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A fantastic way to kick start your glacier traveling skill set! Spend five days exploring multiple outlet glaciers while learning and honing some essential skills for any glacier traveler. This is a comprehensive course covering all basic techniques with no prior experience required.

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Group size



Árni Stefán Haldorsen

5 days.

6 per instructor

135.000 ISK per person.

Course Goals

Participants will be able to travel safely on variable terrain on a glacier, set up top-rope ice climbing on a glacier, and perform a simple crevasse rescue. This course is aimed at hard ice outlet glaciers, i.e. glaciers without year-round snow cover. Hence, snow related topics (e.g. roped-up travel) will not be addressed formally.


At the end of the course, participants will have a working understanding of:

  • Safe and efficient use of crampons.

  • Effective use of an ice axe.

  • Glacier morphology and route selection on a crevassed glacier.

  • General glaciology.

  • Mountain weather.

  • Glacier hazard identification and management.

  • Common knots used in mountaineering.

  • Common equipment used in mountaineering.

  • Rappelling and ascending a rope.

  • Setting up a pulley system and performing a crevasse rescue.

  • Basic ice climbing technique.

  • Belaying a climber.


Notice: This course is designed to develop personal skills but is NOT a training course for aspiring guides and does NOT award participants with any guiding certification. The course is, however, great preparation if you plan to progress to glacier guiding later on.


Course Details

The course runs for 5 consecutive days. Teaching on the course is in the form of lectures and presentations, demonstrations, group discussions and workshops, and practical exercises.


Each day will start with a morning meeting at 0900 where the day's topics are presented, and end with a short discussion and a debrief of the day where important points are highlighted. The days are scheduled to run for 8 hours. If a longer day is planned, participants will be notified in the end-of-day debrief the day before.


Technical systems and rope work will be practiced in a safe, controlled environment before being used on the glacier. The crevasse rescue system presented, as well as other technical systems, are the same as those taught by, and approved off by the AIMG and ICE-SAR. Depending on the group’s performance and understanding of the systems, alternative methods may be shown, discussed and/or practiced. The focus will be on understanding the systems and their structure and operation as well as going over their advantages and disadvantages.


Route selection and navigation on the glacier is covered in a practical way, with regards to glacial features, crevasse patterns, proglacial features, etc. Use of a map, compass, or a GPS are not covered on this course specifically.


Prior familiarity with technical systems (i.e. using a rope) is not required for this course.


Practical skills, such as cramponing or route finding/selection on the glacier, will be addressed in a lecture format, but mostly trained in the appropriate terrain.


During the course, participants will get feedback on their performance in real time during exercises and on demand. 

The course is held in Öræfi, in the South-East of Iceland. Lambhagi in Svínafell will be the base for lectures and indoor practices. The outlet glaciers of Öræfi will be used for outdoor activities on ice. Outlets will be chosen based on weather, conditions, and the group’s wishes. Other locations may be added, and, if so, they will be presented to the group in advance.

Participants will receive a signed diploma, confirming that they have completed the course. In addition, participants will receive a personalized feedback, highlighting strengths and areas worth improving, as well as recommendations moving forward.

Notice: This course is designed to develop personal skills but is NOT a training course for aspiring guides and does NOT award participants with any guiding certification.

Personal equipment required

  • Outdoor clothing suitable for variable weather and temperatures.

  • Good hiking boots suitable to wear with crampons.

  • Good clothes and boots are vital on this course. Check out our equipment recommendations!

  • Sunglasses.

  • A warm hat and a cap.

  • A backpack for your personal belongings and technical gear. 

  • Thick and thin gloves. 

  • Water bottles, minimum 2L.

  • Lunch and snacks for the day.

Other equipment

The following technical required for the course:

  • Harness

  • Crampons

  • Helmet

  • Ice axe

  • Ice tools (ice climbing axes)

  • Carabiners (8 or more, mostly lockers)

  • Belay device (preferably with a "guide mode")

  • Prussiks (e.g. 2x5m and 1x 2m of 6-7mm)

  • Slings (e.g. 2x120cm or 1x120cm and 1x180cm)

  • Ice screws (preferably 16+cm)

  • Ropes (30-60m)

  • Pulleys are optional

Tindaborg can help supply the technical equipment for a deposit.



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