Glacier Hike Adventure! (Iceland Day 4)

in travel •  2 years ago  (edited)

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.

The journey continues...


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Holy crap! THIS is what you call a "vacation???"

It was no walk in the park that's for sure. This is tagging along someone else's idea for a vacation haha...

You wondered about the ice axes. If one of your party falls into a small hole two of you lean over. You carefully insert your axes between your companion's ribs and pull him out. If your hapless friend has put on his harness you have the option to hook the straps instead of his ribs.

Trust me, I'm a doctor.


Owww that sounds so painful. Seems plausible as an extreme measure but I got sick trying to visualize how it would work eek.

Maybe that's why we all have the harness haha....

Such a beautiful place, Iceland. I lived in Alaska once upon a time and we took a helicopter ride to the glaciers there and had lunch on one of them. I cannot imagine hiking one though - beautiful they are but also very treacherous (so are the mountain goats! LOL) and powerful. I remember pieces of the glacier breaking off and it sounded just like thunder, rattled my chest! Did you have to go through some classes prior to taking this expedition?

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful journey. How exciting! For sure, forever memories for you. Pictures are amazing.

Wow... The sound of it breaking sounds pretty damn scary. We didn't really need any classes. Just a simple explanation of how to walk with spikes and to walk the same path as the guide. Makes sense.

The guide also told us that he sometimes has kids and they need to be harnessed with rope so they don't go fall into a ditch as well.

Surprise hiking, which I both hate and love. I'm glad that you did it though! The place looks stunning and lovely as ever!

I love your pic as well. You look pretty cool! The filter you used on the pic was totally spot on. ^^

Thanks! I agree!

What a great way to spend a day, looks invigorating, challenging and beautiful. Those hidden chasms give me pause.

Yeah me too. I feel like I saw a documentary where they really scare ya. Like how deep some of these can be and such.

A nice post for the Hive to direct us to. The frozen puddle void of water crunching, heard that millions of times up here in Alaska, just hope I never hear it on a lake.

Oh yes, agreed on that!

This looks like a great time not too big a fan of the cold but when you're having fun the cold doesn't matter much I'm sure!!!

only a little :). Thanks!

I am first time reading post recommended for the HIve and I am pleased to read such an informative write-up.
I could not be imagined if I will be landed in this cold place and ski around this cold ice.
See the happy faces in the photos are great

Thanks! Skiing would be pretty hard I think. dangerous too ;)

thanks for the response. I would imagine skiing is really hard to do. Not only you need to be really physically fit, mentally as well as you ride through the iced uneven surface, controlling the speed with body balancing all the time and so on. I could only imagine these are happening as I have no idea how to ski ( LOL )
Anyway, do enjoy this sport while you have a chance

That looks like an amazing time. Would love to do something like that one day with my kids...will leave the wife in the hotel as she doesn't like the

Hehe... Yeah that cold was no fun, but it was a good experience.

That's gorgeous, I'm super jealous! Iceland's near the top of my list of places I want to visit.

That's a stunning place to hike. And, yes, very satisfying crunch sound :)

Lol... glad you found out the purpose for the icepick. I found myself imagining what it would feel like to be kicked by someone wearing crampons. Hmm.

Great travel blog and your pics are as good if not better than any I've seen in travel brochures.


Thanks! I had the same kind of thoughts about crampons. That and how rather unfortunate the name is because I keep thinking about cramps and how unpleasant they are.

Lol, yeah. Maybe too much hiking gives you cramps.


This looks surreal! What a unique activity. I’ll have to go and look at your precious Iceland days. Thanks for sharing.

Maybe I should have my posts link to the first one hmm.. I do have links from each one to the next. Thanks :)

What a great adventure. Everyone be enjoying the the trip wth smiles and waves. Iceland seems to be a beautiful country.

What an adventure! So glad you guys did it and took pictures to show us along the way! What fun! Thanks for sharing. It truly looks amazingly breathtaking! Glad you all survived and no one well into a chasm!!!

Yay for crampons! Man your feet are huge btw.

We tend to wear crampons as the winter starts and ends here. But a smaller version of those. We don't have mountain climbing here like that but always deal with ice.

I am pretty sure that there is an evil lair under those picky things. Maybe Doc. Ock decided to relocate. I couldn't imagine a different evil thing being able to maneuver it's way into it :p

They are? Hmm I wonder if that's just the boots or the angle haha. Yeah that ice seems like it could be tricky

You know how I feel about snow... but these pics are beautiful! You may have finally swayed me into thinking iceland is visitable... haha

Looks more like the Fortress of Solitude actually.

No need for it to always be the bad guys/girls who get the blame for those structures.

You are absolutely right. Not sure how I didn't see that earlier! Maybe I think Superman is a villain.

Wow! What an experience! Your pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

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Thanks!! I'll check it out!

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