After a great morning exploring all that Vatnajökulspjódgardur National Park has to offer, we met up with our Tröll Expedition tour guide at the National Park's information center. We were fitted for our helmets and crampons before a quick bus ride to the base of Svínafellsjökull. This 'tongue' of Vatnajökull, is part of Europe’s largest glacier.
Our tour started with a safety lesson at the bottom of the glacier where the ice was covered in a thick layer of soot. We didn't need our crampons yet, but we were soon taught how to put them on. We were also shown how to use the ice pick for balanced walking, but we never used them for anything other than cute pictures). Once we were strapped up and properly trained, we began our ascent to the top of the exposed ice.
John called it, “a stroll around the glacier,” because there was nothing difficult or scary about the hike. It's roughly an hour of stomping around different parts of the glacier, looking at crevasses, and drinking fresh glacial water if you're lucky. Since the tours are on a time restraint, we could only go a short distance onto the glacial outlet. We were informed that it would take roughly three days to get to the looming mountain Hrutfjallstindar.
The experience of walking on a glacier is one few people can say they have had, and it was very very cool. But when we passed a group doing glacier climbing, John and I wished we had chosen a more “extreme” tour to get a different perspective of Europe's largest glacier.