our last adventure in iceland - hike at sólheimajökull glacier and the art of ice!

Solheimajokull Travel Blog

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wahahahaha us horsing around at sólheimajökull glacier :P (but david b. and amber were missing *sniff*)pic from big matt tb: matt

jóhan's jokes kept me entertained the whole trip and his vast knowledge of iceland kept me at the edge of my seat! he explained so many things in iceland that i never knew of! im beginning to "understand" the country more - not jus being here and enjoying the what the country has to offer but also understanding the geology and physical characteristics of iceland better. jóhan was actually impressed about what we did circling iceland on our own withouth any guides!

we arrived on a BEAUTIFUL day at sólheimajökull glacier - but there wasnt any excitement anymore of driving through the rough road, we were on a comfortable vehicle, with soft seats and space - so the bumps were only minimal and - we had been here before. so we already knew what to expect - except of course - hiking the the glacier itself and the beautiful and gorgeous weather!

the icelandic guides (which we booked through mountainguides.

sólheimajökull in all its glory. (different from 6 days ago where it was hard to see because it was raining and cloudy)
is) parked the cars in the parking lot and looming at us was sólheimajökull glacier - glistening in white as the sun reflected the light into the ancient ice. we were assembled at the station where the tour agency had their equipments, there were also other agencies and people who were booked for a hike that day - also some people who randomly drove on the highway and came across the glacier.

we were briefed of what-to-do's by the other guide - halldór (who was the biggest icelander i had seen lol). he meant business and not as easy going as jóhan lol. his booming and commanding voice put the 15 of us (david b. and amber wasnt there) and the two americans in order - lol - we were a big group actually - the other glacier hike groups were only 5-6-7-8-9-10 people on them! i needed a smoke from a long drive and maike told me :P that if i was doing it with her team (as she is a sports coordinator) she would reprimand me :P lol hahahaha

as jóhan and halldór distributed the hike gears - i was "required" to wear waterproof pants because i was the only one wearing jeans (wilmke too) but i dont want to! lol i like wearing jeans rather than the slimy feel of lycra material.

one of our icelandic guide, halldór briefing us the do's and dont's around the glacier.
thats when halldór seemed a little sour towards me :P and he said if i fell and got wet - its my fault :P lol - and those waterproof pants were so ugly! lol i dont wanna wear them hahahahahaha. then jóhan started distributing the crampons for the glacier hike - we get to wear them on the base of the glacier and then our harnesses. as we were putting our harness on, i couldnt believe it miss one strap for the leg but i didnt noticed it - until wimlke told me :P hahahahaha rj immediately took a pic of it - not wasting time to catch me in embarassing situations - hey at least i was not biting an apple :P hahahahha.

heading to the glacier - i was one of the "laggers" - hey again - its our last adventure in iceland! i dont need to rush - i need to absorb all the surroundings around me that i would never probably see again! we walked past the valley leading to sólheimajökull glacier - it was still the same after 6 days that we first went there - nothing change - except that there were no rainbows as the sun was shining so brightly!

as we reached the base of the glacier halldór who was in command of all of us, told us to put our crampons on, but first - he demonstrated how to tie the laces in our shoes, it was easy for me - because its also the way i tie the laces in my boots, he kept looking at me - (i think he doenst like me :P lol) and i was so nervous that i kept fumbling and its taking me time to actually time to tie the lace - it didnt helped when halldór said "YOU THERE, DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM?" :P lol that seem to shake me :P so i tied the lace as fast and tight as i could! lol.

jóhan! the coolest icelander i've ever known! here explaning how water from above runs deep into a moulin.
it was so warm! i had 4 layers of clothes and my scarf - i removed my scarf and put it inside my daypack - it felt as if it was choking me! i shouldnt have worn my leather jacket too! arrrghhhhhhhhh

when were all set - it was time to climb the glacier - with crampons (not unlike the first time we tried it 6 days ago - we climbed it by ourselves :P lol) there were other people who tried going up to the glacier withouth gears and halldór said its the risk they have to take if they get an accident. one by one, we followed halldór in a straight line towards the glacier - i stayed on the tail end with jóhan at the back, from time to time, i was asking about this and that stuff to jóhan.

then our beeline stopped and halldór explained to us about the moulins - these are holes in the glacier which water from above run through the glacier holes and to a glacier lake underneath, halldór said that there are many sizes of moulins, small.

