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Skiing in Iceland

Skiing Mag hung out with Julia Mancuso, Jess McMillan, and Sierra Quitiquit. Need we say more?

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Whales often come through here, and an occasional polar bear makes the dive from Greenland. We saw a small porpoise and a bunch of birds, but the…

Whales often come through here, and an occasional polar bear makes the dive from Greenland. We saw a small porpoise and a bunch of birds, but the best action was in the form of three girls, ripping 4,000 vert in three giant turns.

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Iceland’s Troll Peninsula is at the northern lip of the island, and just a smidge south of the Arctic Circle. Not much grows here (most of Iceland’s…

Iceland’s Troll Peninsula is at the northern lip of the island, and just a smidge south of the Arctic Circle. Not much grows here (most of Iceland’s trees have long since been exploited), but the huge swath of 6,500-foot peaks choked with creamy snow is certainly fertile ground for skiers.

Photo credit: The Public Works / Artz

The Icelandic horse is actually fully grown, though they resemble their small shaggy Shetland cousins. This hardy herd lives just down the road from…

The Icelandic horse is actually fully grown, though they resemble their small shaggy Shetland cousins. This hardy herd lives just down the road from the Arctic Heli lodge. But the only mammal native to Iceland is the Arctic fox, which walked across the frozen sea at the end of the ice age.

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Jess McMillan points ’em straight at the Greenland Sea. The maritime snowpack here is relatively stable, similar to that of Alaska, so steeper lines…

Jess McMillan points ’em straight at the Greenland Sea. The maritime snowpack here is relatively stable, similar to that of Alaska, so steeper lines are skiable. If you’re Jess McMillan, that is.

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Iceland sits on the cracks of two tectonic plates pulling apart, making it one of the most geologically active places on Earth. Ninety percent of…

Iceland sits on the cracks of two tectonic plates pulling apart, making it one of the most geologically active places on Earth. Ninety percent of Icelanders’ homes are heated by hot water pumped in from nearby underground sources. This is a steaming hole in a river near the lodge. Sierra Quitiquit’s homemade hula hoop, in the foreground, kept the three skiers busy on down days.

 

Photo Credit: the Public Works / Artz

The Northern lights move across the sky above Arctic Heli’s ski barn and sauna hut like clouds—in strange shapes and at different speeds. It’s…

The Northern lights move across the sky above Arctic Heli’s ski barn and sauna hut like clouds—in strange shapes and at different speeds. It’s surreal enough to make you believe in spirit animals. (Like you don’t already.)

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Despite crushing nearby peaks until almost 8 p.m., Jess McMillan and Julia Mancuso found the eerie Northern lights worthy of staying up late and…

Despite crushing nearby peaks until almost 8 p.m., Jess McMillan and Julia Mancuso found the eerie Northern lights worthy of staying up late and braving the cold. (A few Gull beers and some chocolate Nizza bars helped.)

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Anna and Gufi in the kitchen, preparing dinner for the 20 or so guests and guides. Icelandic cuisine includes Arctic char and mussels—and dried fish…

Anna and Gufi in the kitchen, preparing dinner for the 20 or so guests and guides. Icelandic cuisine includes Arctic char and mussels—and dried fish bricks that you should definitely not store in the glove compartment of your rental car.

 

Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Julia Mancuso shows what happens when you take away a racer’s gates. Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz

Julia Mancuso shows what happens when you take away a racer’s gates. Photo Credit: The Public Works / Artz