From Iceland to Mt. Hood: My journey to Keely’s Camp!

First Icelander in Keely’s Camp on Mt. Hood


Photo by Crystal Sagan: Helga Backcountry Skiing in her home Country of Iceland.


So here’s the story about me joining the Keely’s camp as a Coach Intern.

In February the Aurora Arktika ship captain contacted me and invited me and my younger sister to this girls backcountry camp, which coincidentally was in my hometown of Isafjordur in Iceland! My sister Hanna and I were to join a group of American skiers and they wanted to have some locals with them so we jumped on this opportunity and went sailing and skiing for a week.


It was amazing. We got to know these awesome girls who are the same age as us and we skied and explored our country with the American girls. If I were to describe this trip in one word it would be: unforgettable.


Keely Kelleher and Lindsay Mann were so inspiring and helpful and they made this trip so fun; still at the same time we were learning. In one week my sister and I felt like we had known the American girls our whole lives which led to unstoppable tears when they left Iceland.


At that point I wasn’t sure when or if I would ever meet those girls again but guess what? A week later when Keely was traveling around Iceland she stopped by my home and stayed there for one night. Keely told my dad she would love for me to join her this summer as a Coach Intern on Mt. Hood! I can’t even explain how exited I was to go ski in America. So yes this is the story about me getting to know Keely and her camp. I have learned so much during my time as a Coach Intern and will be forever grateful for my experience on Mt. Hood.

Me, Lindsay Mann, Keely, and my sister Hanna after an awesome day in the Icelandic backcountry!


Well now I’m here and I’m having the time of my life literally. This past week has been amazing and all of the girls and the coaches and Jennifer of course have been like a family to me! I’ve felt so welcomed here so I honestly feel like I’m home. In January 2016 I tore my ACL in my knee and I didn’t get to go to surgery until the end of April. I missed two whole ski seasons and my interest in racing wasn’t as much as it had been before I got injured. Now, holy cow, how tables have turned by coming here, every day when we ski I don’t want to stop!



Being an intern is just such a good way to get to know this sport better and it’s helping me improve my skiing at the same time because these amazing coaches are so helpful. Their teaching us what they know from their experiences and I really look up to each coach.  This experience has been another unforgettable trip and a huge adventure. Thank you Keely’s Camp!

Helga training GS on Mt. Hood!

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