the difference between a crevasse (left) and a moulin (right)
medium and huge - he assisted each and everyone of us to look down and take pictures of a huge moulin along our glacier hike. all of us were curious and halldór had to hold each and everyone of us as we peered to a large and deep chasm in sólheimajökull glacier. then somebody asked what a crevasse was, jóhan then explained the difference between a crevass and a moulin - the former being small or huge cracks in a glacier while the later - is more dangerous and very tricky if someone fell from it :P

as we moved on across the glaciers - avoiding moulins and crevasses - we passed through some curious stacks of black earth shaped like a pyramid - halldór scooped it up and told us that it was the ashes that was blown out from the eruption of eyjafjallajökull volcano!!!! the famous volcano that disrupted the air space of europe for almost a week last april! and halldór said that we could take it as souvenir!!!! the problem was - we dont have anything - plastic bags - etc.

the gang walking across the glacier with the pyramidal ashfall from eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption!
to put it on!!!! arrrghhhhh that was really a pity!

we broke into two group - unfortunately, i wasnt with jóhan but with halldór - maike, jeff, harri, rj, big matt, dave and janja were with jóhan and went t explore the small ice caves in the glacier - which irritated halldór hahahaha. both the icelandic guides kept radio-ing each other and halldór said that that "my friends" are hard headed lol hahahha well, what can you expect?! travbuddies! hahahahahahaha

anyway - as the other guys were away - halldór told us some stories about the glacier - in the  old times, farmers make their own crampons and herded their sheeps all through the glacier and above the mountains the surrounds it, because the grasslands were untouched and good for the sheeps to feed - i was fascinated by that - humans are really ingenious.

me, standing at sólheimajökull glacier.

some of us (specially jeff) wanted to go all through the top of sólheimajökull and eventually to the mother glacier itself  - mýrdalsjökull but the icelandic guides laughed and told us - we only paid for the glacier introduction :P hahahahahahahaha. after an hour of walking across the ice - it was time to go - halldór assisted us again as we made a bee line down the glacier - maike was with jóhan all the time (im sure she finds jóhan cool as i do!) and apparently she told me that she was interested in applying for a guide in the tour company - i told her - to do it! dont think about it for a second - just do it!

as we were back down the valley - halldór told us to wash the crampons in the glacial river so that the dirt would be washed away.

jóhan helping us to cross a crevasse.
after dipping my crampons - i walked to the valley - together with janja and maike - on which janja made her last headstand on iceland!

finally i caught up with jóhan and asked him how far did sólheimajökull glacier has retreated - and he told me that it was so fast - in just ten years - it retreated to more than 2 kilometers! and thats really bad - because in a matter of time - sólheimajökull glacier will dissapear.

at the parking lot - we were all excited about our introduction to glaciers - and probably it would be an eye opener to some guys to explore more territories - i could hear jeff and mark talking about a glacier in washington state in the U.S. that they would try someday. then back in the car, it was time to go and catch dinner with the travbuddy meet up with hrabbi organised!

as we were driving back to reykjavik - i had so many questions again! lol i asked jóhan whats the most beautiful glacier in iceland and he told it would be hofsjökull because of its unique round shaped structure and in the past years he told me - that many glaciers - mainly small one have dissapeared in iceland.

my favorite picture of all in the glaciers - maike and jóhan!

it was a very interesting conversation with jóhan! such a cool guy you know?! hahaa he's a person that i would not be intimidated because he had lots of experience but having conversation all day! he can be funny and serious at the same time - such a unique character for an icelander! lol

the guys dropped us off at our hostel in reykjavik and we said thank yous and goodbyes to each other!

it was an amazing experience to be with people who knew about iceland - it was different from searching the internet and doing it on our own - of course its cheaper - but with guide - we were orientated (briefly though) about some things we needed to know and they are not very stingy with informations! that is what its all about - sharing knowledge so that each and everyone can benefit from each other! and they dont talk shit - they knew what they were talking about! lol

NOW ITS TIME TO PARTY!!!! bring on travbuddy meet-up reykjavik!

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wahahahaha us horsing around at s…
wahahahaha us horsing around at s…
sólheimajökull in all its glory.…
sólheimajökull in all its glory…
one of our icelandic guide, halld…
one of our icelandic guide, halld…
jóhan! the coolest icelander ive…
jóhan! the coolest icelander i'v…
the difference between a crevasse …
the difference between a crevasse…
the gang walking across the glacie…
the gang walking across the glaci…
me, standing at sólheimajökull g…
me, standing at sólheimajökull …
jóhan helping us to cross a creva…
jóhan helping us to cross a crev…
my favorite picture of all in the …
my favorite picture of all in the…
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8,033 km (4,991 miles) traveled
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photo by: lauro