Ike visits something which is not there – Okjökull

Today Ike took a trip to see something that unfortunately, no longer exists.

Okjökull or the Ok glacier was a glacier on top of the (dormant) Ok volcano, about 70 km northeast of Reykjavik.

In 1901 it was estimated to be 39 sq km. By 1978 it was only 3 sq km and now it is less than 1. It was declared to be dead in 2014 as it no longer had enough mass to move under its own weight (a key feature of a glacier). In 2019 a plaque was installed at the site entitled “A letter to the future”.

The plaque can only be reached by serious hikers as this is an inhospitable area even in summer and Ike’s legs are too short to get there. But he drove along the mountain road about 3km away and took some photos of this place that shows the very real consequences of climate change.

After this Ike continued on the mountain road to a glacier that is still there for now – the Langjökull glacier. This is the second largest glacier in Iceland and it is possible to drive right up to it in a 4×4. Only specially adapted vehicles can actually drive onto the glacier so Ike and Helen got out to take a few pictures but were almost blown away by the wind!

There are markers showing how the iceline has receded since 1940 – it is about 1km from the edge of the glacier to the 1940 marker…

Back to base and instead of staying on a farm the travellers are at the Steðji brewery in what appears to be a huge beer barrel! Helen & Traff like this as they have left some of their beers to try in the fridge. Ike took some photos of all the beers Helen & Traff have had on this trip and even had a tiny sip of one – a special beer brewed in collaboration with Iceland’s Eurovision entry. Anyone who watched this year will recognise the band!