As we researched the feature for this glacier issue, getting onto the ice to experience it first hand seemed like a must. We drove down to Skaftafell on our way to interview Einar Öræfingur, and stopped off to take a hike onto Skaftafellsjökull with Icelandic Mountain Guides.
We got lucky: our guide for the day was a friend of our photographer, Timothée Lambrecq. Tryggvi was a real pleasure to take a trip with. After patiently fitting us up with helmets, axes and crampons, we walked to the foot of the glacier. He talked all the way, answering our questions and explaining the features of the long glacial moraine.
On the ice itself, two hours passed in what felt like an instant. We saw mulans dripping water deep down into the ice, a glistening, otherworldly ice cave, and walking up the deep blue crevasses of Skaftafellsjökull’s snout.
Tryggvi took the time to point out some details: the streams of bubbles, compressed into the glacier and pushed into weird, organic shapes by the forces at play; the point where smooth ice started to pass over rough ground, splintering the sheet into dramatic natural sculptures. One thing we didn’t see was Jöklamús: free rolling balls of moss that live on the glacier. But Tryggvi knows where to find them, and it’s just a good excuse for a return visit to Skaftafellsjökull.
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