The glacier hike adventure was the big day that we were all anticipating. Call time was 8AM at a gas station near the glacier, where we would be taking a 4x4 to the staging area.
At the gas station, we waited for all the people to get there. One of us had a broken pair of boots and needed to rent hiking boots. In the meantime I was staring at ice patches on the ground and stepping on them with a satisfying crunch. Here, have a listen!
After we were ready to go, we took the 4x4 to the staging area. It was a short and bumpy ride, and dropped us off very close to the start of the trail. Had we tried to do it ourselves our car would have to park farther back and we would need to hike an extra 20 minutes. Thankful for not having to do that! (Though at that point we probably wouldn't have bothered)
We were given helmets, harnesses, an ice pick, and crampons. We thankfully never had to use the harness, but I imagine it's for an emergency situation where someone falls down a crack or something. Crampons are these spike attachments for boots that let you grip the ice so that you don't slip. And an ice pick? Scratching my head... I guess we'll see what we will do with it.
After we gathered all the equipment, we looked out at the beautiful glacier we were about to climb. Already some of us were beginning to think this was a mistake. We thought this was going to be a nice liesurely hike.
With our guide leader in the front, we began our journey. For the first portion of the hike, the crampon was not needed and we hiked up the rocky trail.
As the weather in Iceland is fickle, it wasn't long until we saw some dark clouds roll on by.
And it blasted us with a bit of windy snow. Ow ow ow. Thankfully it wasn't for that long.
Still no crampons, the trail here was still manageable. But by this time we were feeling a general weariness and shortness of breath. I was surprisingly okay. Guess those burpees I did in the past month paid off.
And onward we trudged along, in the picture above we are now equipped with spikes. It's pretty common for those spikes to tear into the snow pants if you are not careful. The guide recommended stepping with some wide spacing and that's a funny way to walk.
Here it becomes very important to be careful where you step. Below the layers of snow could potentially be a chasm, like the one pictured above.
And as I looked back I could see we had climbed quite far. Below was a frozen lake and the icy mountainside, and you can see another chasm.
In the front, the icy footsteps of a previous group led the way, which was bordered by these light blue ice walls of the glacier, lightly covered by snow. A pretty color.
To the right of that, a towering spiky icy structure that looked like a super villain's secret hideaway. The color here is exaggerated with one of the filters I chose so it looks more dramatic than the reality.
Here I am with a weak pose in front of said structure.
Another shot of the lands below, and the real purpose of the ice pick. For dramatic contrast.
We got very close to an ice wall. This would be as far as we would go before we made our way down. So we took a whole bunch of pictures here.
A quick nap. Or pretending to have wiped out.
The way down was much easier and felt like a breeze. Here's a bunch of us on the trail we took.
Time to remove the crampons and walk normally the rest of the way.
We all agreed that this was a fun adventure, and the funny part is that if we had known what it would be like in advance, we probably would have passed. So that just goes to show sometimes it's better to be surprised! Or something like that. We came out of it stronger, and dreaming about the day where we would be able to soak in a hot spring...
The company that we went with was this group, and we were very happy with the whole experience. Fun and friendly guide (our guide was named Siggy), and well, we came back all in one piece right? Right.
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