Good days, bad days…

26th of November, Einar and his team arrived at Camp 3 (80°12’579 and 80°33’941) after walking in a white out for 6 hours and 16 minutes.

“Very hard to negotiate Greenland size sastrugis when you don’t see a thing. Altitude at 771m which is half the gain for next 550 km. Thyl camp is at aprox 1500 m 550 km away. Temp in camp -12 wind 2 m/s . Plan is to walk 7 active hours tomorrow. With less height gain we should be faster.” Einar told us in a message in the end of the day.

db7bdea0-1d3d-4e89-948a-e2093e9d3b3f-781188147Hugh and Einar looking good

In the latest message from Einar that we were just receiving, Einar tells us that they indeed had a good day yesterday like he was hoping for.

“We had our first full day of 7 hours. During the day we had white out conditions which improved by the end of the day. In the white out it is much harder to navigate a good route through the sastrugis.”

In the end of the day they had done 18,2 km. Camp 4 at 80°22’392 w80°29’669.

Next day was a bit tougher. “Today [28th] total white out the whole day. Disappointed with the progress. Mere 14,2 km in 7 hours.”

Camp 5 at 80°30’005 80°26’548. -13C 8m/s

Well, good days and not as good days so far. All normal and we keep on following the teams every (almost) move.

– bh

Off to Antarctica

Einar and his team managed to leave Punta Arenas on Saturday and flew over to Union Glacier. When there, Einar had to meet up with at least five different people and take care of various things. One of the things the team had to do was to rearrange the food a bit. The freeze dried food and and the dried fish (of course Einar took that with from Iceland) was still separated from the rest of the food. They had to divide all the food up into the portions they would take with them in the beginning and then what would be waiting for them on different locations on the way.

When things were in order on Sunday they tested the gear a bit and did a short warm up tour. Then on Monday they flew out to Hercules Inlet and started walking at 13:15. They did 10km this first day, 5 active hours of skiing. The terrain was quite steep they gained 310m. In the end of the day they ended at 500m. The weather was good, some wind (around 10m/sec) blowing from the south of course and the temp was around -15°C.

ET_camp1Two photos sent from Einar Torfi. Skiing in good weather and then then Camp 1. Endless daylight.

This photo below is showing the plot from Tim Garret´s tracking device. Here we see Union Glacier, the landing spot at Hercules Inlet, Camp 1 and the route they have done so far today, Tuesday. We will be adding a map soon that will stay at the top of this South Pole’s expeditions section of the blog. Points will be added as they come in.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 23.38.39Plot from Tim Garret´s tracking device.


– bh



In Punta Arenas preparing for Antarctica

“The team is in good spirit and doing well.“ Ok that´s what we want to hear! The days since Einar arrived to Punta Arenas have been used well to take care of the food and other things needed for the expedition.

SAMSUNGThe team is just about to leave Punta Areans

The team finished preparing the food bags yesterday. It was all packed into duffel bags before the guys from ALE came to weigh the load, food and gear, and then transport it to the airport. The load was 473 kg excluding the clothes they will wear on the plane and the hand luggage.

maturAll the food has been packed now and is ready to be transported to Antarctica

Celebrating the end of packing the team had a good lunch. In the afternoon there was a presentation at the ALE office for all travelers who were scheduled to fly out tomorrow to Antarctica. In the presentation the team got to know everything about the flight and procedures on arrival at Union Glacier.

SAMSUNGEinar´s expedition partners

Apparently the weather conditions are not too good at the moment so the flight will not be tomorrow as planned but on Saturday as the weather looks better then.

After the presentation at ALE‘s office, the team went for some really good food at a restaurant, lot´s of salad and some beer, something that they will not see much of while in Antarctica.

– bh

Photo: Einar Torfi Finnsson

Meet the Guide: Einar Torfi Finnsson

Einar is now in Punta Arenas getting things sorted out and ready for the South Pole expedition. He had a pretty good trip down there, only minor problems that he probably expected anyway… like his pulks getting stuck in every other elevator and baggage conveyor  🙂

Einar on his way. Some waiting time, then moving on…

Well, he had some some inconvenient encounter with the customs when arriving to Chile. “Was busted in the customs in Santiago, Chile, smuggling a beautiful sausage I was planing to eat as a Christmas treat.” But I know for sure that he has some other treats with him that will come in handy.

Let´s get to know Einar a bit better now:

Einar Torfi founded Icelandic Mountain Guides (IMG) with his cousin Leifur Örn Svavarsson a long with two other friends back in 1994. Einar is considered an expert in everything regarding outdoor adventures in both Iceland and Greenland. His knowledge of each destination has no limits almost and you can be sure that a book about some Greenland expedition is never far from him.

Einar and his clients on top of Mt. Dome, Greenland.

Einar spends most of his time running the incoming department of IMG but as many of our office staff members he clears his mind every now and then doing what he loves, guiding tours. In winter you might find Einar in Greenland with his cross country skis tied on or in the highlands of Iceland on the Winter Highlights super jeep tour.

Einar got his basic mountaineering training from the ICE-SAR way back and was an active member of the Icelandic Air Ground Rescue teams for two decades. He´s been guiding since 1984. In the beginning he mainly guided hiking and cross country ski tours in the winter. Then he took on backpacking and trekking tours in the summer time. Now he has really guided everything IMG is or has been offering through the years.

Einar Torfi knows Iceland like the back of his hand. This one is from one of his favorite places in the highlands, Kerlingarfjöll area.

On top of expeditions a cross the Icelandic highlands and glaciers in the winter time, Einar has guided on Mt. Gunnbjörn and Dome, two highest mountains in Greenland and twice lead expeditions a cross the Greenland ice cap.

To describe him in a short sentence: Einar is a very experienced and hard working guide with a passion for nature and nature conservation.

– bh

Photos: Einar Torfi Finnsson

IMG heading to the South Pole

Now we are counting down the days. Einar Torfi will leave for Punta Arenas, Chile, on Saturday the 15th of November. Ahead is a two month long expedition to the South Pole. The team of four will have to work hard on the way, this kind of journey is challenging for sure. The strenuous polar life and harsh conditions demand good physical and mental fitness of the team members.

The actual skiing will start on the edge of the Antarctic Continent and will not end until the team has reached the geological South Pole it self. The total distance that will be covered is around 1130km and the team will eventually climb up to 2.835m altitude as they reach their end goal.


You better be well protected when travelling in the harsh conditions of the polar regions. Photo: Leifur Örn Svavarsson

Einar Torfi will keep us posted about how the expedition is going by calling us and sending us text messages and photos. He will also send in the teams current position. We her at IMG‘s head office will be reporting right here on the blog the whole time, so stay tuned!

Story on Einar Torfi and the South Pole Expedition in Morgunblaðið, local news paper: In Icelandic /  In English (shorter version)

– Björgvin Hilmarsson, operation manager