42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Expedition to Iceland

TIW affiliated Air Cadets and Staff of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron have just returned from a fantastic expedition to Iceland.

A group of air cadets and staff from 42F (Kings Lynn) Squadron ATC has just returned from a fantastic expedition in Iceland. The team consisted of Flt Lt Pauline Petch OC of 42F Kings Lynn Squadron who organised the weeklong trip to Iceland, Fg Off Chris Barrett and eight cadets. The visit comprised of cultural visits to museums, together with activities such as horse riding and swimming. However, the main purpose of the visit was a four day Nordic ski expedition crossing the bleak snow covered Langjokull glacier, pulling pulkas loaded with all the equipment needed to survive in such desolate and icy conditions.

Langjökull glacier is Iceland´s second largest and the one closest to Reykjavík. On the first day of the expedition the team met at the Trek base to check equipment and to fit skis and boots in addition to also checking tents and briefing on the trek plan. Once everything was ready and prepared, a two hour scenic truck ride to the glacier followed, stopping along the way to see the Hraunfossar waterfalls. At about 700m above sea level skis were put on and the pulkas attached for the first ski day up the west side of the glacier, about 1,100 m above sea level.

With the skiing and the sheer weight of the pulkas this was very slow going. However after four hours skiing the first camp area was reached and the camp prepared for the first night on the glacier. Day two saw an early start with temperatures far below what we were used to by UK standards. Skiing began towards the top of the glacier and at midday Þursaborg, a rocky summit protruding through the glacier at 1,300 metres above sea level, was passed. The team continued on until the light began to fade before setting up the second camp, with views towards Þingvellir and southern Iceland. The third day began with icy snow falling and a complete white-out. All that could be seen was the tents – no horizon, sun or sky. This was to be a very challenging day.

However by Day four the weather improved with bright sunlight glimmering on the snow and the crossing of Langjökull completed by descending all the way to the glacier edge on the eastern side, where we were met by the transport that was to take us back to civilisation.

The final three days of the trip were spent visiting Blue Lagoon, trying out Icelandic Horse Riding and visiting the National Museum of Iceland, before it became necessary to say cheerio to what had been the experience of a lifetime and heading on back to the positively balmy temperatures of the UK.

There are no words that can summarise the sense of adventure that the team experienced. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime and all team members returned with a renewed sense of enthusiasm.

This visit more than lived up to the Corps motto… ‘Venture. Adventure’ and that of 42F King’s Lynn Squadron ‘Determined to Achieve.’

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