are very used to guiding snowboarders and are very conscious in choosing the appropriate terrain when necessary (so no long flat run outs!).  Please be aware that our snowboard selection is very limited so we do encourage snowboarders to communicate with us about their equipment prior to arriving so we can ensure that we have what you are looking for. 

  • What is the difference between the Classic and Premium Program?

    The Classic program includes 4 hours of flight time on the 4 day program and 6 hours on the 6 day program compared to 5 and 7 hours on the Premium program.  The Premium program is ideal for groups of 8 skiers. The Premium program guarantees that there are only 2 groups of 4 guests sharing 1 helicopter.  With the Classic program there is the possibility of up to 3 groups of 4 skiers sharing 1 helicopter.  Our guides do a very good job of keeping things running smoothly throughout the day so that guests are not waiting around. 

  • Is there cell phone coverage while skiing?

    3G and 4G mobile broadband is widely available in densely populated areas. That being said cell phone coverage in the Troll Peninsula can be spotty with reception on the top of peaks but little or no signals in some of the valleys. Please check with your local carrier to find out what additional roaming fees/ charges you might incur while traveling in Iceland.

Getting Here

Questions about getting to Iceland

  • How do I get to Iceland?

    There are direct flights from over 20 cities in Western Europe, the USA and Canada to Iceland. It takes about 2-3 hours to fly from Europe and about 5-6 hours from the East Coast of North America. There are two main carriers, Icelandair  and WOW airlines which service destinations on both sides of the Atlantic. All these flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport in the south part of the country. For a good flights search engine try Dohop as they have all the flights that arrive and depart from Iceland. Once you arrive in Iceland you can chose to fly or drive up to Akureyri in the north of Iceland where our programs begin. Private jets and charters can land at Akureyri airport AEY in the North, only 45 minutes away from our Lodge. Please visit our Getting Here page for further details.

  • Where is the Troll Peninsula?

    The Troll Peninsula is located in the North of Iceland. The Peninsula extends north into the Arctic Ocean northwest of the town of Akureyri. The peninsula lies between the fjords of Skagafjörður and Eyjafjörður. 

  • How do I get to Akureyri

    Once you arrive at the International Airport, Keflavik (KEF) in the south a 45 minute mini bus or taxi ride will bring you to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík. The Reykjavik airport is in the center of town and most buses from the International airport will drop you off there. The flight with Air Iceland Connect from Reykjavík to Akureyri is 35 minutes and there are a number of departures throughout the day. We recommend a late afternoon departure around 17:00. AirIceland does offer a very limited selection of direct flights from Keflavík to Akureyri.  Before you book a direct flight from Keflavík to Akureyri with AirIceland please confirm that your checked baggage can be checked all the way through with your international airline as this service is very limited. You can also charter your own flight with Eagle Air Iceland or Norlandair straight from Keflavik International airport to Akureyri. 

    PLEASE NOTE: You need to allow yourself a minimum of 2 hours from the time your international flight lands in Keflavík until the departure of the domestic Air Iceland flight in Reykjavík due to the fact that it can take some time to get through customs and collect your baggage. You need to be at the Reykjavik domestic airport at least 30 minutes prior to your departure.  The domestic airport is very small and easy to navigate. 

     

  • Can I fly my own plane to the lodge?

    Private jets and charters can land at Akureyri airport (AEY) in the North, only 45 min away from our Lodge by car or a quick 12 minute hop in the helicopter.

  • Can you help me with my pre and post travel arrangements or airfare?

    We are happy to provide you with suggestions for your time in Iceland before or after your heli skiing or snowboarding program. Just let us know what activities you are looking for and your time frame and we can give you some ideas. Organizing your international travel to and from Keflavík is not included in our programs however we will suggest a domestic itinerary with AirIcelandConnect and include the domestic airfare in your program costs if you require this service. 

Terrain

  • What is the terrain like?

    The Troll Peninsula is every skier's dreamland with about 90% of the mountains skiable, meaning there are not many cliff faces or flat spots. The mountains are the perfect mix of steep to very steep couloirs and faces to wide open low angled glacier runs.

