The Push: Part 1
➡️The Push ⬅️
Part 1: Supercrust! ❄️
Landmannalaugar to Strutur hut
Total time: 7:21 hrs
Distance: 57.4 km
Ascent: 1365 meters
Av speed: 7.79 km/hr
The first thing I noticed when I stepped outside for our 6th day of riding was the silence. For the 2nd day in a row, there was no wind. The absence of noise was calming. Since we started the wind has been a consistently draining partner, but not this day. The team was energized by the perfect weather conditions and the mountainous terrain. We had big hills ahead of us, but without the heavy emotional and physical burden of environmental challenges, we could move more efficiently, more gracefully. The cold temp and wind create a hard surface on the snow providing amazing traction and the ability to haul ass. Our spirits and our bikes were flying. This is the supercrust (or “Harðfenni” in Icelandic) that people talked about.
When we arrived at Strutor hut at 4 pm, all I wanted to do was snuggle into the cozy cabin and enjoy a relaxing sunset with views of Maelifell volcano and Myrdalsjokull glacier right behind.
We were supposed to cross the glacier the next day, but Iceland had a different plan. With another storm expected to arrive by 6 am, we had to push on & combine two days of riding. Far better to cross the dangerous and exposed glacier at night with calm weather than in a storm. So we dried our clothes, made some food, and pulled ourselves away from the warmth and shelter to head into an all-night mission.
I was reluctant to leave the magical hut. I wanted to savor my feelings, the place, and our journey a little longer. The glacier was our last big obstacle with the finish just on the other side. We had been pushing to get to the southern coast for days and now that we were almost there, I wasn’t quite ready to leave. Iceland decides when you ride and when you wait. And at this moment, the safest choice was to push forward into the night.
Stay tuned for The Push: Part 2 coming tomorrow! Be Good.
📸 Ryan Hill