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Einar Torfi Finnsson

Einar's story


Einar Torfi Finnsson was born in 1965 in Kópavogur Iceland. Raised by nature-loving parents, Einar has always been an outdoors person. As a teenager, he got the taste for long walks and mountaineering and joined tours and training exercises with the local Alpine Club in Reykjavik. In 1983 he joined the FBS-R Mountain Rescue Group in Reykjavík where he remained active for 20 years. At the age of 19, he started leading hiking and cross-country tours for the local touring club and at the age of 20 he finished training as a National Park Ranger, a position he held for three years. At 22 he got his first guide job with foreign clients, guiding a winter expedition to Landmannalaugar in the Southern Highlands of Iceland. In 1989 at 24 years of age, he started working full time as a guide, trekking, and backpacking in summer and cross-country ski expeditions in winter.

Icelandic Mountain Guides

  In 1991 he did his first winter expedition from North to South across the Icelandic Highlands. In 1995 his first big Vatnajökull expedition, and a year later his first crossing of the Greenland Icecap. In 1993 he created Icelandic Mountain Guides with his cousin Leifur, his brother Hjörleifur and their friend Sveinn Helgi. In 1997 he created Iceland Rovers with his wife Ingibjörg and a group of 8 other friends. Iceland Rovers and Icelandic Mountain Guides merged under the latter name in 2008. In 2018, an investment fund became the majority owner of Icelandic Mountain Guides which led to Einar leaving the company in 2020.

Arctic Hiking and Expeditions

 In 2021 he created Arctic Hiking and Expeditions with his childhood friend Kristinn. During the years of Icelandic Mountain Guides, which became one of Iceland’s most prominent tour companies, Einar was first the managing director of the company, then production and marketing director, then running the group department of the company for years, overseeing all multi day trips in Iceland and Greenland. At the same time, he was always with one foot on the field, guiding trips and expeditions.


Professional Experience

Worked as a guide in Cross Country skiing in the backcountry since 1985, along with longer trekking and backpacking groups. He served as lead guide on many of Iceland’s highest summits and glacier crossings, with various Icelandic and international clients along with highland wilderness walks, 4×4 tours, incentives, etc. Einar has also been teaching various courses, including mountaineering and winter skills courses for mountain rescue, avalanche training, navigation skills and glacier travel.

List of Ski Expeditions with pulk sled

1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2005, 2015. Several one-week ski expeditions in the Torfajökull massif, South Icelandic Highlands

1991, 1992, 1994 and 1995. Two-week crossings of Iceland from North to South

1995. Full circle of Vatnajökull glacier; 2 weeks

1996, 1998, 2005, 2019 and 2022. Crossing of Greenland from East to West; Hahn glacier to Sondre Stromfjord. 24, 24, 21, 22 and 28 days on the Ice Cap

1998, 2016 and 2021: Short crossing of Vatnajökull Ice Cap; 1 week

1999, 2001, 2002: Tour of Ammassalik Island in Greenland

2002: Skiing the Hornstrandir Region, North West Iceland. 2 weeks

2003: From Jökulheimar south to Eldgjá, then crossing Mýrdalsjökull glacier and over to Langvíuhraun, 2 weeks

2007, 2009, 2011, 2018: One week tour around the Islands North of Kulusuk Greenland, a winter pack ice expedition

2011: Guided the ascension of Gunbjorn Fjeld and Dome, the two highest mountains of Greenland

2013: Skiing, partially on winter pack ice, from Kulusuk to Kuumiuut and from there to Tasilaq, Greenland; 12 days

Nov 2014 to Jan 2015: South Pole from Herlules Inlet to the Pole. Guiding for Adventures Consultants

2017: Guided the ascension of Gunbjorn, Dome and Cone, the three highest summits of Greenland

2020: Winter version of the Laugavegur trail. 100 km in 4 days

2021: 9 days across Sprengisandur and the Central Highlands

2021: 4 days across Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the Mælifellssandur desert


1983 to 1985: Two years Mountain Rescue training, Air Ground Rescue in Reykjavík

1984: Baccalaureate from Menntaskólinn in Kópavogur

1985: 6 days Alpine Mountaineering course, Kapruner Hochgebirgshule, Austria

1986: National Park Warden diploma, Iceland’s Council for Nature Protection. 20 days

1986 and 1988: 8 days leadership course. Norwegian Red Cross Hordaland district

1987: 8 days Mountain Rescue course, Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland

1988: 3 days Avalanche Rescue course, Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland

1988: Instructors diploma avalanche rescue. Icelandic Rescue Group School

1991:Tourist and Trekking Guide diploma,  Icelandic Guide School, Kópavogur, Iceland 

1992: French for foreign students, Sorbonne University Paris

1993: DEUG in Geography, Sorbonne University, Paris 

1995: Professional driving license, B, C, D, BE, CE, DE

1996: Level 2 Avalanche Course, CAA, Lake Louise and Rogers Pass, Canada

1999: Wilderness First Aid, 80 hours First Aid Course, Wilderness Medical Associates, Iceland.

2004: Mountain Guide Training, 6 days with Nick Cradock, IFMGA Guide from NZ, Skaftafell, Iceland

2008: Administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland. Risk assessment for tourism.

2009: 6 days Mountain Guide Training with Gary Dickson, IFMGA Guide from NZ, Skaftafell Iceland

2009: Course on different cultures and their needs of different services and the need for service providers to adapt to different cultures of guests.

2016: Wilderness First Aid Training, NOLS, 80 hours First Aid Course, Iceland

2016: Polar bear gun training. Course for Icelandic Mountain Guides, adapted from Spitzbergen

2018: Icelandic gun and hunting course

2018: Recertification course WFR 3 days

2019: Small ship navigation course 3 months

2021: Recertification course WFR 3 days