Standing on the foot of the ancient old Solheimajokull we got spikes under our feet. Next to that we got a safety belt around the hips.. Because of the precautions that took place I saw some people thinking. They obviously didn’t expect this…they seemed worried!
I recognized that look on their face
” Is this dangerous?? “
The guide told us that without these precautions it isn’t safe to walk the ancient old ice. Of course we don’t expect that anything will happen but in case it does…you have a safety belt that allowes us to get you out of a deep hole… Hmm..that wasn’t the answer they were hoping to get. The guide saw their worrying faces too and started to tell about the great sunset we would see on top of the glacier, that would give us a great landscape view!! I saw tension on their faces….this would be a challenge for them!!
Climbing Glacier Solheimajokull
My visit was in January and the sun sets around 4 or 4.30 pm, so twilight takes a long time during the day. We went up the glacier around 1.30 pm so we didn’t had much daylight left. I looked around me and all I saw was snow … big black mountains and a lot of snow. On the foot of the mountain was a small lake and in the lake were big ice floes. What a great view!! Most of my travels I was in summer weather and destinations but I really loved this!! It wasn’t cold either, it was around freezingpoint and no wind.
The lake at the foot of the glacier was a part of the ancient old glacier. It is called Solheimajokull and is a small part of the much bigger Mirdalsjokull. This great icecap covers the active vulcano Katla. The last time that it erupted was in 1918 and, don’t you worry, the glacier is closely monitored.
Solheimajokull is just a small part of the big icecap called Mirdalsjokull
Walking on ice is a challenge ofcourse. And while walking up the glacier you’ll walk on unequal grounds. After all the safety gear was checked and put on the right way we left for the glacier. At last we got a pickaxe to get a bit of grip and we started to hike.
We were walking in line and it was good to do it this way. The path was safe, there the ice was thick enough to carry us. There were no wholes or airbubbles at least. The ice was tens of metres thick, year after year it freezes over and gets a bit thicker. The ice we were walking on was 80 years old. There is a black layer of ashes on the ice and in the top layer that indicated that it was of the last outburst of the Katla in 1918.
I think that is so impressive! Strange to know and walk on it 🙂
Ashes, almost a 100 years old that comes on top of Solheimajokull
The view got better and better every time I looked back. The higher we got the more you could see. And as time passed the better the colours in the sky turned!! Twilight set in and it was great to be walking on top of the glacier still!
On top of the glacier our guide showed us a great part of the glacier. Because of the melting process arcs started to arise from the ice. The first one we visited was thick enough to walk underneath and see the blue colour of the ice. We also got to this smaller one that wasn’t safe anymore but the view was great!
It was twilight already and I loved the colour of the sky and the reflections of the ice. It gave us some wonderful views over the magnificent landscape of Iceland!
Twilight on Glacier Solheimajokull
A couple of us started to worry again. How long was the hike back down? How long would it take to get really dark? Did we even brought some light?? It didn’t turn out to be that long and the twilight in Iceland in January takes for ever 🙂 We were at the foot of Solheimajokul before dark and walked to our agency bus in dusk to drive to a restaurant to get some nice Icelandic soup!
Would you like to read about my other adventures in Iceland? Take a look at: 10 minutes in Summertime, Pingvellir About the path I used to get to a waterfall, it was a challenge and I loved it!!
Or about the biggest contradiction I have ever felt!! Bathing in a snowy landscape
Or click here for a summary of Iceland Blogs
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Read my previous posts about Iceland:
Bathing in a Snowy Landscape, Iceland in Wintertime
The Best Hamburger of Iceland
Roadtrip in Iceland
Rent a Car in Iceland? Yes!
10 Minutes in Summertime… Thingvellir Nature Park
Accomodations in Iceland