    What really sets the Troll Peninsula apart from any other heli ski destination is the fact that you can ski up to 1300m runs all the way down to the ocean.

    There are plenty of slopes for skiers of all abilities from very extreme terrain suitable for the pro riders to nice and friendly areas for the first time heli skier. The mountains of the Trolls are up to 1500m or 5000ft high but you can in many cases, ski that entire vertical all the way down to the ocean. The average heli ski run is around 900m or 3000ft in vertical drop.

    Due to our northerly position there is no tree skiing in Iceland, in fact the local joke is that if you get lost in an Icelandic forest, you just have to stand up. So if you are scared of big nasty tree wells Iceland will feel pretty safe. For the best idea of what the terrain is like, please check out our video gallery.

  • Can I really ski all the way down to the Arctic ocean?

    Yes you can and it is definitely one of the highlights of our operation. We have plenty of runs with a vertical descent of 1000 meters or 3000 feet with pick ups right on the coast line.  Please keep in mind that this is dependent on conditions. 

Ability

  • How good do you have to be to heli ski?

    It depends on a few things such as your group and program, but every skier needs to be a fit intermediate skier and be able to ski under control in off-piste terrain.  Previous heli ski experience is NOT required.  

    Keep in mind that heli skiing does require a certain basic level of physical fitness to minimize risk and be enjoyable. We recommend that you have the basic core strength to ski in a variety of conditions. The best training you can do for skiing is skiing. It is best not to go into any extended trip without finding the time to get in a few days of skiing in advance to make sure that your feet are conditioned to your boots. We recommend that you are able to do the following: 

    -Ski fall line in most snow conditions (powder to wind affected snow). 
    -Make parallel or stem-christie turns on 35° groomed or firm snow. 
    -Side-slip on firm slopes up to 35°.
    -Ski black diamond runs at ski areas efficiently and in most snow conditions.

    *If you are concerned about being joined with other skiers of different abilities then we recommend joining a Private program.

Equipment

  • Do I bring my own skis?

    You can if you like, but we do have a good fleet of Völkl high performance skis that we encourage you try out.  Please be sure to bring your boots, and better yet in carry on luggage in case your bags get lost on the way. As for type of ski best suited for our conditions a mid fat to fat ski, and not to soft, would be the ideal. If you take your skis to the shop for a tune up before your trip make sure to ask for a warm temp wax. We do have a good ski shop for repairs and hot waxing at the lodge in case of repairs or someone not advancing downhill due to the No Wax problem.

  • What equipment is included?

    All of our Iceland heli-skiing programs include skis and avalanche safety gear.  Our avalanche safety gear includes an avalanche airbag, transceiver, shovel and probe.

  • Do you have ski boots available?

    We do have a small selection of ski boots at the lodge intended for emergency use only.  We ask all guests to bring their own ski boots as it is much more comfortable to use your own. We also recommend that guests put their boots in a carry-on bag to ensure there are no problems.  

Accommodation

  • Can non-skiers come along?

    Yes we can accommodate a certain number of non skiers at the lodge and they are more than welcome to join you on your heli ski trip. There are plenty of interesting activities around, but simply relaxing at the lodge or in one of the regions geothermal baths will usually do just fine. Advice us at the time of booking if a non-skier would like to join the group and we will do our best to accommodate you.

  • What about skiers with special dietary needs?

    Please advise us by making note of any special needs or allergies on your booking form when reserving your trip. If we know in advance we can prepare and accommodate you no matter what your dietary needs are. The only food not readily available in Iceland is Kosher food.

  • Is single accommodation available?

    Our programs are based on double occupancy with the exception of our Ultimate Private program, Private programs run out of Hjalteyri Hotel, and Greenland Heli Skiing programs. We do have 2 single rooms available in the main house at Klængshóll with a shared bathroom. For example if there is group of 4 guests and 2 guests would like single accommodation it is possible for 1 guest to have a single cabin and the other guest to sleep in the main house. If the group agrees on this arrangement then there is single room supplement applied.  For guests traveling alone we do our best to accommodate you in a single cabin however this is not always possible and we may place you in the main house.  There is no single room supplement charged in this instance.

  • What is the food like?

