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Fatbiking Icelandic Volcanoes – Backpacking Light


This article incorporates ancillary info films volcanofatbikeille, which documents the ambition exceeds Iceland fatbike

To start with, let me introduce myself just a little bit, I'm Gerard Anton (born 1984). Dentist

2012 – Path du Mont Blanc – 6 Days

  • 2013 – Snow Trekking in Svalbard – 5 Days
  • 2012] 2013 – John Muir Path (Yosemite to Mt. Whitney Portal) – 9 Days (11kg Backpack)
  • 2014 – Mountaineering in Nepal – 17 Days
  • 2014 – Iceland to the North south eight days.
  • 2015 – Crossing Iceland by way of Fatbike – 12 days
  • 2016 – Teide zero – 4000 m within the Canary Islands – 2 days
  • 2016 – Annapurna Circuit Nepal – 11 days
  • 2017 – Tasermiut Packrafting 230 miles in Greenland
  • I began to participate in journey races in 2002 and I’ve been within the race mou additionally thereafter. In 2014, it was the first time in Iceland. I wander the Laugavegur path and fell in love with the ground. I knew I had to go back to doing one thing aside from mountaineering, so I used to be exploring quicker but still mild options for backpacking and I started shopping for gear for the subsequent adventure.

    I observed the first fat wheel in Spain in 2013. I had by no means tried but thought that their capacity to navigate within the snow was an advantage for some expeditions, and particularly I had Iceland in mind. Iceland has a few of the largest glaciers in Europe, together with the Vatnajökull (Europe's second largest glacier, just behind the Svalbard glacier). It’s typically run by 4 × 4 off-street automobiles and skiers with pulse training for polar excursions. So why not comply with their tracks via fatbike?

    The purpose was to mix probably the most lively volcanoes of the island. I need to travel 410 miles on my greasy bike and carry all my own food and gear by combining mountaineering and biking. The first problem I discovered was the lack of knowledge on the crossings of glaciers and the weather in these areas. Plainly many locals do not travel deep into the mountains of the region

    I got here to Reykjavik on July 15th. Once I stepped into the airport, I noticed on tv with closed roads and snowstorms within the mountains. I requested some individuals in Reykjavik, and 2015 was one of many coldest of the last century. I began the route on a black sand seashore near Skogafos, south of the island. The US Army machine of the Super Douglas DC3 has crashed nearby. The crew all survived the influence, but the machine was abandoned somewhat than returned, which signifies that the regulated residue stays in the collision website

    Skogafoss Waterfall

    Trek is comparatively straightforward till Skogafoss. From there I needed to push my bike up the hill and obtained 3950 ft. It lasted all day. Snow didn’t final lengthy, once I went 2000 ft (600 m), I saw it for the primary time in the expedition. It was moist and heavy snow, which consisted of sunshine fog and warm temperatures, which made the pedaling virtually inconceivable. I spend the rest of the day pushing my fat wheel between the Eyafjallajökull and Katla volcano

    The first objective is Eyafjallajökull (5465 ft; 1666 m). The well-known volcano in Iceland, which broke out in 2010, gave European flights common flights for 20 days. Camp within the snow, however in good weather. In the morning, I took my mountaineering gear and started the hike to the summit. On account of snow and wind the visibility was low, so I navigated with the GPS making an attempt to keep away from the seracs and crevasses. I rise up, I noticed that the snow covers my footprint and that I have to comply with the GPS path to return to the base camp. After two hours, I acquired near the summit, but across the summit there was an enormous Serac. Just 50 meters left for the summit, however I had to go back. I'm not carrying mountaineering shafts and candles, and Serac has given too much danger. Once I went alone, I needed to know when to bow to the weather; it is very important know when to say no.

      Eyafjallajo Kull

    Traversing Eyafjallajokull.

