my icelandic jaunt

Missing Iceland. #iceland #ísland #basketball
DAY - 6 and 7

Locations: Svinafelli, Jokusarlon, Hofn


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.

Next 5 days

Once I reach Reykjavik, I’ll be updating this with stuff from the past week and the week ahead. Haven’t had enough time in civilization to do anything internet-wise - but thats a good thing. I’ll do a day to day update after THIS final push… gonna be a hefty 5 days. I plan on getting lost mid-way through the Westfjords. Hike in, pitch a tent on a mountain and hope for the best. If you don’t hear from me by Friday - I’m somewhere along this route.

We’ve arrived to the capital of the North - Akureyri - to be civilized for a night before the long haul of the West Fjords. Here are some@of the locals. Blog update soon-ish. #greenpeen
Lake Myvatn #iceland
DAY - 3, 4, and 5

Locations: Thingvellir, Gysir, Gulfoss, Landmannalaugar, Vik.

We began our 3rd day in Thingvellir. Awful weather. Iceland is a beast that way. the weather can change every 15 minutes and expose you to snow, rain, sleet, hail, wind storm, and sunshine within an afternoon. Our first few days have made it hard to shoot anything because of that. Nevertheless, we made way to the fissure (tectonic plate split) which was a pretty cool couple hour hike, back and forth past a large waterfall and massive cliffs to each side. We hit Geysir and Gulfoss (waterfall) after this for a few hours… Very touristy, not a lot of opportunity for shooting because of the yellow jacketed bastards boggying the shots - expected though.


Fed up, we shot down to the south to a town called Hveragardi - a hot spring town beside the mountains. We met two couples, one from Cali and one from Belgium who both told us to make the 3 hour off-road trek to Landmannalaugar in the Highlands. A base camp in the mountains. So making that our target, we set up camp in town, in the rain, and endured the cold night.

The road to Landmannalaugar was almost incomprehensible. It was if we were driving on Mars. Vast volcanic, sandy fields surrounded with mountain backdrops. Off-road filled with pot holes and river crossings. Our little Suzuki is kicking ass at this point. No river deep enough. It was a beautiful day at start then about 2 hours in - snow storm. We’d have reached the highlands for certain. Hail, rain, and snow - the usual suspects. Once we arrived at base camp the weather would go through 15 minute cycles of rain, sleet, snow and sunshine with high winds. We had to cross our deepest river at this point to reach the camping area. Check it.


There were a few remaining hikers, one being a photographer that had been there for 3 weeks re-photographing landscapes from the 1920’s. Big burley bearded mountain man type - he fit the part at least. We set up camp - my tent situated in front of a volcanic rock cliff-ish structure, colourful red, blue, and green sedimented mountains in my front view, snowy mountains to my left, and a hot spring to the right. Holy fuck this is what I’ve been waiting for.


We did a day hike that started in a lush green volcanic rock maze. some structures jutting 20-25ft in height. We came across a snow peaked mountain which we decided to climb. Once reaching the peak it began to snow storm with huge winds. Made filming tough but memorable. Another war with mother nature - what a bitch.



We descended and immediately were faced with a similar climb up an inactive volcano with hot springs and steam coming from the rocks. By the time the hot springs were found, we’d had lost the sun. It was getting dark and we had a good hour to an hour and a half hike back to base camp through the maze… we got lost off the start. A welcoming self misguidance. Luckily found what Brose firmly reports as goat trails - which may be true due to the high population of wild sheep/ goat beasts. It led the way back, eventually.




I gunned it for the hot spring. 40 minutes to myself in the natural pool was… perfect. My legs were thanking me at that point too. The things hadn’t seen that much exercise in the past couple weeks. Honestly a great moment to take in the massive day… a proper moment of realization. This is shaping up perfectly.

We cooked some food on the biolite (amazing stove, invest in one, its an erotic experience) during the snow storm that had started. Ate, warmed up, slept.

Woke up to this with a sheet of ice covering my tent…


and this…


We set off for the south - destination Vik. Where we shot most of the Junciton video a year prior.

TO BE CONTINUED (have to leave wifi zone). Massive wind storms blowing out car windows, pushing me off glacier base’s, mucking up left leg (ugly) and taking cover for the past night because its not safe to drive… more on this tomorrow-ish. Word.

All photographs copyright sabre dane and sabredane.com 2013.
Day 2

Our 4x4 got dropped off to us at the place we were renting. After stocking up on food we set off for Thingviller. Very rocky, with scattered lava fields and mountain backdrops. Climbed a small mountain for scenics only for it to be fogged out by the time we got up.

Not knowing where we were going exactly or sleeping for that matter… we went off roading… and found a pack of wild horses amongst some caves that are apparently haunted… by elves…

we had to run back to the car… because this happened…

Check back later. Going to Gulfoss. Its actually sunny today for once.

So… just got back to Toronto from a short stint in PEI for my pals Susie and Terry’s wedding… have to be back at Pearson in 16 hours… I’m not overly ready. My gear shipped in at the right time, I’m packed for the most part… I have a general plan, but not really… I’ve stressed about not having everything mapped out for the past week or so… with shoots and friends getting hitched in far off lands I’ve hadn’t the time… but its just kinda sunk in that, maybe, going with no solid plan is possibly the best plan to have… maybe… we’ll see…

Andrew’s ready. He’s good at that. Being ready and all… pro readier he is. Top of the class. Proper fellow with a knack for readiness… it’s 2AM…

There will be large portions of my trip spent in a tent, in fields, cliffs, volcanoes, blah blah blah…blah…you know? Wilderness shit… so… I was curious about the Icelandic wildlife… the kind that may or may not eat me. I found the following…

Icelandic Fox

Icelandic Lamb

Icelandic Horse

I fear not these beasts. However in smalls groups I feel the nursing lamb could present a ready contest of brute force. 

OH! I have a producer for the music being scored for the film… New Yorks finest - Joji Sears from Nightlives. Talent in its purist form. Dude works like he’s sweat-shopping it too.

I’m taking a short leave from the internet now - you’ll hear back from me shortly.

Tomorrow - it’s actually happening.

Last beach day back #home before Iceland. #midland
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