Thursday, August 23, 2012

Threading The Glacier Head

After a full day of driving to the East side of Iceland to Höfn (Huff to locals) we rested up and got ready to climb a glacier off of Vatnajökull.  We did a 6 hour climb up the glacier and didn't fall into any crevasse or get eaten by glacier mice (it's a real thing...only they are not mice nor do they have mouths).

Walking up to the glacier.

 At the bottom of the glacier we were introduced to the "glacier mouse".  Glacier mice are the only forms of life (aside from microorganisms) found on the glaciers.  Glacier mice are balls of moss that slowly grow on rocks and pebbles on the glacier. As the glacier melts and moves the mice roll making these perfect moss balls. It takes decades for them to grow to the size you see here (a moss ball you can fit in your hand).

Glacier mice!

 Climbing the glacier, we encountered waterfalls, crevasse, rivers and moulins.  The landscape of the glacier was insane.  Of course, the glacier was ice (duh) but just above, below and on either side of the glacier was green, green, green.

Glacier with green mountains in the background.

Ice cave, crevasse and ice falls (the black is ash from the Grimsvotn volcano eruption)

Climbing to the bottom of the ice falls.

A moulin about 120 feet or so deep.

Team Hákarl on the glacier.
After the glacier climb, we headed back to Höfn.  But not before stopping at Jokulsarlon Lagoon.  This is a lagoon where giant pieces of the glacier break off and float out to into the Atlantic Ocean.  It is on my top 3 favorite spots that we visited in Iceland.  For it being giant chunks of ice floating in water, it is unbelievably beautiful.  At the bottom of the lagoon is a black sand beach where some of the icebergs get beached.  This is the best beach I have ever visited.

Black sand beach at the bottom of Jokulsarlon Lagoon.  This is a COLOR photo.
While visiting the lagoon, we booked a boat tour to go and see the icebergs up close (those photos coming soon).  We then headed home but not before seeing this:

"Sunset" over Vatnajökull.

1 comment:

  1. this post has already passed up where we left off. ha