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Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

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Washington DC...
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Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

I was wondering if the vatnajokull ice caves are easily accessibile in early March, either by hiking or by a 4x4 car rental (Nissan patrol or Pathfinder). Probably not, but worth asking :)

Icelander in...
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1. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Not recommended at all. And in my opinion it is very irresponsible to give the locations of these caves to the public.

Ice caves are by nature, among the most dangerous and unstable things in Icelandic nature. Even comparable with avalanche areas. And should never be approached unless guided by a local expert that knows the nature of the ice in the area.

Contact www.localguide.is or www.mountainguides.is

Edited: 10:54 am, January 15, 2014
Reykjavik, Iceland
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2. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Totally agree with Icelandic Guide - you have to go there with a guide!

Wejherowo, Poland
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3. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Do you know what is the real light inside these caves? I've seen pictures, but I'm sure that their colours and lights are enhanced by longer exposure. Do they look similar to their pictures if seen with naked eye? If they do - it must be incredible and stunning view.

Icelander in...
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4. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Most photos are not enhanced in any way. The light is blue, as the ice.

These photos are from Sólheimajökull ice caves: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php…

Edited: 3:24 pm, January 15, 2014
Washington DC...
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5. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Thanks for the info! I suspected as much. The two websites listed basically funnel you to localguide.is, and that tour only has two spots availabile total from March 2-9 (when three of us will be there), both on March 3. Are there any other tour services that offer this particular trip? I haven't been able to find any on Google.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Sorry, i meant that mountainguide.is doesn't look like it has tours through the ice caves -- not that it redirects to localguide.is. All of the other tours that I've found via Google funnel through localguide.is.

Reykjavik, Iceland
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7. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

You can check: www.iceguide.is and www.icewalk.is :)

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8. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

The reason they appear blue is the ice absorbs the trapped light in the cave, except the blue colour. So that's why they are blue

Reykjavik, Iceland
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9. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

I remember reading something online about how glacial ice is different from normal frozen water. Glacial ice has been pressed by weight for hundreds of years, and it has different characteristics than normal ice.

For all of you :) Very interesting quote, I think.

"Why is the ice so blue?

The color and transparency of the ice caves has everything to do with time, pressure, and secrecy. The weather and sun with its damaging ultra violet rays transforms the outer surface of glacial ice into whitish ice.

As the glacier travels and winds its way down the slopes of mountain ridges, the air bubbles trapped in the ice are squeezed out, and the size of the ice crystals increases, making it clear. The real beauty of the centuries old compressed ice of a glacier lies underneath the damaged outer surface.

This intense blue color can be seen for example in ice caves and on floating icebergs that reveal their lower side when they have recently rolled over or split in two."

extremeiceland.is/en/…ice-caves

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: Vatnajokull ice caves: possible to do this without a tour?

Thank you Diane I have wondered about this and why it was so 'Blue' However I was game enough to ask this question.

Edited: 9:08 pm, April 01, 2014