    The meals provided are typical of Iceland. Breakfast includes a large variety of options from muesli and yogurt, to freshly baked bread, hard boiled eggs, and lax. Lunches (typically eaten in a well chosen lunch spot while out skiing) include delicious soups, sandwiches, tea, coffee and plenty of yummy snacks to keep you fueled for skiing and snowboarding. For the dinner the focus is on local products such as organic lamb, fresh fish and game meats such as goose, with great emphasis on using what nature provides in the region. 

  • Is there cell phone coverage and internet at the lodge?

    All of our accommodation options are equipped with high speed internet and free Wi-Fi for guests and there is also cell phone coverage. 

Guides

  • Are the guides experienced heli ski guides?

    Our guides are all certified to the highest industry standard in the world. They are for the most parts Canadian trained and work heli ski guiding in Canada the birth place of heli skiing in the winters. Arctic Heli Skiing operates in accordance with Canadian heli skiing standards.

Helicopters

  • What happens if the weather is bad?

    Yes bad weather happens and you must be aware of the fact that you are up in the high Arctic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But fear not for we have prepared some great down day activities. Visiting Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve with all its volcanoes, hot springs and bubbling mud pools is just one of those plans. You will also have the opportunity to experience the great local culture and dip into one of the regions many geothermal baths and visit the local micro brewery (our most popular down day activity...). If you end up skiing all your days on the Troll Peninsula you will most likely want to come back for all the great down day activities.

    But keep in mind the huge advantage of our northerly position, the continuous daylight, meaning that you can have bad weather until 6pm but still get out for 10 plus runs since the sun is not setting until around midnight.

  • What kind of helicopter will we fly in for the Iceland programs?

    We use AS 350 B2 and B3 Ecureuil Astar's. This is the work horse of most heli ski operations, powerful, safe and reliable. Our pilots have thousands of logged flight hours in difficult Arctic conditions and are sought after all over the world for their skills and training.

  • What is the difference between vertical and flight time?

    Some operations charge per vertical feet or meters skied. We charge per minute as the helicopter is flying. With this setup we have calculated that our guests get about 20% more skiing for money spent than if they were being charged for meters or feet skied like in Canada. We also think this is a much more transparent way of calculating the skiing for both guests and operation. When on a meters/feet package the operation will try to ski you as much as they can as close to base as possible, basically fly as little for as much skiing as possible, meaning you might not get to the best snow or coolest terrain as it is not in the interest of the company to fly you far out. When on time you have the option of skiing close to home and get more vertical or fly further out where there might be better snow or scenery and get a bit less skiing for time flown all the while realizing how that works. The clock basically starts ticking when the pilot pulls on the collective and starts flying, and stops as soon as the helicopter is on the ground.

     

  • What type of helicopters are used in Greenland?

    The helicopters are AStar B3E and B3 flown by excellent pilots who have been flying heli skiing for many years.

  • How is Flight Time measured?

    Flight time is calculated from when the helicopter leaves the ground and until it touches down again. If the helicopter is on ground and idling the time is not ticking but if we are doing a technical tow in landing on a steep ridge for example where the pilot is basically still flying the helicopter as we get out, the time is ticking.

  • What is the cost for extra flight time?

    Extra flight time is based on 360,000 ISK per hour. This is divided among the group so for example if a group of 4 guests ski 15 minutes over their package the additional cost to each guest is 22,500 ISK. 

Conditions

  • What are snow conditions like?

    The snow pack is predominantly coastal and in the springtime we are skiing powder in March and April, to excellent corn snow in May and June, with the occasional powder dump well into May. What really makes the snow good is the small temperature difference between night and day which makes for perfect corn snow, never to deep and never to hard.

    This also means we have for the most parts very stable snow in terms of avalanche danger so we can ski steeper and more exposed lines than you would normally do heli-skiing.

    Another good thing about our great corn skiing in the second half of the season is that skiers that would usually not dare venture on a heli-skiing trip where deep powder skiing skills are a must can come here and enjoy themselves just as much as the experts.

  • What is the weather like?

    April and May tend to be stable in terms of wind and precipitation on the Troll Peninsula with long spells of calm, but there are also storms that can last for a day or two. Bad weather happens and you must be aware of the fact that you are up in the high Arctic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This is all a part of your adventure heli skiing experience.

