Iceland in Winter by David Bibby, September 22nd, 2021

On Wednesday 22nd September David Bibby entertained Keswick Photographic Society’s members with an illustrated talk on Iceland in winter. He first visited Iceland seven years ago with two aims in mind; to walk on a glacier and to see and photograph the Aurora Borealis. On his way to achieving these he travelled along the south coast of Iceland visiting some of the now well-known sights. On his first visit however, there were very few tourists and he and his travel companion were often alone.

 

His presentation started in Reykjavik.  He then took us eastwards, first to the Strokkur Geyser which he illustrated with a short video clip of an eruption. He then went on to several dramatic waterfalls including Gullfoss, which was partially frozen, and Skogafoss. After this he went on to photograph the Eyjafjalljokull ice cap. At this point David gave us a lesson in how to pronounce the seemingly unpronounceable Icelandic names which we were greatly in need of!  His next destination was the Myrdalsjokull ice cap which covers the Katla volcano. With the help of a guide, he ascended this by snow mobile.

 

David then showed us images of the wreck of a US Navy Douglas aircraft which crashed on the coastal plain of Solheimasandur in 1973. This is a desolate spot and a four-mile round trip on foot is required to reach the crash site. Weather conditions can be hostile.

His journey then took him further east on to Hofn. On the way he stopped to visit Jokulsarlon which is a glacial lagoon usually filled with icebergs. These eventually drift out to sea; some being deposited on the way on the nearby black volcanic sand beach.

 

David then described the difficulties he experienced in trying to achieve his aim of walking on a glacier. Several of the glaciers that he visited proved to be unsuitable however he finally settled on the Skaftafellsjokull glacier and, equipped with suitable footwear including crampons, he and his travelling companion ascended it.

Finally, David explained how he had achieved his aim of photographing the Aurora Borealis, including what not to do. He was lucky to witness three displays of this amazing natural phenomenon.

 

We had a very enjoyable evening listening to David and looking at his superb photographs and videos which showed off the stunning Icelandic landscape to full advantage.

Julie Walker