Image by Christopher Mike courtesy Christopher Mike, SOURCE
Iceland update: Loncke's trek completed

Posted: Aug 06, 2010 12:49 pm EDT
Louis-Philippe Loncke arrived in the south of Iceland on July 30 after a 19-day trek. He took the shortest possible route from the north in the area of Rifstangi to the south in the area of Kötlutangi.

He reported that the last two days were particularly dangerous and exhaustive with the crossing of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier due to bad weather conditions

The last days

“Focus and persevering are the two words Louis-Philippe keeps in mind every minute as he is approaching his objective,” reported his home team in his blog. “Iceland is a wonderful field for exploration and no doubt that this summer trek is a very good start for preparing the winter adventure.”

The temperature was around 15°C during the day during the last trekking days. Louis-Philippe was walking on snow again as he crossed the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier (its peak reaches 1,493 m / 4,898 ft, according to his home team).

“It took him two days walking almost continuously with short sleeping break to achieve the crossing. Weather condition where very bad and progression was exhausting and probably one of the most difficult Louis-Philippe had accomplished for several years.”

“The two last days were particularly dangerous and exhaustive with the crossing of the glacier due to bad weather conditions. He had to walk and slide very carefully on the top of the glacier and on small crests to avoid cracks. He arrived on the other side 14 hours later “happy to be alive” as he reported.”

Co-ordinates

According to Louis-Philippe’s map he finished at 63° 32' 9.00"N, 018° 48' 9.00"W, but the start point co-ordinates in the area of Rifstangi on his map and in his blog is not clear.

According to the Rules of Adventure there is a difference between assist and support during an expedition.

In short, ‘assist’ refers to the outside help received by an expedition and ‘support’ refers to external power aids used for significant speed and load advantage (kite/dogs/vehicles).

Travelling on prepared roads or tracks removes the unassisted label and the expedition should be labeled as assisted. Using bridges is regarded as assist; doesn't matter if it is dangerous or not. Sending ahead a food parcel is assist.

Regarding the start and end points of a full crossing of Iceland: A crossing of the island (or any other area, e.g. Antarctica) should start and end at the sea. The trip should pass through the central parts of the island/continent/country. ExplorersWeb does not have an exact point for Iceland so it should be central in general.

Louis-Philippe Loncke started his Iceland crossing on July 12, 2010 from the Rifstangi area in the north of Iceland and walked to the most southern point at Kötlutang, using the shortest possible route.

In 2008 Christopher Mike became the first person to cross Iceland between the extreme latitudes; Rifstangi at N66° 32.16, W16° 11.46 to Kotlutangi at N63° 22.60, W18° 45.00.

Both expeditions used roads and bridges and Christopher placed a depot that he didn't use, he told ExWeb, but no external power aids were used, therefore both are labeled as assisted and unsupported, according to the Rules of Adventure.


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