A new, unusually large ice cave was found on the east side of Langjökull earlier this autumn, reports Morgunblaðið. Ever since it was found, tourism companies have started to improve access to the cave.
Jón Kristinn Jónsson, co-owner and managing director of Amazingtours, reveals that the company has been searching for new ice caves in the area for a while already. According to him, they found a few smaller caves at first, but the real jackpot was the cave that was found this autumn. “Everyone who has been inside of it has been excited,” Jón Kristinn comments.
In addition to Amazingtours, Sleipnir Tours has also been working at the site. The two tourism companies started to make the ice cave more accessible right after it was found. This was done by ensuring there would not be any large chunks of ice falling from the ceiling and by installing lights on the walls of the cave.
Tours to the cave have already started
A few weeks ago, both Amazingtours and Sleipnir Tours began to arrange group visits to the recently found ice cave. According to Jón Kristinn, the companies make three trips to the cave daily. Approximately 150 people can be taken to the cave each day.
Jón Kristinn, who has worked as a glacier guide for the past 12 years, says that this is the biggest cave he has ever seen. It is divided into two floors, and from the upper floor it is possible to see how large the cave actually is. He adds that the capacity of the cave has not been investigated yet, but Jón Kristinn estimates that only the upper floor must be at least 40 to 50 square meters wide, and the height of the cave might reach up to 60 meters. “When you get down to the lower floor, it seems even bigger,” he comments.
The cave is hoped to last for three years
These kinds of ice caves form and disappear according to the work of Mother Nature. Jón Kristinn hopes that this cave would last at least for the next three winters. However, it could disappear as soon as next summer.
The cave is not owned by any individual or company, which means that anyone can visit the cave by themselves. However, Jón Kristin says that even the best jeep does not get you there, since the cave is located 800 meters up the glacier. He adds that traveling without a guide in the glaciers is highly dangerous.
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