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Icelandic Hiking

ICELAND | Thursday, 15 October 2015 | Views [520]

For the last couple of days that I have been staying near Akeyuri I have been determined to go and find a mountain to conquer. Today was the day and Mt Sulur was the mountain. Mt Sulur is the town mountain of Akeyuri. The peak has two summits- the lower summit which is more frequently climbed and the second summit reaching up to 1538m high. 

Note to self- next time you go hiking bring more then just a box of cookies, a bottle of water and a pair of gloves. And wear MORE clothes. I don't know how I thought I would manage wearing just two layers of clothing to the top of a snowy mountain. Anyway, I started my hike and it was a super nice sunny day and the first 1km was very muddy but manageable. I met a few hikers along the way and fell in love with one gorgeous man who stopped to talk to me and give me advice on the rest of the route. I can't even begin to describe what I would have looked like- messy dreaded hair, no make-up and mud stains all over.  He wished me good luck and I wanted to cry knowing that I would never see that beautiful face again. 
As I walked further the route had become frozen ice. I knew it was going to become super difficult- I wasn't even half way yet. The wind started to become colder and I was in line with the clouds. I got to a massive glacier crossing and questioned turning around and going back ( I did not want to die- not looking like this anyway). But, I knew I could not live with myself if I didn't at least try to get to the top. I managed over the glacier crossing and could see that the next 1km or so was all vertical.
I eventually got to the lower summit peak and saw that there was more trial posts higher above. I was feeling so proud of myself and had so much adrenaline that I decided to keep going (rookie mistake). I tried to climb over a glacier crossing and started to slide down the glacier. It maybe would have been fun if there was a soft landing at the bottom or someone to laugh about it with. But I was alone (Didn't have my mountaineering sister with me), in the freezing cold and having what felt like a near death experience. I crawled back from the glacier and worked out that I was at the closest point possible to the peak (the rest was snow). I stood on the freezing mountain basking in all my glory and feeling like the king of the world. Until, out of the corner of my eye I could see a girl around the same age as me who had been RUNNING UP THE MOUNTAIN. It took me around 3 hours to get to the top, mainly because I stopped at each few posts for a cookie, and here was this super fit Icelandic girl who had probably got to the top in half an hour. She stole my moment. 
On the way down the mountain there was a minor snow storm and I literally felt frozen. My fingers and feet were numb and I was to numb to even put my gloves on. I questioned why I was doing this and then I questioned why people hike mountains at all like what do they get out of it!? But I survived my little storm and for that I was rewarded with the most incredible views of the surrounding mountains. And this is why people climb mountains.
I slipped over countless times on the way down and I was left covered fully in mud. Now normally this would be an ok situation for me as I would have a car at the bottom and could go straight home. BUT, I had to walk 7km home through the town centre. I got a lot of weird looks from locals as I walked past fancy restaurants, the local sports club and town houses looking like a homeless hitchhiker. Never again. Although the mountain wasn't Everest and probably wasn't even that big I felt super proud of myself. I conquered my first mountain solo and in Iceland! What a day. 

Tags: iceland, mountain

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