A few weeks back I posted a story about Łukasz Supergan, a Polish adventurer who at the time had just embarked on a solo winter crossing of Iceland. His goal was to complete that journey in roughly 35-40 days, covering a distance of 750 km (466 miles) in the process.
Fast forward a month and Supergan has now crossed the finish line of his expedition, having just reached the western coast of that country. In doing so, he has now become the first person to finish an Icelandic crossing completely alone and during the harshest season of them all.
Finishing the expedition brings to a close a project that Supergan first came up with back in 2016. That year, he hiked across Iceland during the summer, taking in the country’s legendary beauty along the way. After finishing that trek, he vowed to return to make the same crossing in winter. It took him four years to get the project off the ground, but now he has finished the long crossing at last.
It took Łukasz 36 days to travel the distance from Seydisfjordur on Iceland’s east coast to the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the western part of the country. The total distance ended up being closer to 800 km (497 miles) by the time he was done.
As you might expect, crossing the Central Highlands in the winter was no easy task, as the weather was harsh and unforgiving throughout. Temperatures were often well below freezing and winter storms were a constant threat. A blizzard even hit the area in mid-February, causing Supergan to seek shelter and wait out the worst of the conditions.
As with polar explorers going to the North or South Pole, Supergan traveled on skis and pulled a sled behind him the entire way. That sled weighed in at about 50kg (110 pounds) and contained all of his supplies, gear, food, and fuel. Essentially, it was his lifeline while out in the wilderness, allowing him to survive for more than month while on the trail.
In a press release announcing the completion of the crossing Łukasz had this to say:
“There have been a few winter crossings of Iceland in history but only two connected the east and west shores. And none of them was a solo expedition. Therefore, after a few weeks in the snowy and rocky wilderness, when I was slowly descending from Icelandic highlands towards the coast, I felt extremely rewarded and grateful. After many months of laborious preparations and despite difficult conditions my expedition was crowned with a success.”
Congratulations to Łukasz on completing his crossing. His fantastic expedition upholds a long and proud tradition of winter Polish adventures.
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