Crossing Iceland in Winter

Arctic Endurance
Photo: Łukasz Supergan

Polish adventurer Łukasz Supergan is no stranger to long walks. In the last 12 years, he has walked more than 20,000km across three continents. In 2016, he crossed Iceland alone from east to west. As the crow flies, it’s about 500km but on foot, it’s closer to 750km. As soon as he finished, he knew wanted to cross the country again, this time in winter.

Photo: Łukasz Supergan

On January 27, Supergan set off from Dalatangi Cape on this east-to-west crossing. Pulling a 60kg sled, and replenishing his supplies periodically, he will ski to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. He estimates that it will take him five to six weeks.

Even though Supergan knew that he would have to deal with cold, hurricane winds and varied terrain, the second day of his expedition was almost more than he could handle. Heavy snow made the route almost impassible, even on a brief section of road. Off-road, the Icelandic uplands were even harder.

Photo: Łukasz Supergan

On January 31, he discovered that the bottom of his sled had split. After some frantic messaging to friends in Reykjavik, he managed to track down another sled and arrange for delivery to eastern Iceland.

On February 3, he set off again for the central uplands. As the temperature rose from -10°C to 2° or 3°C, the snow began to melt, making hauling even harder. By February 6, Supergan had reached a key stage of his expedition: the Askja volcano, signifying his departure from eastern Iceland and his entrance to the central part of the country. He then skied past the island’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. He still has hundreds of kilometres to the finish line.

You can follow his journey here.

Photo: Łukasz Supergan

About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Aspiring sports and travel journalist based in the UK.

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