Vatnajökull Glacier Crossing

Join PolarExplorers on an incredible 9 day crossing of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Located in south west Iceland, Vatnajökull covers 8,100 square km of snow and ice and boasts numerous volcanoes including Grímsvötn (Iceland’s most active volcano) and Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2110 m). This spectacular glacier offers the perfect location for this classic ski/pulk adventure. Like its polar cousins Vatnajökull has unpredictable weather with potential for strong winds and precipitation. On clear days the views are stunning with rocky nunataks and mountain peaks surrounding the glacier. We will be traveling expedition style, camping in tents with potentially two nights at the famous Grimsfjall Hut (complete with a geothermal wet sauna) perched high atop the caldera of the Grímsvötn volcano. The ease of travel to Iceland makes this expedition a breeze to plan and the relatively short duration means that you can go from door to door inside of two weeks. Contact us to learn more!

 

 

  • Itenerary
  • Equipment List
  • Qualification
  • Dates & Rates
  • Testimonials

Vatnajökull Glacier Crossing Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Meet in Reykjavik. Review clothing & equipment. Evening welcome reception and dinner.

Day 2

Early morning departure for Jokulheimar on the western edge of Vatnajökull. Start skiing in the afternoon.

Day 3-4

Skiing towards the Grimsvötn volcano, night in tent. Arrive at Grimsvötn caldera, night at the Grimsfall Hut (based upon availability).

Day 5

Layover day. Time to explore the vicitiny around the Grimsvötn Caldera. 

Day 6

Descend off the Grimsvötn caldera and change our course towards Hermannaskaro Pass.

Day 7

Continue towards Hermannaskaro Pass and begin ascent that eventually leads to towards Öræfajökull.

Day 8

Ski to the base of Hvanndalshnjúkur. If our arrival is early and the weather is good we may climb Hvanndalshnjúkur today.

Day 9

Weather permitting we will climb Hvanndalshnjúkur before descending off the caldera. Night spent at hotel near Skaftafell National Park.

Day 10

Return to Reykjavik, final group dinner.

Day 11

End of expedition.

This itinerary is highly dependent on a number of factors and is subject to change. Contact us for a more detailed itinerary!

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Vatnajökull Glacier Crossing Equipment List

Upon registration you will receive a comprehensive equipment list as well as consultation from PolarExplorers on your personal kit. 

  • Sleeping system (sleeping bags and sleeping pads)
  • Skis, boots, bindings and poles
  • Skins for your skis
  • Crampons
  • Ice ace
  • Climbing harness
  • 3 locking carabiners
  • 3 non locking carabiners
  • 3 pussiks (13, 6 & 5 foot lengths prior to being tied in a loop)
  • Daypack / rucksack
  • Headlamp / head torch
  • 1-2 liter wide mouthed water bottle with insulated cover(s)
  • Wool or synthetic base layer (top & bottom)
  • Wool or synthetic mid layer (top & bottom)
  • Windproof and waterproof breathable jacket and pants
  • Synthetic insulated parka or waterproof down parka
  • 2-3 pair wool or synthetic blend ski socks
  • Camp booties with sole
  • Gaiters
  • 2 pair gloves
  • Windproof / waterproof overmitts
  • Ski goggles
  • Sunglasses / glacier glasses
  • Facemask
  • 1-2 wool or synthetic hat
  • Sun hat with brim
  • Sun block
  • Pee bottle
  • Personal toiletries
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Qualifications for Vatnajökull Glacier Crossing

This expedition is for people who are in good shape and are eager to push themselves physically and mentally. The days can be long and the skiing, though not technically difficult requires that you maintain an appropriate pace.

You will need to have very good cardiovascular endurance and the ability to pull a sled (between 25-35 kilos) for several hours at a time. Towards the end of the day when we stop skiing, it is critical that you have the energy reserves to help with the group camp chores. Most importantly you need to be able to regulate your body temperature so that you do not get too cold, or too hot while you are on the move.

This expedition can encounter extreme conditions including high winds, limited visibility, snow, rain, and cold temperatures. Living in such conditions 24 hours a day can be very challenging. You do not have to be a world class athlete to participate in and enjoy this expedition, but every ounce of training and preparation will help to make the expedition more enjoyable and safer.

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Vatnaökull Glacier Crossing Dates & Rates

Dates & Rates:

2018 Tentative Dates: May 14-24, 2018

2018 Tentative price: $ 4,900 per person

Inclusions

Includes all group equipment, guide(s), permits, communication & safety gear, transfer to/from the glacier, most meals.

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Vatnajökull Glacier Crossing Testimonials

“Incredible scenery and skiing. The descent off the Grimsvötn caldera was a blast! Sledding will never be more fun. I loved the changing weather and the fact that we experienced many travel conditions in 8 days on the glacier. This expedition should be on everyone’s short list.” – John Barkhausen

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Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

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