That day I got an e-mail. “Are you still interested in participating in the Wilderness First Responder course? Two spots have opened up for next week.”
It was exactly what I had hoped to do when I asked about the course earlier in the summer. So we signed up. Almost all participants were glacier guides in Iceland and Tjeerd and I had both brought our climbing gear to Iceland, hoping to get on to the glaciers after finishing our hike. Serendipity?
Anyways, after an amazing course, learning many valuable skills, the news was still telling us about rooftops getting blown off of houses, campervans rolling off the streets, and lots of snow falling in the highlands.
"You want a ride to Iceland's most beautiful glacier?”, one of our new friends asked us, “and care to join me to camp out in an ice cave?” Of course we would!
He left. We stayed. We spent another week on the glacier, practising our crevasse rescue skills, admiring Icelands many moulins, ice caves and other cool icy features, and lowering each other down into them to climb back out. It is amazing what world opens up to you as soon as you start wearing a pair of crampons!
Finally, though. the wind broke us. The poles of our tent were bent, the zip broken, my summer mattress way too cold, and our shoes worn out. We'll have to come back in summer or with proper winter gear, but for now it's time to say goodbye to Iceland and thank the country and its people for our amazing time out there in Europe's most stunning, inviting and terrifying wilderness.