Posts tagged Trips


Jess McMillan takes it all in. Photo by Mike Arzt

Words by Jess McMillan

The last three days in Iceland have been incredible. Nestled into the Skier’s Valley is Artic Heli Skiing’s home base. Peaks rise up to 4,000 vertical feet in a 360-degree view that is breathetaking.

True to its namesake (Niceland), Iceland is home to some of the most kind people I have ever met. And they have a great sense of humor. For example, we were having lunch in Olsfiorder and one of the newscasters was doing the news, on camera, in his underwear. I think he was trying to make the point that it was a nice, warm day in Iceland. Point taken.

A warm day in Iceland isn’t that warm. The average high is 55 degrees in the summer. On the flip side, it’s not as cold as I had expected. The winter temperatures average around 30 degrees.

We’ve had just a taste of the skiing so far, which definitely left us wanting more. Every direction I look there is a beautiful peak, waiting to be skied.

Most of the slopes are 35-55 degrees and average 2,000-3,000 vertical feet. Iceland may be famous for its corn skiing, but I can attest that the powder skiing is as good as it get as well.

I came to Iceland to ski, but skiing is not the only thing there is to do on the island. In the last three days I have been surfing, seen waterfalls, walked through volcanoes, stood in a light house, rode a horse, and experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. We even got to see the Aurora Borealis (see below). 

And that is just touching the surface (the tip of the iceberg) of what there is to do and see in this magnificent place.

[After the jump there are some photo contributions from Sierra Quitiquit as well!]

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Sierra Quitiquit doing her thing in colorful Reykjavik, Iceland. Photo: Mike Arzt.

For the next couple of weeks, Spyder team members Jess McMillan, Sierra Quitiquit, and Julia Mancuso (joining the group after U.S. Nationals) will be in Iceland shooting a segment with Warren Miller Entertainment.

They’ll be sending us images, words, and other goodies from their adventure, so stay tuned.

Here’s the first update from Sierra:

The team arrived in Iceland early Monday morning and had the chance to spend the day exploring Reykjavik. Later in the evening we hopped on a small 45 minute flight to the North of Iceland arriving in Akureyri. Our guide JB from Arctic Iceland heli skiing picked us up and drove us 45 minutes north to the end of the valley which translates in English to Ski Valley. Our home for the next two weeks is an old turn of the century sheep house that has been converted in to a modern yet quaint heli ski operation. Snow conditions are as good as they’ve been in 15 years and it’s currently snowing! We are all smiles and looking forward to a trip of a lifetime. 

And here’s what Jess has to say:


The team was greeted by powder to kick the trip off in Akureyri, Iceland with Arctic Heli Skiing. Photo: Jess McMillan