Craig Pattee and Max Hamel are reporting in from a reconnaissance mission to northern Iceland, investigating EpicQuest’s latest heli-ski destination and planning for a film project this spring…
What an incredible country. We spent a day in Reykjavik, adjusting to this strange land of unspellable words, phenomenal lamb stew, and expensive cocktails. We then hopped in our rental car that we promptly (and aptly) named “the Rollerskate”. Who knew that you could make a car this small, but still capable of 120 kmh and packing gear for two guys. (Clever Europeans.) We were immediately put in our place in the hierarchy of Icelandic automotive structure… Icelanders have a thing for tricking-out high-end SUVs and pickups with 48 inch monster tires, lift kits, shovels, extra gas, and high-lift jacks. These aren’t for red-necks – everyone has one, although we hear that they plow the roads just fine… Our little Rollerskate was at the bottom of this automotive food chain. But she sped us swiftly across the tundra of the interior, and we arrived at the northern town of Akureyri – Iceland’s second largest city (with 15,000 people.) Here we met up with our host and EpicQuest guide, JB Bergmann. Another 30 minute drive out the Troll Peninsula brought us to the fishing village of Dalvik, and the home base for the world’s most exotic and pristine heli-skiing.
JB explained that his family has been farming in his valley since the year 870. (Not a typo – these folks really are Vikings.) We spent the next two days in JB’s monster-truck exploring this incredible country: volcanoes, thermal hot springs (30 feet down in a tectonic fault), pristine fishing rivers, Viking beer, restored wooden sailing vessels, a strange Freddie Mercury tribute concert, a village fish festival, remote surf breaks, and Viking beer… We were overwhelmed by the hospitality of these ancient villages. The mountains plunge to the ocean, and the skiing runs well into July. The rivers flow gin-clear, teeming with trout and seasonal runs of Atlantic salmon.
Several days later, we got back in the Rollerskate and worked our way along the dramatic coastline to visit our guides and investigate the fly-fishing. Back in a monster-truck, we drove along a pristine river-bed with our guide Magnus, past the site of a Viking battle called The Hill of Death, to our two remote lodges. Frustrated by our lack of time, we worked out way back to Reykjavik for one last Viking beer. Tired but happy, we headed home.
We will be back this winter for a ski trip, and filming for the Epic television series. We will be launching new fishing programs, and Max is hell-bound to surf on the Arctic Circle.
At the end of the trip – across Iceland and back (100 kilometers?) — the Rollerskate had burned 7 gallons of gas….
ictumst, enim, vut integer auctor pid porta magna integer? Facilisis rhoncus mattis rhoncus placerat, vut phasellus, pulvinar mauris?