Where are you?
During the last days of summer a part of the MiM team went out exploring the route for The Grand Arctic - Glacier 360 challenge in Iceland August 16th - 19th 2016.
Before we move on to what happened in our hunt for the perfect trail, here's short information about the Glacier 360 race. It's a 3 day mountain bike race in Iceland which goes around Langjökull Glacier, yes around one of the largest glaciers in Iceland! The route is approximately 270 km which means that every day we'll ride around 90 km. The route has everything, an Icelandic "forrest", lava fields, lush valleys, rough highlands, river crossing and magnificent glacier views. We'll start off from Geysir Geothermal Area and finish at Gullfoss Waterfall.
So moving on. We love what we're doing and exploring trails is the favourite task we're given. We started by driving off to Hveravellir highland center from where we hopped on our bikes. We cycled along the highland road leading to Þjófadalir from where no cars are allowed. As it's late September the days are getting shorter in Iceland so we decided not to bike the whole way to Gullfoss but to try a route which was 12 km from Þjófadalir (total of 22 km from Hveravellir).
The trail was awesome, which is great news for us and Glacier 360 competitors. Actually it was so great that we lost track of time and distance. Just over 10 km into the route my tires screeched as I pulled over turning to my partner saying: "hey, shouldn't we be on the other side of that mountain?" With him replying: "uhhhh...."
We soon realised that we did not have 2 km left to get to the hut. The distance was undecided at that point. We decided that we shouldn't waste any time so we started making our way forward, towards the hut. About 5 km further along the path we phoned our partner which was getting anxious waiting for us. The conversation went like this: "Guys, where are you? It's only 1,5 hours until it's dark, time to decide if you're going to be able to get to the hut or turn around".
We thought, there is no turning back now and started moving as fast as we could as we were certain at that point that we needed to make a huge loop to get around to the hut. After 6 km more (31 in total), crossing a couple of rivers, biking along a sandy path and some rough terrain in the majestic surrounding we finally made it to the hut. Success!
We're very much looking forward to introducing this track to Glacier 360 competitors. Stay tuned.