One of the highlights of our journey to Iceland was a snowmobile journey on Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier, with Icelandic Mountain Guides. If a snowmobile tour in Iceland is one thing that appeals to you, learn on to study extra about what you possibly can anticipate.
Icelandic Mountain Guides’ foremost base is at Ytri-Sólheimar 1 in Mýrdalur, about 25 km west of Vík and about 11 km east of Skógar. If travelling from Reykjavik, the gap is round 160 km and the driving time is roughly 2 hours. From the primary Iceland ring highway to the bottom, it’s a 1.2 km drive on highway 222.
You’ll more than likely have to e book upfront however, as soon as on the base and your reserving verified, the very first thing you’ll do is get kitted out. Icelandic Mountain Guides give you an general that goes over the garments you’re already carrying, boots, a balaclava, a helmet and gloves… after which you’re good to go!
There’s a big truck ready to take you and your fellow snowmobilers as much as the glacier.
It’s round a 30-minute drive over tough terrain after which on to the glacier itself.
There are a lot of snomobiles ready for us on the finish of the truck journey, and we’re accompanied by two instructors who present us with an introduction to the machines and a security briefing.
First, we’re proven the way to swap the snowmobile on. We flip the ignition midway to show the electrics on, wait a short time after which flip it absolutely to start out it up. Similarly, we use the important thing to show it off or, within the occasion of an emergency, an enormous crimson button that kills the machine. Once on the snowmobile, we don’t want to interact it gear – we simply press a button to use fixed, regular stress – that approach you have got a pleasant and regular journey. The best option to cease is to launch the gasoline however there’s a brake that can be utilized in case of an emergency. There are hand heaters additionally – put them to the correct and so they get actually heat, put them to the left and so they get slightly bit heat, center they’re off
With the fundamentals lined, we’re on to the topic of security. The one actually essential security side to cowl is what occurs when you fall over the machine. It can occur and apparently really occurs fairly ceaselessly (though there have been no such incidents from anybody on our journey). But you continue to want to recollect a number of actually staple items and, do you have to be ready, falling over will simply be one thing to chortle about fairly than one thing severe.
The one most essential factor to recollect is that, if the machine is falling over, you don’t stick your arm or your leg out to catch it. If you try this, the machine weighs about 350kg (roughly 600 lbs) and all of that weight goes on to your arm or onto your leg which, as you possibly can think about, just isn’t enjoyable.
So, what do you do? As the driving force, you’re holding on to the handlebars – you merely seize them actually tight, and preserve your legs to the centre of the machine, brace your self and fall over holding on to the machine. For the passenger, you have got some handles close to your hips that you just equally maintain on to (fairly than holding on to the driving force in entrance). As lengthy as you do that, you may be completely protected. Snowmobiles are constructed as crash packing containers and are designed to guard you. Just don’t stick your limbs exterior of the machine and also you’re going to be protected. Your intuition shall be to be put your hand or leg out, so it’s essential to be fairly conscious so that you don’t let this occur.
With that defined, we’re advised how to not fall over within the first place. We study that, everytime you’re driving, you want to counteract the drive that’s attempting to drag you off the machine. If you flip to the left, the drive will pull you to the correct, so that you lean to the left along with your physique. The reverse, after all, is true when you flip to the correct. Similarly, if you’re driving up a hill, gravity will attempt to pull you backwards, so you’d lean to the hill to counteract this drive. And even when you ought to fall over, the employees are readily available that can assist you if that occurs.
With all that defined, we drive in single file, with one teacher on the entrance and one on the again. We preserve to paths within the snow, sustaining a protected distance of a minimum of 5 metres between one another.
There’s no overtaking as this may be fairly harmful. And, if we should always have an issue, we’re advised to simply cease and lift a hand, and so they’ll be with us shortly.
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The complete operation could be very slick with a minimum of one cease within the journey the place we are able to change drivers.
The climate had turned slightly from the way it was earlier within the day, and visibility was fairly poor. This didn’t spoil our enjoyment nonetheless!
We observe an ‘out and back’ route – climbing from a peak of 915 metres as much as simply over 1,290 metres, earlier than switching drivers and heading again down the glacier. It’s an exhilarating journey and ou can see the precise route we took right here:
No earlier snowmobiling expertise is required, however all drivers should be 17 years of age or older and have a full, legitimate driver’s license. A learner´s allow, tractor or bike license just isn’t ample in accordance with Icelandic regulation. Fortunately for our eldest son, he handed his driving take a look at not lengthy earlier than our journey to Iceland, so this was an important expertise for him!
Ordinarily on this tour, you’d be capable to benefit from the glacial landscapes and surroundings over south Iceland, however the climate was sadly not in our favour for that.
The lack of views facet, this was nonetheless a extremely enjoyable excusion and, for us, a totally new expertise as a household. We would soar on the alternative to do it once more sooner or later, as a result of the situation is reportedly very scenic, with completely incredible views on a sunny day!
Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here: