Locations: Svinafelli, Jokusarlon, Hofn
CHECK THIS MOTHER OUT
By the time we got to the base the wind had really picked up. Sometimes to the point of losing complete balance. This is something I experienced last year while shooting in the same area.
I caught up to Brose, who was standing with two other hikers behind this lone wooden sign before you hit the actual glacier. I knew the wind was high - but come on, no need for shelter… when I got closer I found out why. Pelting rocks, dust and ash at what we later found out to be 160km/hr. It would come in gusts with following lulls. During these lulls, I’d ready a shot - by the time I’m set to record, another gust comes and impales you with what felt like needles relentlessly hitting your skin.
It was getting bad. I massive gust followed this. The other hikers had gone back while Brose and I readied ourselves behind the sign. The burst was twice as bad. We could hear much larger rocks smashing against the other side of the sign. I look near my feet and my tripod starts taking off down a hill - I go on the chase mid gust. I made it about 15 feet before the wind twisted me one direction then spun me the other, throwing me into a bed of rocks below the glacier base. All I can remember is seeing a massive rock heading for my face and me covering up ready for the hit.
Big pain… Something was up. The gust died down and Brose ran over. Took me a minute to drag my self up. My left leg/hip was fucked along with pain in both knees. We collected the gear and slowly got back to the Info centre.
Long story short… Biggest, deepest brusie I’ve ever had followed by a bunch of blood. I didn’t want to deal with medical so I just cleaned it up, iced and wrapped it. 3 weeks later, as I’m writing this - it still hurts. Good times. I was lucky I suppose…
After getting to shelter and cleaning the ash out of my eyes and hair. We went outside again to find numerous SUVs pulling in with smashed out windows. Apparently the winds on the ring road were so bad that all the windows would instantaneously give out. Shit was getting real.
We were warned not to go East or West from where we were because it was worse than what we were experiencing… In south Iceland, the road only goes two ways, East and West. We were stuck. Err… maybe
In typical moronic fashion, I defied caution and replaced reality with my own. We set east… made it 8km through torn up roads, sketchy bridges and blowing rocks and sand before giving up. Luckily made it to our cabin.
It was situated in a beautiful area on a farm surrounded by mountains, ocean, and tiny waterfalls… and sheep. I spent the rest of the day sitting… healing, talking to other shelter seekers. I would limp outside between gusts to grab shots of the wind storm. Best sunset of the trip.
It was a quiet drive to Jokusarlon the next day- the massive glacial lagoon in the East. I was in mourning. Eventually sucked it up and pulled out one of the back-up bodies… It was really an amazing site. The storm had pushed all the icebergs into the lagoon.
The wind was picking up again so we gunned it to Hofn where we found another cabin… a little less sturdy then the last. The wind had hit a new high - It surpassed 200km/hr. Our cabin and beds shook all night.
Prior to this we grabbed some food at the petrol station… where I found out there was a movie night… only in Iceland…
All photographs and video copyright sabre dane and sabredane.com 2013.