    Then I tried to climb the Katla volcano. This is 11.eight mi (19 km) east of the camp. On the best way to Katla's summit I found a cottage with a ranger. Due to the massive number of crevassi, he tells me that alone can’t be safely at the summit. In addition, the final two people who tried Katla in 2012 needed to be rescued by helicopter. I decided it was wiser to take heed to the rank and to not tempt the fate, so I followed the route back to the camp, this time going to Thórsmörk after which to Landmannalaugar. This part of the trail is meant to be very troublesome: there is a fastened rope and a few rocks. I needed to be very careful at some factors. The individuals I met here have been totally shocked to see me on my greasy bike in this terrain!

      Descends from Katla

    Descends into the valley earlier than turning to the Katla Summit.

    Thórsmörk, I spent the night time there. The subsequent day I received to Lake Askja, which was coated with wet, heavy snow, which pressured me to spend 3 times the time I waited for this part of the expedition once I needed to drive my bike. Sometimes, the circumstances pressured me to take my gear off the wheel, push the wheel up and return all my other gear. These onerous circumstances, combined with two days of rain and snow, brought on my gear to get moist and I had no probability of drying my gear and charging the batteries to Garmin inReach and the digital camera by way of the solar panel.

    I didn't go to Landmannalaugar, fell off my bike and lost my sun shades. Sun shades are an essential a part of snowfall because snow blindness is dangerous. I used to be pressured to improvise: I used a tubular balaclava that coated my eyes – when the material was skinny, I might see by means of it.

    Although I used to be shifting slower than I might have appreciated, I obtained to Katla's foot Volcano. It is among the most lively volcanoes in Europe, which breaks out each seven to ten years, although it is going to be within the near future because the last eruption in 1999. The boiler volcano (4960 m / 1512 m) just isn’t a technical climbing and the primary considerations of those that attempt it are typical for each hike in high terrain. About two and a half hours to climb. Due to the heavy cloud cowl, it might not have been one of the best day to climb to the highest, but I lastly reached the summit

    Two days after the trip I arrived on the foot of the Vatnajökull glacier. Through the peak season the foot of the glacier is often filled with exercise, but winter circumstances have made it empty. Basecamp also has a secure travel company in Iceland, which, when listening to my plan, tells me that it isn’t attainable to cross the glacier because of the great amount of snow and heavy snow. It might not contradict the top of August. This was the worst information I might hear in this expedition part. This was my aim, and I had to assume again about my plans

    What can I do now? I might go house, but I had deliberate this journey for eight months, and I didn't need to go house without assembly my objective. I made a decision that to succeed in as a lot as attainable I ought to go to the southeast and check out the very best mountain of Iceland, Oreafajkull (6923 ft / 2110 m). It was troublesome to begin this journey – not physically, but mentally. I couldn't full my unique objective, so the perfect thing I might do was to succeed in the final volcano I initially meant to climb by means of a special route.

    After two days of kneeling, I acquired to the foot of the Orphanage. The climate was ugly and it was not one of the best day to attempt to get to the summit. Nevertheless, I am journey, so I hid my bike and alkoin climb to the summit at 2100 meters. It was long and arduous, the trail was lacking and coated with snow. After four hours and strolling about two strains I had reached the summit.

    I returned to a greasy wheel and rotated two days in the wind till I came to Reykjavik. When taking a look at this trip after two years, I have observed that I’ve discovered lots of backpacking. Typically in your life you possibly can win and typically study in your life. Iceland I discovered lots. Vatnajökull is there, calling me; perhaps i’ll try to overcome it once more (perhaps in august)

      Camp Jokulsarloon Glacier

    The campsite of the writer, where the Jökularloon glacier fills the sea.

    An important journey in ripping the adventure is preparation. You must go to the sunshine. But as an alternative of throwing the gear off and getting the lightest gearbox, it’s best to hone gear that’s crucial and never helpful. Icelandic climate is tough, windy and wet virtually day-after-day, so sturdy and warm gearboxes are important, even when you attempt to stay mild.

