Barry Howard: Iceland

The galleries are just examples of some of the most inspiring places I've trekked and expeditioned, travelled, and journeyed through - or sat and stared at!

Iceland is one of the most remarkable landscapes in Europe: very active volcanicity, equally active earthquakes, with the country sitting astride the boundary of the North American tectonic plate, and the European one; add to that the largest ice-cap in Europe, plus a totally empty desert in the interior, and a national population of less then 350,000, and you'll understand when you go there (and of course you must) why I keep returning; I think it must be about 30 visits and expeds by now.

I spent 1974 sledging in Greenland, visiting Iceland en route, courtesy of the US Air Force and US Coastguard; the whole summer of 1977 in the far north west of Iceland in Jökulfirðir trekking and 'surviving' in the most uninhabited part of the country. The photos for almost all of the galleries will be from film and not digital.

In 1982 I led the British Snaefellsjokull Expedition comprising ex-pupils - to walk and climb the entire length of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland - and make an attempt on the summit of the jokull - until we got beaten back by hurricane force winds....bit of an epic, that.

And so it continued back and forth to Norway and Iceland regularly, leading school groups and interested adults on mountain courses, survival courses, and for younger school pupils multi-activity courses (in south western Norway: deep-fjord fishing, rock-climbing, mountain walking, gorge exploring, survival training, archery, and canoeing), and epic and dramatic 4x4 journies across Iceland. We've only used 'Isafold' run by Jón Baldur Þorbjörnsson for group work especially with young people; this is an excellent outfit with years of experience and an excellent friendly relationship with clients. For very small groups of adults (three or four in number) who want to 'explore', Barry has led these, mainly in late summer into autumn.

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