Snowmobile tour in Iceland, what to expect?
Going on a snowmobile tour is something you are not able to do everywhere, but going on a snowmobile tour on a glacier is something you can only do in few places around the world, Iceland is one of them. On the other hand, if you like to do snowmobile tour on a glacier as well as an active volcano, Mýrdalsjökull ice cap is the right place because underneath the ice cap lies the volcano Katla one of the biggest and most active volcanoes in Iceland.
The unique thing about Iceland is that we have glaciers covering about 11% of the island and few of them are not far from the main road. So the perfect place to go on a holiday, see beautiful nature and go snowmobiling.
Weather condition on a glacier
Being on a glacier means you are in a place where the weather is a big factor. It can change from time to time from having perfect visibility to have almost zero visibility, and the other way around as well, it can be changing from minute to minute. Glaciers are formed by precipitation, so you can expect snow or rain. Also being in higher altitude you can expect wind as well.
But being on a glacier in all kinds of weather is something most people find interesting, it is a place where you can enjoy nature and the best nature has to offer in many ways. You can have the most beautiful view you have ever seen in beautiful weather or you can have the thickest fog or the strongest wind you have ever seen and experienced. Both interesting but in a different way.
Condition on the glacier
The glacier is like the weather it is different from day to day and season to season. The prime time to go on a snowmobile in Iceland is usually the spring from the end of March to the end of June. During this period we have a lot of new snow on the glacier as well as the weather is getting better during this time of year.
In summer the snow starts to melt on the glacier but it depends on whether how fast it happens as well as how much snow we got the previous winter. But normally the condition on Mýrdalsjökull is good during summer because of the amount of snow we have there during winter time. Late summer we start to see crevasses on the glacier but we know the glacier well so we change our routes from time to time due to crevasse formation. It is interesting to see the crevasses and how they form from a safe distance.
In the fall, late August, September and beginning of October we sometimes have all the snow melted on the lowest part of the glacier meaning we have to drive across the short ice area before reaching the snow. This is normally not a problem, but if we have days with a lot of rain might have to cancel or rearrange some departures during that period. But we can also have beautiful days during the fall with still weather, cold and clear sky.
During winter from the middle of October and until the end of March, we usually have a lot of snow on the glacier. On Mýrdalsjökull glacier we can have up to 25 meters of snowfall over one winter season. So in winter the snow can sometimes be the problem but usually, it is going well during winter, it is nothing like being on the glacier in snowfall.
The snow condition affects the surface of the glacier, from being flat with solid snow or icy surface to powder snow. Sometimes the surface is flat but sometimes it can be a bit bumpy.
Clothing for a snowmobiling tour
If you are going on a snowmobile tour we provide you with overall, helmet, balaclava, gloves and shoes, if you need. It depends a little bit on the season or whether how many layers you need to bring to have underneath the overall. We recommend to have wool layer closest to the body and then fleece or thermal layer, during winter it is good to bring a warm jacket. But the problem with Iceland is the weather is sometimes changing every few minutes, but it is always better to a little bit to warm then too cold so one extra layer is always good, just in case.
Driving and driving speed
The snowmobile tour is a tour where you should enjoy the glacier and the surrounding, it is also a tour where we have unpredictable nature so we have to make sure everyone is safe during the tour. We follow few guidelines regarding safety, the driving speed conforms to the situation on the glacier, weather and the people we have for the tour every time, we always try our best to meet our clients as good as we can, but safety first.