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Hiking Iceland’s Most Active Volcano, Eyjafjallajökull
No matter how you slice it, this is an #active volcano that could erupt at any moment and we're #hiking it. Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, in #Iceland, caused major issues when it erupted in 2010, resulting in weeks of flight disruptions. Despite the dangers, we wanted to see if we could get to the top. Read on to see if we made it...
The wind was howling and the snow was raging. In the bleak midst of grey ash and white ice atop the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, the scene looked straight out of a disaster movie. With the icy frost whipping across my face at lightning speed, I could barely open my eyes, not to mention continue our trek up the volcano. Just two hours ago, the sun was shining as we drove up on our 4×4 Superjeep; but as we ascended further, it was replaced by thick fog and heavy rain. With a few hundred meters up to the peak, we were now stuck in a snow storm.
Eyjafjallajokull Volcano by Superjeep and Lava Hike
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Taking shelter behind a huge tuff rock, our guide Tómas Magnússon had to make a tough decision – to continue up the volcano or turn back before we get into serious danger? Safety was clearly his priority, but fuelled by our eagerness to see the volcano’s peak, he was faced with a dilemma. “I think we should respect nature.” Tómas was right, there was little we could do in this inhospitable climate. Luckily the winds slowed and we took the chance to head back down the volcano.
Eruption Rocked The World
It was this thrill of the unknown that brought me here in the first place. In 2010, Eyjafjallajökull made headline news all over the world with its ferocious eruption, spewing hundreds of tonnes of ash into Iceland’s skies and severely affecting air travel in Europe. The whole world watched as explosions of molten lava and ice flashed across TVs worldwide. Families living in the area were evacuated out for 24hours, and over five weeks, layers upon layers of ash descended on Iceland. Tómas was one of those who were badly affected – he spent weeks clearing ash off his house, repairing water pipes and most of all, getting business back in shape.
Today, life here is back to normal and tourists are now back, in bulks, to witness the power of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. Although the volcano could erupt again with no warning, it’s the sense of adventure that lures many up this powerful heap of lava. During our lava hike, Tómas fed me tons of interesting information on volcanoes here – precise statistics and detailed geological explanations – he obviously knew them inside out despite his short two-year experience as a guide. “I grew up here and spent much of life living beside this volcano. This is my playground.”
Back on the volcano, we’d left the snowstorm behind and found our way back to the jeep through the ash layers, glacier peaks and solidified lava. It certainly felt like we’d made a journey to the centre of the Earth. Although we never made it to the top of the volcano, we did experience its sheer power and ferocity. Perhaps we would return some day, to see Eyjafjallajökull exploding into the skies again…
This superjeep and lava hike in Iceland was hosted by Discover the World. All opinions expressed above are my own.