    What would I modify?

    • I might have invested in a heavier tent. The glacier wind could be robust and the prospect to destroy the tent at night time is a real probability.
    • I might have introduced the snowballs to my tent to keep the tent tied to the ground in excessive winds. I used an ice ax on this trip, but the pair of factors can be better than one.
    • My digital camera (Nikon 7100) was too heavy. I'd like to carry a small digital camera in the future. Cameras of similar quality at the moment are half the load
    Product Description Weight Notes
    Tent Vaude Hogan UL Argon 1-2P 3.28 lb (1.49 kg) [19659048] Lighter six-month mannequin Lunar Solo Tent shouldn’t be robust enough for Icelandic wind.
    Fat Bike Surly Ice Cream Truck 35.three lb (16 kg) Very heavy, iron wheel, nevertheless it's virtually indestructible. The reliability of the units was higher than my weight.
    Backpack Waterproof Professional Sports 20L 1 lb 10 oz (760 g) Waterproof
    2 Orlieb Curler Metropolis 3.35 lb (1.52 kg) Waterproof
    ] Video gear GoPro Hero 4, Nikon a7100, Tamron 18-50 f2.eight lens three.35 lb (1.52 kg)
    Prepare dinner Package Vargo 750 ti pot, Loopy Titanium Foldable Spork, China Titanium cooker 6.7 oz (191 g) I really like this mix.
    Jackets Research Gortex Jacket 1lb 7 oz (650 g)
    Salomon Bonatti Jacket 4.6 oz (130 g)
    Trangoworld TRX2 850 Jacket ] 1 lb 5 oz (590 g)
    sunglasses Adidas Evil Sun shades for the eyes 0.9 ounces (26 g)
    Sleeping bag Lining gear Phantom 32 1 lbs 6 oz (629 g) I take a look at lighter options resembling a blanket for future excursions [19659082] Sleeping Pad Camp Important Light Mat 11.1 oz (315 g) I'll change my pillow sooner or later resulting from again issues. I’ve used the newest travel Thermasrest NeoAir xLite program
    Lengthy underwear Merino wool lengthy underwear 14.eight oz (420 g) That is the most effective heat weight, which I’ve discovered for use at night time
    Telephone [19659046] IPhone 4S three.9 oz (112 g)
    Footwear Teva Sandals 10.2 oz (290 g) At the crossings of the river Ice Ax ] Petzel Snowwalker 14.6 oz (415 g)
    Crampons Salewa Alpinist Aluminum 1 lb eight oz (680 g)
    Mountain slides Millet Supertrident GTX Millet Supertrident GTX ] 1bb three oz (550 g) Nicely-functioning body
    GPS Suunto Ambit Peak three 3 oz (86 g)
    Garmin Etrex 20 5 oz (19659048) 141 g)
    Photo voltaic Panel Objective Zero Nomad 7 1 lb (460 g) Used in GoPro and InReach to download minds
    Emergency communication system Delorme InReach SE 6,7 oz (189 g)
    Trek royal shirt Helly Hansen
    Wheel repair package numerous instruments and alternative elements 10.4 oz (295 g)
    First Assist Package Adventure Drugs .5 3.7 oz (105 g)
    Water Remedy Saywer Squeeze three oz (86 g)

    I’ve been to Iceland four occasions after this expedition and I share the next ideas for these planning a visit:

    • In the summertime it might rain each day. Ensure you take a superb waterproof raincoat, perhaps two. You’ll be able to dry another whereas using one other in the camp. It is very important stay dry. Summer time is just not all the time warm, and a sunny or wet morning doesn’t imply that the weather will continue after five minutes.
    • The Icelanders are pleasant and completely happy to assist in case you need it
    • it is essential to take a headlamp in July. Virtually all day is daylight.
    • Take a great digital camera and benefit from the amazement you take pleasure in in this wild place.

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