Iceland Whitewater - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-31-2017   #1
 
Anchorage, Alaska
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Iceland Whitewater

I'm going to be in Iceland for a few days, primarily Reykjavik in September.

Wondering if there is anywhere to rent whitewater kayaks up there, a local message board, or any other beta.

I could always bring my packraft but I try to exhaust logistics before deciding to do that.

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Old 06-01-2017   #2
 
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Athens, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Just got back from there. If you need to rent gear, your best (and possibly only bet) will be to make the 3-4 hour drive north of Reykjavik to Viking Rafting (https://vikingrafting.is/). They can set you up with full kit (boat/paddle/skirt/drysuit/booties) and shuttle for same price as they charge for a seat in a raft if you tag along with one of their commercial trips. It's more expensive than in the US, but then everything in Iceland is. They'll also set you up with gear and beta for running the shit, if that's your thing. The kayaks they have are river runners and creek boats - Burn, Mamba, Bazooka, etc. We brought our own PFDs, helmets, and pogies/gloves, so I don't know what that rental gear would have been like. The rafting drysuits they put us in were perfectly fine - rear entry with latex socks. Booties were NRS ATB Wetshoes.

You have two options if you decide to follow a commercial trip: class 2+ West Glacier River or class 4+ East Glacier River. My son and I did the West, since the videos of the East I could find made it look big, pushy, tight, and steep, and that's out of our league.

The West was an easy float, but it ranks up there as some of the prettiest and most enjoyable mild whitewater I've been on - 4.5 miles of continuous class 2+ with lots of dynamic eddies to link and basically no pools. In many places, the canyon walls rise straight out of the water on both sides. There are two good surf spots with eddy service, and a hot spring on the RR bank that's clean enough to make tea/coffee/hot chocolate with. After the confluence with the East, the water gets big and powerful. Rapids remain easy in that section, but be prepared for western-style 90 degree turns with big seams, eddy fences, boils and whirlpools.

Don't know what usage will be like in September, but we had the river to ourselves. The commercial trip we joined consisted of a single customer in a tandem IK with the lead guide.

I forgot my waterproof camera, so the only photos are what my daughter took from the road before the river entered the gorge section:


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Old 06-01-2017   #3
 
Durango South, 4CRS
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I rented a kayak and kit from Viking rafting, and just tagged along on one of their rafting trips down the east glacial river. It was rad. That said, they are on the north of the island, which is a long drive from reyk. Most of the tourists stay in the golden circle so I'm sure that there are other raft companies closer to where you will be. Just not sure if they rent kayaks
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Old 06-02-2017   #4
 
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Athens, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakr View Post
I rented a kayak and kit from Viking rafting, and just tagged along on one of their rafting trips down the east glacial river. It was rad.
So, what runs in the States would you compare the east river to? Wondering if my own, video based, guesstimate was on the money.
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Old 06-02-2017   #5
 
Durango South, 4CRS
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My first thought was of the Bruneau/Owyhee area. A few good IV's but it was low when I was there so not very pushy. Would be pretty active in the gorge at high water for sure.
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