I hiked a glacier!
I didn’t even realise it was a bucket list sort of thing until we were about half way up. Then I began to realise that every step (which also resulted in a satisfying crunch) was more rewarding than the last…and more terrifying.
You have to wear crampons, essentially spikes, so that you don’t slide of the glacier (to put it mildly) and carry an ice axe.
The main rule is keep your feet flat – don’t land on your heel, don’t land on your toes. Your feet have to remain flat at all times. This feels like the most counterintuitive thing when you’re faced with any kind of slope…so that was fun. But it works, I promise.
In the words of our guide “the sun is our greatest enemy”, meaning we had to have finished the hike before sunset. It also meant that we had the most stunning views from where were standing.
Once we were more or less near the summit we came across a stream. At which point our guide put his axe across it and essentially did a push up using the axe for support in order to drink water.
I can barely do a push up in the gym without faceplanting, so I wasn’t about to risk it over a freezing stream, but a lovely lady in our group filled up her water bottle and shared.
Our guide told us it takes 20 meters of snow to make just a teeny tiny ice cube. I can’t even process how much must have fallen to form the glacier we were on.
This was definitely the highlight of my trip. I learnt so much because we had the most informative guide and reaching the top was so rewarding.
I would recommend glacier hiking to anyone. Our guide worked for Icelandic Mountain Guides – this company provided such excellent service that I recommend them to any of you visiting Iceland.