I do believe it’s time for another Adventure….
Imagine being dropped by helicopter on freshly powdered peaks with nothing but your own tracks to leave behind. With the ice blue ocean below, the mountains are yours alone. Heli-skiing in Iceland’s Troll Peninsula is the stuff dreams are made of.
Spring is here together with the tantalising promise of long, lazy days and warmer weather just around the corner. But if, like me, you love the exhilarating rush caused by the slice of your skis through white, powdery snow then the impending end of the European ski season is likely to cause more than the occasional twinge of regret. So picture vast, uninterrupted slopes of untouched snow carrying you all the way down to the sea. Add to that a distinct lack of chairlifts, ski maps and queues and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is only possible in your imagination.
But Iceland’s new generation of ski resorts have recognised and tapped into the potential of their amazing natural landscape and climate, creating an opportunity for skiers to experience the sport in a completely new way – consider heli-skiing in Iceland to be a grand tour of first descents!
Jutting defiantly into the Arctic ocean in the very North of Iceland, the Troll Peninsula is a truly astounding and dramatic location which plays host to some of the most remarkable off-piste terrain you will ever experience. Simply put, the Troll Peninsula is a skier’s paradise, with about 90% of the mountains being skiable. What really sets this area apart, however, is the fact that you can ski all the way down to the sea on runs of up to 1300m and, in most cases, on unbroken powder. Heli-skiing here is an incredibly sublime experience – the helicopter deposits you at the summit in a matter of minutes, the views are awe-inspiring and other than the members of your own party, you will not encounter another soul.
“Skiing all the way down to the sea luxuriating in the rays of the midnight sun is something quite special”
It is hard to beat standing on an untouched, snowy summit, 1300m above the valley floor, with the anticipation of a descent through wild and untouched couloirs straight down to the sea. The ski season in this part of the Arctic Circle lasts well into June. Expect to ski powder in March and April and excellent corn snow in May and June. It is a versatile location with plenty of variety catering for skiers of all abilities, from very extreme terrain suitable for pro skiers to a more gentle pitch for the first time heli skier. Due to its northerly position, the peninsula enjoys almost continual daylight later in the season, with the sun not setting until around midnight in June! Skiing all the way down to the sea luxuriating in the rays of the midnight sun is something quite special.
This magical land of dramatic backdrops demands a ski lodge befitting of its surroundings. Deplar Farm in the heart of the Troll Peninsula is a sheepfarm- turned-luxury-lodge and offers the perfect complement to the exertions of a day’s adventures on the slopes. The stylish retreat has just 12 boutique suites and a wealth of luxury facilities including a bar, library, steam room, indoor and outdoor saunas and hot tubs, gym, heli-pad, private theatre and both indoor and outdoor saltwater pools. What really makes Deplar Farm stand out though is its minimal, away-from-the-world feel; nestled into a remote valley it embraces the vast, unexplored landscape which beckons to be discovered.
Whether you want to make the most of adrenaline-fueled heli-skiing or would rather savour a more sedate experience, Deplar Farm provides the perfect base. Serene and with an all-pervading sense of under-stated luxury, the lodge delivers on every level. It also offers an array of activities aside from skiing, ranging from snowmobiling, motorboating, surfing, sea kayaking, hiking and whale watching through to salmon fishing in the crystal-clear glacial waters of the Holkna river. At the end of a fulfilling day, revel in the majesty of your surroundings, stargaze at the Milky Way (which seems so much more intense in the Arctic Circle) and try to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights – an ethereal experience in this remote and beautiful location. Iceland is good for the soul, this island’s dramatic and invigorating landscape really does not bear any comparison. Added to which, it has firmly cemented its place as a world-class destination in its own right for backcountry skiing. The rugged wilderness combined with the wealth of memory making activities ensures that the land of fire and ice continues to reign at the top of even the most intrepid traveller’s wish list.