Editorials and stories.
The onset of Iceland‘s dark winter season brings the inevitable return of chaotic wind, countless snowstorms and unpredictable weather. One single day can completely transform the landscape into a world of ice and road closures, it is a true spectacle to witness. Despite the chaos unfolding outside, Icelanders begin to dust off their skis with the excitement that the snow may signal the local ski resorts to finally open.
We recently met up with one of our campaign models Arnaldur Karl Einarsson and his sister Ólafía Elísabet Einarsdóttir, both former Icelandic ski champions, to gain some insight into the world of skiing in Iceland‘s extreme northern climate.
Hornstrandir is Iceland’s most remote corner. It was populated for centuries by hardy people who fished in small boats, picked bird eggs from the cliffs and cared for modest herds of sheep and cattle. Hornstrendingar, the people of Hornstrandir, were mostly self-sufficient; there was no road access and the harsh winters were often so brutal that boats couldn’t come for weeks. This story tells us the connection between this unique area and the 26-year-old Ragúel, who travels there every summer to visit and maintain the house that has been in his family for decades.
Ragnar Axelsson, better known as Rax, is an Icelandic photojournalist who has been photographing people and nature in the Arctic for over four decades. He has seen big changes in the environment and how global warming is affecting the Arctic countries. We met up with RAX to discuss these changes and the importance of documenting them.
“The only thing I think about are snowboards. Even when I’m playing music. My snowboarding talents, however, did not come as naturally as the music and that is why I’m still involved in music, it pays the bills.”
Snowboarding has always been of the utmost importance to Ívar Pétur Kjartansson, who is best known for his role as the drummer of the band FM Belfast. Ívar was born and raised in the Eastfjords of Iceland in a small town with slightly fewer than 700 residents. His childhood was characterized by simple pleasures and non-stop fun and games. The kids had a great deal of freedom as they were simply asked to attend to their schooling, be home at mealtimes and then they had the rest of the time to do whatever interested them the most. For Ívar it was music, skateboards in summer and snowboarding in winter.
Being a sheep farmer in Iceland requires a great deal of passion. The job isn't the most profitable one and the work is very time-consuming. Despite that, the ones who choose it cannot imagine doing anything else. As if the job wasn't hard enough already, Icelandic sheep farmers choose to keep their sheep up in the mountains during summertime where the sheep roam free. This means that every year, autumn arrives with the big and heavy task of herding them all the way back down.
The Laugavegur trail is one of the most popular multi-day hiking routes in the world, spanning 55 kilometers across the highlands of Iceland. With its dynamic and ever-changing scenery, the trail displays a glimpse into all forms of the highland landscape, while exposing hikers to the many faces of the notoriously unpredictable Icelandic weather. This summer, our ambassador, Benjamin Hardman set to traverse and document the whole trail in one straight push,
aiming to experience all sides of the landscape and conditions on foot within a 24-hour window
This year we looked to the colours of Icelandic lava caves to inspire our collection. Cooled lava at the surface is usually grey or black, depending on age. However, when the heat of the earth reaches the surface, forming geysers and hot pools, the volcanic minerals can combine to create colourful rocks in fantastic combinations. These are the colours you will also find, cooler and a bit safer, inside lava caves.
Hardworking, a term that describes Emilie Lilja well. As a social media influencer, DJ, podcast-host, head-ambassador and a public figure in Copenhagen, Emilie Lilja deals with high amount of pressure and stress in her everyday life. Being able to stay afloat in such conditions does not only demand a serious work ethic, but also the ability to know when and how to pull the plug and relax. For Emilie, that means driving out of the city, north of Copenhagen, or going abroad exploring new exciting destinations and cultures.
Asa Steinars grew up surrounded by fascinating landscape and the forever changing weather in Iceland. This gave her a tight bond to the nature and its forces and eventually drove her to pursue a career as a travel photographer where she shares her work on social media.
Aron and Helen live on a farm in Hofsnes in Öræfi where they run a small mountain guide company. Aron is his family's fifth generation to oversee the family-run business, but his great great grandfather took their first customer up to Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland's highest peak, in 1891.
Originally Aron and Helen stumbled upon each other up on the glacier, where they were working for rival guide companies. That was love at first sight.
Their farm is in close proximity to Iceland's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Inevitably the glacier, therefore, plays a large role in their lives. As a part of their job as guides, they both regularly visit the nearest outlets of the glacier, giving them a first-hand experience of the glacier's development.
In a quite short time, the landscape surrounding the large glacier has drastically changed. Increasingly more glacial lagoons have formed due to the increased melting, 500 meter (1640 ft.) long ice caves have disappeared and large sand dunes have formed from the retreat of the glacier.
Not only does this development force Helen and Aron to question the future of their family's livelihood, but also the entire nation to question the preservation of the country's nature.
66°North's short film "The Long Run" about the Icelandic Ultra-Runner Elisabet Margeirsdottir
In 2018, Elisabet Margeirsdottir became the first woman in history to finish the 400 km (250 miles) by-invitation-only Ultra Gobi marathon under 100 hours. Fifteen years prior, Elisabet had no idea how a string of successes might lead her towards becoming Iceland's most notorious ultra-runner.
The harshness of the Icelandic weather has never been a barrier for Heidar, who surfs the black beaches of Iceland on an everyday basis.
At an early age, Heidar Logi struggled in school and had a hard time dealing with his attention disorder. However, after finding a path in extreme sports, Heidar managed to overcome his battle with ADHD as he finally had a channel to direct all his excessive energy. We are completely taken by Heidar’s story, who continuously challenges the boundaries of a typical Nordic lifestyle.
Five years ago, Benjamin Hardman embarked on his first photographic mission in an Arctic winter climate.
Ever since, Benjamin’s passion for the cold has driven him further in his search of the North’s most obscure landscapes – the barren, cold and volatile environments that are inhabited by colossal ice structures, carved volcanic mountains and resilient wildlife.