My last big day trip was one I’d been looking forward to since I booked this trip. I knew that I wanted to see the South Coast of Iceland, because I have ancestors from the region. But I also wasn’t interested in the standard South Coast trip packages, because they seemed to spend a lot of time at random museums. I ended up booking an intensely cool 3-hour-long glacier hike on the Sólheimajökull Glacier, with stops at the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls on the way back.
One of the large glacial-fed rivers that the ring road crosses over, heading towards the glacier.
A flat floodplain, which carries waters from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier to the sea.
Farms along the base of a coastal mountain ridge.
Another floodplain, this one closer to the glacier I’d be hiking on.
At the start of the glacier hike. We readied ourselves with harnesses, crampons, and an ice axe at a staging area roughly 900m from the base of the glacier. When the staging area was built, the glacier went right up to the edge of the parking lot.
Beginning the hike up the glacier. The dark areas you see on the white ice is black dirt, gravel, and ash.
An anchor in the wall of the ice, held in place with an ice screw. Our guide setup ropes to help our group reach an ice cave.
Inside the ice cave.
Selfie on a glacier.
Ice axes are cool.
Heading farther up the glacier, towards devices placed in the ice that measure the distance the glacier has moved, and the amount it has melted every year.
An opening in the ice. The dripping waters most likely lead to a small tunnel under the ice, which leads to the small lagoon at the glacier’s base.
Snow had started by this point, but it only added to the atmosphere of the moment.
Looking back down the glacier towards the ocean. The staging area is just behind the grey ridge in the center of the photograph, to give an idea of distance traveled.
Our guide pointing out a crack in the ice.
Looking down one of the crevasses.
There were multiple groups of hikers on the glacier at the same time. Some were just hikes, others involved small amounts of ice climbing.
Our guide demonstrating basic ice climbing technique.
Heading back towards Reykjavik, a stop at the famous Skógafoss waterfall.
Looking across the coastal plane.
Seljalandsfoss, the second waterfall we stopped at. This waterfall is noteworthy because you can walk behind it.
View from behind Seljalandsfoss.