2015 Vatnajökull Glacier Expedition, a great success

Our Vatnajökull Glacier Expedition in April 2015 was a great succes. Conditions were good and we got many days with very good weather. On this eight days expedition we crossed Vatnajökull, Europes‘s largest glacier, starting from Tungnárjökull outlet glacier in the west and ended down on Breiðarmerkurjökull outlet glacier in the south-east. On the way we stopped at the hut in Grímsfjall and then again in Esjufjöll. Three nights in the huts and four nights in tents on the ice cap. We started out on the 14th of April and came down on the 21st.

Here below are few photos from the expedition.

Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
The first two camps. On the left is how the camp looked after the first night and on the right how it was after the second nigh.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Getting closer to Grímsvötn caldera. There we see Öræfajökull in the background, some 50km away.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
The hut on Grímsfjall (Grímsvötn area) is great. It´s heated up by the volcano it self and there we also have a volcano powered steam bath.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
We spent two nights in the hut. The plan was to ski in ther area during the day but the weather was too bad for going out. Enjoying good food in the warm hut for a day wasn´t that bad 🙂


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
The weather was bad all day until about eight or nine. After that the skies cleared and this is what we got. A beautiful night and great views.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Here we see down to the Grímsvötn caldera from the hut. Snowless areas around where the ground is warm and steam rising up.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
We kept on going, now towards Öæfajökull. Going down from Grímsfjall mountain is fun. The slope is steeper than before so you can simply sit on your pulka and slide down. The weather this day was awesome and we did 23km, our longest day.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
The tents are roomy and comfortable.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
We continued down to Breiðamerkurjökull glacier instead of going up to Öræfajökull. We decided to follow the good weather.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
There we see Mávabyggðir mountain range. We are on our way to Esjufjöll further east.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
The hut at Esjufjöll is small but very nice and has all you need.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Inside the hut at Esjufjöll mountains.


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
We did some skiing without the pulkas in the great Esjufjöll area before heading down towards the endpoint of our expedition


Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
In the Esjufjöll area you have mountains, broken up ice fields and splendid views over Breiðamerkurjökull and down to the ocean even.
Photo: Björgvin Hilmarsson
Stopping for snacks on the way and enjoying the sun.


All photos by Björgvin Hilmarsson

We have two departures planned for next year. Check out our web site for more info. For info on other expeditions check here.

For photos from a Vatnajökull crossing in 2014, check here.


– bh

A successful Vatnajökull Glacier Expedition

A successful Icelandic Mountain Guides Vatnajökull Glacier Expedition came to a end now on Friday the 30th of May. It was a group of four that started off from Jökulheimar on the west side of Vatnajökull glacier, Saturday 24th of May. The group was transported to Jökulheimar in a modified super-jeep, a journey that was an adventure on it´s own.




The group slept in tents for two nights on the way up to the awesome hut at Grímsfjall where they staid for two nights. A day trip in the Grímsvötn area in good weather was absolutely great as the landscape and environment is mind-blowing around this very active volcanic area. The expedition members of course used the opportunity to relax in the volcano powered steam bath that‘s part of the Grímsfjall hut facilities.




On the fifth day, the second part of the expedition started and the group headed out in the direction of Öræfajökull (one part of Vatnajökull). Two nights in tents on the glacier and the second one just above Hermannaskarð. On the seventh day the group went on towards Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland‘s Highest peak (2110m).




After a day of approach with blue skies and sun, clouds gathered around the peak when the actual climb was about to start. In foggy conditions the group went up the slopes and could use skis all the way to the top. When only few meters were left to the summit it self, the clouds went away and the skies opened up. Absolutely magical!




After a week on the glacier and a very long last day, the group descended off the glacier and went straight to a feast combined of a grilled leg of lamb and other delicacies that waited them. It was a great trip in mostly good weather and it was IMG mountain guide Ívar F. Finnbogason (on the left with a yellow backpack) who lead the expedition.




Soon, information about next years Vatnajökull expedition will be available on the Icelandic Mountain Guides web site www.mountainguides.is. Those who are interested or want more information can contact IMG directly via expeditions@mountainguides.is or simply book online. To visit Grímsvötn or Jökulheimar on Super Jeeps can also be arranged via Iceland Rovers.

All photos: Björgvin Hilmarsson








July 30th

July 30th: Due to technical difficulties we were not able to update the diary. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

The group of 9 that compleated the whole Coast to Coast trek is back to civilization. The group arrived to Vík on the 30th of July at 16:00. On the last meters they ran across the beach to get to the ocean, which was the final destination of the trek. Everybody had a smile on their face and happy about their accomplishments. Two staff members from the office in Reykjavík greeted them with well deserved champagne, fruit and chocolate cake.


July 10th

July 10th: The last part of the hike to Askja was on snow. The snow was still hard so it did not slow them down. Apparently this is a strong group, keeping up good pace as they storm between camps. Positive aspect of all this snow – they don‘t have to worry about water as they continue in to the deserted highlands.

July 4th

July 4th: The group has a rest day in Mývatn. After this they are heading into the highlands. This winter there was a lot of snow. It hasn‘t really cleared and there is still much snow in Askja so they can expect some tough days ahead.