‘I’m pretty sure I can still feel my balls freezing.’
I stated to Jen of She Gets Around as she clambered in behind me on the snowmobile. She laughed and gave me a smack on the arm. She replied,
‘Concentrate, we need to survive this.’
I grinned and turned my eyes to the white blank canvas before me and let go of the throttle into the unknown. This would be my Ice Cold Adventure.
When Berghaus asked me to tell them my top Ice Cold Adventures, I knew exactly what to tell them. It wasn’t my confrontation with the Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand. Nor my tantrum when I was yet delayed again by the snow grounding my flight to Buenos Aires (watch my hilarious video). Again, nor my epic journey after stranded in my own car on a shaky bridge, snow drifted in. It was only one adventure that was pretty ‘cool’. (See what I did there!). It was my time on Langjokull, Iceland’s second biggest glacier.
#IceColdAdventures on Langjokull
‘We are going snowmobiling on a glacier!’
My tour guide gushed as we assembled in the lobby of the Alda Hotel in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Surprised gasps rang round the room and all I could feel was the thrills that rang down the length of my spine. It would be a dream come true for me. All my life, I wanted to set foot on a glacier, retracing the footsteps of long-forgotten explorers. But to ride on a snowmobile on top of one? That was just the icing on the cake! Kitted out in the warmest clothing I could find in my suitcase, the mighty land rover jeeps awaited us outside drawing admiration from the crowds that surrounded them. They were the Mountaineers of Iceland and they were mean, lean and a bruising machine!
We raced out north east of the city into the wild unknown, climbing uphill on the freshest rock of this Earth thanks to the constructive plate tectonics that raged in the magma deep below us. In the throes of deep summer, the land was a fertile green that soon gave way to barren rock, that could double as the moonscape. Snow soon dotted the horizon, giving way to blankets of it before hard crusted ice dominated the view. We were rising high to the force of nature that carved through valleys. The Langjojull Glacier was not to be messed with.
The weather became wild, and white blindness soon settled in moments after we jumped off the jeeps. Bearings were thankfully made because of the Base Camp in Skalpanes, on the Eastern side of Langjokull Glacier. But first we needed to be properly kitted out for a couple of hours on the ice on our ice cold adventure. Already after ten minutes, I lost all feeling in my buttocks and my nose was far redder than an alcoholic’s. Quite simply, we needed waterproof and thick layers. So in I climbed a very cosy ‘onesie’ (a term the burly guys at Mountaineers of Iceland detested me saying) and layered my feet with thick nordic socks and waterproof boots. Complete with tough gloves and a helmet that was bopped onto my head, we were ready to go and get speeding. But first, we needed to get to the top of the Glacier.
‘I really think you need to put your seatbelt on.’
The mountaineer guide in the jeep turned round to warn me. Surely, we would just be driving up to the edge of the glacier, I thought. Feeling like a huge stuffed animal, I strapped myself in with difficulty and focussed on breathing. Boy, am I glad I strapped in. The next 15 minutes had me whooping like a trooper as we careened down crevasses and ditches, rocked around firmly in our seats, trying to navigate round deposited terminal moraine stuck in the ice. We were soon at the edge of the glacier where a line of snowmobiles laid before us. This was all becoming more and more real.
Snow started to drift down from the white skies, visibility slowly being blanked out. My breath steamed before my face as I panted with excitement and anticipation. I placed one foot on the glacier and giggled inappropriately. I could have done cartwheels but I had to listen to the snowmobile induction, which I promptly forgot as soon I took the measure of my own machine. Standing astride my own snowmobile, I could feel the cold air was nipping at my face and the familiar numbness of my bottom soon slowly returned. There I made that balls comment when Jen jumped in behind me as she was part of my trip to the land of fire and ice.
As soon as I pulled the throttle to follow the guide, the snowmobile gave a cresending roar as it jerked suddenly onto the ice, seamlessly gliding along the white surface. Waves of melted ice water splashed across my boots and the snow soon clotted the transparent visor of my helmet. All I could see was white, endless white, the horizon disappeared as the earth and sky melted into one. We were in a blank canvas.
Only the hum of the engines stirred us awake as I strained my eyes to see the dots of my fellow travellers follow each other and the guide into the white desert. Sometimes we crossed over streams, rocky outcrops and snow drifts. It was exhilarating, magical and truly out of this world as I whooped with joy and gusto as I sped along, both of us yelling at each other to go faster and faster. The snowmobile threatened to tip us over but the danger made us to spike our adrenaline levels. We hit several snow ‘ramps,’ launching us into the air for a brief second that felt like slow motion in further slow motion. Like the white emptiness around me, my mind became calm and serene as any hyper thoughts and worries melted away only to focus on following the guide. This Ice Cold Adventure was turning me to feel at one with nature, feeling the brute force of her power and her primordial age.
Soon, we stopped for a break. Tottering out of my snowmobile, I collapsed in the snow on my back and spread my arms and legs creating snow angels. A snowball soon hit my face thanks to a cheeky Jen, and all of us promptly had a snow fight. On top of a Glacier. How many people do you know could say that?
Soon, we were en route back to Base Camp after a thrilling hour on top, this time with Jen in the hot seat. She probably scared the life out of me with her mad driving skills but I couldn’t help plaster a genuine smile on my face. I was pushing myself to the limit and for the first time in ages, I was buzzing.
Soaked to the skin, my fingers and my nose numb with cold, I couldn’t help feeling warm inside me. Was it the rush of blood to insulate me? I don’t know, but I knew I had found and experienced my very own #IceColdAdventure…
I bet you’re probably wondering what the #IceColdAdventures hashtag is all about?
This blog post experience is part of a Berghaus competition where you can win a £250 Berghaus Voucher! Cool! They are marketing this throughout all social media channels and blogs and I think it’s a brilliant concept for all of us to share our #IceColdAdventures. Every week they reveal one of their top 5 Ice Cold Adventures and this week’s offering is my an adventure I would totally love to go on – Scale Wild Unclimbed Peaks in Antarctica!
But guess what! You can enter the competition too! All you need to do is include the hashtag ‘#IceColdAdventures to a Twitter or Instagram photo to be in it to win it! Already, there are fantastic offerings on their competition page and it’s a great way to get inspiration for your next Ice Cold Adventure!
Check out other #IceColdAdventures:
The Travel Hack: Dog Sledding in Canada
Curiosity Travels: Snorkelling & Glaciers
If you want to follow more Rexyedventures, please do follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or you can even sign up to receive emails from this amazing website! Wow! (Warning: Handsome pictures of Ed Rex included)