Up a Glacier

If you want to have an experience of a lifetime, hiking on a glacier in Iceland HAS to be on your list of things to do.

While in Iceland I was able to do A LOT of things in 12 days but nothing even came close to this experience.  Hiking on Solheimajokull with Arcanum was no doubt my favorite tour of my entire trip!!!

We met in the parking lot of a small cafe and lined up in front of the Arcanum “office” to get our gear, which consisted of crampon’s, ice picks, pants, a helmet & and a belt of some sort.  I have to be honest, I felt LEGIT!   Like a real adventurer. 😉

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The hike was lead by Tomas, a very pleasant and humorous younger man.  He told many Icelandic saga’s(stories) that had us all in awe and laughter every time we stopped.  He was also a wealth of knowledge, teaching us a few important Icelandic words, such as “Takk”, and using his ice pick to draw narratives in the snow during the hike, explaining the make up of the glacier we hiked upon, as well as the surrounding area as far as the eye could see and beyond.  As a visual learner this was SUPER to me!!

During this process, he also explained the dangers involved in participating in this adventure.  To be honest, knowing the dangers that surrounded us on ALL sides(an below)made the tour more exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  He told us about the volcano below us, Katla, which last erupted in 1918 and is likely due for an eruption.  In the past, when Eyjafallajokull has erupted, Katla has erupted a few years later.  Eyjafallajokull erupted in 2010, you do the math. ;).  He told us about the crevasses which were everywhere, some visible and some not visible, about the ice ridges, the sinkholes and the possibility of avalanches and rock slides.  The dangers were very real.  As an adrenaline junkie, this made me love our excursion even more!!!  In all honesty though, even though he did made us aware of the dangers all around us, I never felt unsafe.  It could be in part because that area of my brain(fear) does not work very well.  😉  I honestly felt like I was on a national geographic expedition.

Moving right along . . . we had several opportunities to stop and take in the amazing beauty which surrounded us.  This made for perfect photo ops.  Tomas was very patient with our photo crazy group.  All of us wanted to take about a million photos and/or videos and never once did he make us feel like we were a burden for it.

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Speaking of national Geographic, a couple of weeks upon returning home, I received my issue of National Geographic traveler in the mail.   The “50 tours of a lifetime” issue and the first TWO PAGE photograph in the article showed a hiker on Solheimajokull!!!  Needless to say it vividly brought back every memory and emotion from the tour which overwhelmed me with joy and excitement all over again.  I was also filled with a sense of accomplishment to have completed a task in a national geographic “to do list”.

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iPhone photo taken of National Geographic Traveler, May issue.

If you have never considered going to Iceland, I urge you to consider it and go even if JUST for this experience.  If you are already considering going to Iceland, this BETTER be on your to do list!!!  No excuses.  There were people of all ages on our tour so you really have NO excuse.

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with my bff Kasie

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At times, I felt as if I were looking at the world in black and white. It was AMAZING!

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mountains, glacier, moraine(volcanic dirt mixed with ash from the eruption of Eyjafallajokull in 2010), rocks, snow, NATURE!

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 Our incredible guide Tomas explaining an illustration he drew in the snow for us.

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Keeping hydrated by munching on an icicle.

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Iceland has some of the bluest blues I have EVER seen in my entire life!!!

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Teacher Tomas

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An ice cave made up of multiple layers of beautiful blue/green ice.

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Me in an glacial archway! 😀

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Tomas likely telling us not to go over that way. ha ha

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One of the many breathtaking views of life in black and white on a glacier!  Oh and a few ice ridges and Crevasses. 😉

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Making snow angels on Solheimajokull with my bff!!! UNREAL!!!

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There were sink holes everywhere.  They were covered by snow so you had NO idea where they were, how big they were or if you might step into one! That is why it was best to stay in a line behind Tomas. 😉  I dipped my camera into it(see video) to see how deep it went. . . . it just kept going and going and going!!!

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One of MANY crevasses.  The scary ones are the ones you CAN’T see!!!

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 Tomas doing his thing. . . Helping things make sense to us about glaciers, specifically the one we were on.

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A candid taken by my bff Kasie during one of our stops along the hike.

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Lifeproof is Glacier proof!!!

As I mentioned above, if you are going to Iceland and have to pick just ONE thing to do, please make sure it is THIS tour!!!  If you aren’t planning a trip to Iceland then you really should be! 😉

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A special thanks to Arcanum for hosting me as their guest on this tour. As always, the content & opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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