Mountaineering made possible
Enjoy the beauty of the glaciers with Icelandic Mountain Guides
Standing on top of a glacier is a goal you’d imagine only experienced mountain climbers are able to achieve, but it’s actually simpler than you think—it’s even achievable in a day’s trip from Reykjavik. But one cannot, of course, walk safely on top of a treacherous glacier without the help of experienced guides who have mapped out every crack in the ice and know the difference a single misstep can make. For over eighteen years Icelandic Mountain Guides have been finding ways to make these imposing phenomena reachable to all those who wish to explore them.
Step Into a Different World
Icelandic Mountain Guides offer day tours from Reykjavik to the Sólheimajökull glacier, as well as several day tours from Skaftafell National Park, which connects to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. But why would anyone want to visit such a foreign and unforgiving landscape? For Leifur Örn Svavarsson, guide and co-founder of Icelandic Mountain Guides, who has scaled the glaciers hundreds of times and never tires of it, the answer is simple: “It is like stepping into a different world. Standing on top of pure ice, hearing the creaks and flow of water underneath, seeing the caves and crevasses, gets you as close to the essence of Iceland as is possible. We have been doing it since we were young and simply felt that you can never fully experience Iceland without trying it, which is why we established Icelandic Mountain Guides,” says Leifur.
Glacier Walks are easy and accessible to all
The range of tours is designed to fit the needs of Iceland’s different visitors. “If you can walk up stairs, you can reach a part of a glacier with us”, says Leifur. With everything from family friendly glacier walks to quite challenging hikes through Iceland’s most scenic destinations, including Hvannadalshnúkur (Iceland’s highest peak), Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Hrútsfjallstindar and Fimmvörðuháls. It is true to say that all outdoor enthusiasts can find something to their liking with Icelandic Mountain Guides.
Setting the bar for safety
Before taking inexperienced mountaineers up to these glittering jewels, they had to make sure that all possible safety measures were taken, which is why they’ve implemented a strenuous training programme for all their guides. The educational programme entails 27 days of direct training and exams, followed by over 100 days under direct and indirect supervision, including comprehensive first-aid courses. These steps have paid off, as Icelandic Mountain Guides‘s accident free history and the awards they’ve won for education and safety demonstrate.
Not just ice
Icelandic Mountain Guides offer a wide range of outdoor and adventure tours in both Iceland and Greenland with everything from short day tours to overnight tours and expeditions. Find more information about day tours at the Icelandic Travel Market at Bankastræti 2 in Reykjavik or their offices in Skógar and Skaftafell National Park.
Awards and recognitions:
2006: Iceland Air Pioneer Award for the innovation and development of Glacier Walks. 2009 the Environmental Award from the Icelandic Tourist Board for environmental policy and awareness
2010: The Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF) Education Award for education and continuous training of guides
2010: The Icelandic Travel Industry Association Innovation Award for the innovation and development of Glacier Walks.
2011: Nominated for the Nordic Nature and Environmental Prize