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Offroad Eiríksjökull

May 13 2006


Primary purpose of going offroad is often to experience nature close up. Whether it is taking a hike or going skiing or mountain biking. Eirkisjokull is high at 1675 meters surrounded by cliffs and steep slopes at all sides. Only once has there been an attempt at getting a 4x4 up.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - view from Mosfellsbær

This is one of these bright and sunny May days. Not a cloud to be seen. Einar and me along with the passangers Issi and Biggi are heading out of town towards the mountains. Our route lies first to Thingvellir.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Sport Trac and Cherokee

On the track by the electric cables north of Skjaldbreidur first patches of snow get in our way. It is fast melting and has puddles of water under it. This calls for decreasing the tire air pressure to about 4 psi for my Sport Trac. Einar on the considerably lighter Cherokke gets by with 7 psi or so.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Einar and Biggi

As we head for Langjokull it is obvious that the conditions are amazing. Tires are hardly marking the surface and we are easily able to get up to 90 km/h (60 mph). This is FUN!

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The view is fantastic and with no wind this is going to be a great day.

Having just installed the truck cap I find it much better to access things on the trunk.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Thorisjokull

View to Thorisjokull.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - view from Langjokull

As we take the scenic route over Langjokull we get to see Eiriksjokull from the south side. Langjokull is about 1200-1400 meters - much lower than Eiriksjokull.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - by the lake

At the pass between Langjokull and Eiriksjokull we must tread lightly to stay safe from an underlying lake.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Roots of Eiriksjokull

Our intention is to hike up this steep slope where we can find a way without cliffs. This place looks like it is possible to get up safely.

Here we leave the trucks and hook the skis on the rucksacks. This is a lot steeper than it looks on the photo.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - at the edge

Biggi, Einar and Issi in the back are glad to be up.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Biggi, Issi and Einar

After a little more easy hiking we reach the continuous snow and put the skis on. Einar lends me a pair he has. This is going to be a long walk and I am no expert in skiing! Constantly going uphill I have skins under the skis to make it easier to get up the slopes.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - at the top

The top of Eiriksjokull is almost completely flat. This is as close to it as we could estimate with view in all directions. Without the physical movement of skiing and a cold breeze coming in from the north demands that we add extra layers of warm and windproof clothing. This is also an excellent time to eat our snacks and make a toast in diet Pepsi like Biggi is doing.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - Blisters on Blizzards

The Blizzard skis I used. The others had skis with steel linings on the sides but these don't. Add to that the fact that I am not a good skier and you can see I had a hard time getting down.

After almost 20 km of walking I had blisters on my heals. Might as well call this tour "Blisters on Blizzards".

Offroad Eiríksjökull - view from the edge

At the edge again and now looking down. Those tiny little dots in the center are our trucks. You can better see how steep the mountain side is from this angle.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - ice-cave in Langjokull

Naturally we visit the ice-caves in Langjokull since they are close by and on our route back.

Offroad Eiríksjökull - looking out the ice-cave

Here you see Eiriksjokull through the opening of one of the ice-caves.

A long day is coming to an end and I have reached the goal of climbing Eiriksjokull.

Thrandur Arnthorsson
Thrandur is the chief-editor and owner of 4x4 Off Roads and an 4x4 off road enthusiast. Living in Iceland he loves to share the coolest 4x4 trucks and supporting more offroad freedom. If you want to get YOUR 4x4 featured on 4x4OffRoads you can post your story here.