TravelDestinations

Heliskiing and Fishing in Iceland's Great White North

Ski endless untouched powder from an artful lodge on the island’s remote upper coast

A tele skier makes a turn in the pristine Icelandic snow. (Photo: Courtesy of Eleven Experience)
A tele skier makes a turn in the pristine Icelandic snow.

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“It’s hard to get to?” When searching for a downside to Deplar Farm, the newest heli-skiing and fishing lodge from the ­Crested Butte, Colorado, luxury brand Eleven, that’s the best I can do. The lodge sits on an old sheep farm tucked into Iceland’s rugged Troll Peninsula, but once ­inside you’re surrounded by unexpected features intended to inspire rec­reational indulgence, not rural drudgery: two bars (wipe away the jet lag with a shot of Brennivín, the country’s signature ­spirit), a massive game room with pool and Ping-Pong, locally sourced three-course meals made by a live-in chef, a 3,700-square-foot glass-walled spa with an indoor-­outdoor pool and water piped in from a nearby hot spring, and 13 rooms worthy of Architectural Digest

But you’re here for the skiing and fishing. In the spring, Deplar Farm’s ski guides, who have been scouting the area for several years, have easy access to the hundreds of unnamed, 3,000-foot peaks that stretch in every direction. On clear days, they choose your lines by following the sun, accessing precipitous landing sites for the six-seat chopper and finding mellow, wide-open pitches slathered in perfectly baked corn. On our last day, we skied nearly 40,000 vertical feet. In summer and fall, the property converts to a full-time fishing operation, with exclusive heli access to legendary Atlantic salmon runs on the Hölkná River.

Access: Air Iceland flies from Reykjavíc to Aku­reyri, where Deplar will pick you up in a strapping Sprinter van with leather seats. Flights from $70 one-way

Temps: April and May are your best bets for skiing, when cold fronts still bring the possibility of fresh snow and warm days mean perfect corn.

Detour: Chopper grounded? Visit the Herring Era Museum in nearby Siglufjördhur. Don’t scoff—the surpri­singly fascinating exhibits helped it earn a prestigious ­Euro­pean Museum Award in 2004.

Indulge: No trip to Iceland is complete without trying the traditional dish kaestur hákarl—fermented shark that smells and tastes like ammonia. Wash it down with a Czech-style lager like Kaldi Dark.

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From Outside Magazine, March 2017
Filed To: IcelandFishing
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Eleven Experience
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