5-6 weeks of walking through the snowy and icy desert, alone on skis and pulling all your luggage. This idea describes the essentials of my next expedition, which goal is to accomplish solo winter crossing of Iceland, east to west.
This volcanic island, famous for its landscapes, in winter becomes a hardly accessible wilderness. This winter I set mymself a goal to cross Iceland alone across the middle. On skis and hauling a 50 kg sledge, I will walk 750 kilometres. The progress of the expedition will be possible to follow in real time, thanks to satellite messenger. It’s location will be updated daily on this website.
Iceland has been my goal for years. In 2016, I crossed it alone, also from east to west, in summer conditions. That year I connected two extreme points of Iceland: Gerpir and Bjargtangar. When I finished, I already knew that I would like to cross this beautiful country again: on foot and alone, but this time in in winter. Why walking? Because it’s the best way for me to experience the place I encounter. It’s also a personal challenge, as nobody can take a distance of 7500 km in very difficult winter conditions lightly. It requires physical and mental endurance, patience and humbleness. On top of that, there is a need of being self-supported for those weeks. Finally, the weather – due to Iceland’s location just below the Arctic Circle, winter there means severe cold and regular hurricane winds.
The expedition will start about January 15th and will be finished beginning of March. At that time, Iceland’s highlands are cut off and the weather conditions in the interior are very difficult. The plan assumes to cross the entire width of Iceland, between Dalatangi Cape on the east and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on the far west. Within 35-40 days of walking I will pass through volcanic desert, covered with snow, in possible frost below -20°C and strong winds. I will move with all his gear and supplies using only the power of his muscles. I will walk through desolate, rocky landscapes, lava fields, rocks and rapid rivers. All the equipment necessary for survival will be carried by sledge, as well as complete food supply, which must ensure his survival for 5-6 weeks in solitude.
There have been several winter crossings of Iceland in history, but only two have connected the east and west shores. None of them were lonely. Such long trek, with heavy load and in difficult conditions, will be a great adventure. I’ll face several hundred kilometers of loneliness and struggling, for sure. Winter Iceland, however, gives you a wonderful chance to meet Arctic nature in all its glory. Walking in such difficult place requires great caution and good preparation, but should give great satisfaction.
Long distance hiker, traveler, photographer, guide. Lukasz has spent several years exploring mountain ranges and trails in Himalayas, Karakoram, Central Asia, Europe, Middle East, crossing of Alps and Pyrenees. Solo thru-hike of Carpathian Mts 2004. Thru-hike of Iranian Zagros 2014. Winter Iceland crossing 2020.