Dear fellow armchair adventurers, I’d have an announcement to make. Those following me on Twitter might have already spotted the reason for the blog being a bit quiet, a lot more quiet than I’d like it to be… This is because I’ve been busy organizing my next project and my main trip for this winter:
I’m going to Iceland to ski across the Vatnajökull.
Training Z-pulley building and use for crevasse rescue.
Vatnajökull is located in South-East Iceland. It is the largest glacier in Europe (measured with volume of the ice, Austfonna in Svalbard having slightly larger surface area) and it could be even considered to be a small ice cap. Here are few facts about the Vatnajökull:
– 8100 km² of icy surface to enjoy
– 3100 km³ of ice
– Average thickness of the ice is 400 m reaching 1000 m at maximum and soaring up to 1800 m above the sea-level in some places.
– Distance from the Western edge to the Easternmost point is about 200 km as the crow flies.
– There are things like the volcano Grimsvötn and the Iceland’s highest peak Hvannadalshnúkur (2109 m) on the glacier.
– The weather at the glacier can be really shitty: cold, rain, snow, white outs and winds well over 100kmh.
There are still some uncertain things and lots of things to do but so much time and effort has been put into the planning of this trip that I feel confident to tell about the plan in public.
The planned route
I’m going to do the trip with my long time girlfriend Nina and two friends (Jouni and Heini) from the last year’s Ultima Thule 2011 expedition to Svalbard. The trip will take place in March-April and we are going to spend around two weeks on the glacier. The plan is to:
– start the skiing from Jökulheimar near the Westernmost point of the glacier
– ski to East up to Grimsvötn, the volcano at the middle of the glacier
– ski South to Hvannadalshnúkur and climb to the summit (weather and schedule permitting)
– ski a bit back to North and then turn East and ski to Lambatungajökull, one of the Eastern most outlet glaciers of Vatnajökull
– descent the Lambatungajökull and walk from there to the village of Hoffel
– ski a bit over 250km of skiing and have great time!
We are just hoping to have good weather (better than Alex Hibbert had on his try), no volcanoes erupting near us and not having to negotiate very bad crevasse fields.
Training for crevasse rescue: climbing rope with prusiks.
Coming up soon…
Even though this is not a ground breaking expedition we are still going to put up a separate blog for the expedition and send short updates from the glacier during the trip. The blog will be in Finnish but I’m working on getting translations of the updates to this blog. If there are voluntary translators out there, please leave a comment or send an e-mail for details! (Finnish to English translation, few SMS each day for two weeks in March-April.) And of course there will be some posts in English here related to my personal preparations and some analysis after the trip.
Stay tuned for more info…
Congrats Jaakko, very exciting! Really interested in this.
Thanks for the interest, Toni! It’s always nice to know that someone is inteersted in what you do. It’s kinda selfish assumption that there’s always some people interested in following ones wehere abouts. The expedition blog (in Finnish) should be online during this week! 🙂
Iceland is a very beautiful place, and budgetwise it’s probably easier destination for an adventure / expedition. A few fatbikers have been there in the summertime, but I would of course be interested in a winter fatbike expedition. 🙂
Iceland is good choise budgetwise when compared to “real” arctic regions beyond the seas. I think winter fatbike expedition would be totally doable. The Icelandic winter is quite different than the winter we have. There might be very little if any snow and the weather can be pretty shitty with rain, sleet and high winds… Not the best conditions for skiing across the island (glacier is different thing as snow/ice is certain) but totally doable for a bike. Maybe doing South-North crossing following some of the (summer) roads of the interior Iceland.
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