Inside the Volcano Part 2:
Once we got to base camp we went into the lodge and were told by the (cute…just an FYI all the guides are cute here in this country) lodge boy about how the volcano formed, and how to put our the gear that would secure us to the elevator.
Then it was time for our us to climb the rest of the way up the summit. One we got there we saw that elevator you see in the top photo. It’s the kind they use to wash windows on skyscrapers. Now, I am very fearful of heights mind you, so going down in this was not really my cup of tea. But as Kristin Newman says in her new book. “I love to do the thing you’re supposed to do in the place you’re supposed to do it.” So I was going down that volcano!
I was secured by my harness to the elevator, which really just had me saying internally “if the cord holding this elevator snaps, I am going down with it” not “this is holding me in place”. But again, our guides were great, making us feel comfortable as we start descending into the 120 meter deep crater. One of the guides was an architect by day and mountaineer rescue guy/guide by hobby, and the other was a commercial photographer who also does rescue on the side as well as these tours. These Icelanders are like multi faceted crystals I tell you.
At first the hole is only about as bit as the elevator itself, then the cavern widens until you are in a cathedral of rock. As a geo nerd this was heaven. The sulfur as colored the rocks inside into rainbow like streaks of water color. Once at the bottom you are given about an hour to explore around, until you go back the exact way you came down—through that little hole in the craters ceiling.
Back at base camp they warm your bones with some traditional lamb soup and warm drinks before the hike back to the ski lodge where the ride takes you back to town.
All-in-all I can’t recommend this tour (and Im NOT into tours!!!) if you ever come to Iceland. Unless you are a volcanologist you have little chance of otherwise getting to descend into the magma chamber of a volcano. This is simply once in a lifetime!