    Our position in the middle of the Atlantic also means that bad weather never lasts for long with fast moving low-pressure areas striking and than leaving as fast as they arrived. Temperatures in April and May are mild, usually around -10 to 0 degrees Celcius up in the mountains but can rise up to 10 degrees on a good day but drop to minus 10 on a cold day.

    One huge advantage of our northerly position is the continuous daylight, meaning that you can have bad weather until 6pm but still get out for 10 plus runs since the sun is not setting until around midnight......

    All that said there is another Icelandic saying that goes like this "If you do not like the weather in Iceland, just wait 5 minutes"

  • When is the best time to ski?

    The season in Iceland can be split into three, with March to mid April being the time for cold snow and powder conditions, Northern Lights and cool temperatures. Mid April through May is the transition period from winter to spring with awesome corn snow skiing and still a good chance at getting some fresh snow that stays cold on the Northern aspects for days. June is the last month we ski and there you have incredible corn snow, minimal avalanche danger and the never setting Midnight Sun allowing you to ski at any hour during the day or night.

    Note:  mid April to mid May is the high season for skiing on the Troll Peninsula and programs during this time get booked well in advance.

  • What happens if the weather is bad?

    Yes bad weather happens and you must be aware of the fact that you are up in the high Arctic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But fear not for we have prepared some great down day activities. Visiting Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve with all its volcanoes, hot springs and bubbling mud pools is just one of those plans. You will also have the opportunity to experience the great local culture and dip into one of the regions many geothermal baths and visit the local micro brewery (our most popular down day activity...). If you end up skiing all your days on the Troll Peninsula you will most likely want to come back for all the great down day activities.

    But keep in mind the huge advantage of our northerly position, the continuous daylight, meaning that you can have bad weather until 6pm but still get out for 10 plus runs since the sun is not setting until around midnight.

Greenland Programs

Faq´s for Greenland Program

  • How do I get to Greenland?

    Our programs in Greenland begin and end in Reykjavik Iceland.  Iceland´s regional airline, AirIcelandConnect, offers several flights per week between Reykjavik (RVK) and Kulusuk Greenland (KUS). The flight departs around 11:00 so it is important that guests fly to Iceland the evening before or arrive early in the morning at Keflavik Airport. The international airport, Keflavik (KEF) is approximately 45 minutes from the domestic airport in Reykjavik where the flight to Greenland departs so this needs to be taken into consideration if you do plan to arrive in Iceland the same morning.  

    Return flights from Kulusuk Greenland arrive in Reykjavik around 16:00 so most guests will need to stay an additional night in Reykjavik and return home the following day, unless there is a late flight out. Again it is important to consider the transfer time between the Reykjavik airport and the Keflavik airport when sorting out flights. 

  • What is the best time to go to Greenland?

    The season in Greenland is the same as Iceland from March through June. Due to the complex nature of organizing trips to Greenland we try to concentrate our groups in to April and May but if you have other dates in mind please do not hesitate getting right back to us and we will try to organize a Private departure.

  • What type of helicopters are used in Greenland?

    The helicopters are AStar B3E and B3 flown by excellent pilots who have been flying heli skiing for many years.

  • What is the accommodation like in Greenland?

    We stay at the Kulusuk Hotel in Greenland, based on single accommodation. Kulusuk is a small village with limited accommodation so this is the only settlement hotel available in the area, and while it is a basic hotel it is comfortable and well managed as well as offering amazing views of the area.

  • What equipment is included for Greenland?

    Guests will be supplied with avalanche transceivers, harnesses, packs with shovels and probes unless you prefer to bring your own. We recommend that guests bring there own skis and snowboards. There is a selection of skis and poles in Kulusuk however these are more for emergency use. There is wax and tuning gear in Greenland to keep your gear in good condition during the program. 

  • What is the weather like in Greenland?

    Temperatures range from -10 to +5 celsius. Similar to heli skiing and heli snowboarding in Iceland it is important to be prepared for any kind of weather.  Frequent storms can come through so having a number of layers available is a good idea.