Iceland Trek Featured at Mountaineers’ January Meeting

Steam vents and thermal springs encountered in the highlands along the trek from Skogar to Landmannalaugar. Courtesy/LA Mountaineers

Icebergs floating to the sea at Jokulsarlon. Courtesy/LA Mountaineers
Skogafoss, the spectacular waterfall near Skogar at the start of the trek. Courtesy/LA Mountaineers


The January meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers will feature a first-hand account of a six-day, 50-mile trek in Iceland by Mario Schillaci.
The public is invited to hear this presentation Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Fuller Lodge. The presentation will follow the business portion of the Mountaineers’ meeting, which begins at 7 pm.
Schillaci was part of a group of five people on the trek, staying in mountain huts as they made their way from the southern coast up a steady climb along a fast-flowing river, over a pass that sits between two glaciers, and then through a beautiful wooded valley with unusual rock formations nearby.  The trek passed through surreal volcanic scenery, required fording three rivers, and included the most popular walk in Iceland, called the Laugavegur.
Iceland, an island about the size of Kentucky, lies astride the geologically active Mid-Atlantic Ridge just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. The land blossoms with volcanoes, geysers, fumaroles, hot springs and lava flows. The central highlands are ringed with snow-capped mountains and deep gorges. Iceland boasts the third largest ice cap on earth, the glacier Vatnajokull; from this and other Icelandic glaciers flow wild rivers with spectacular waterfalls.
“The variety, beauty and ruggedness of the scenery in Iceland make it an attractive destination for adventure travel,” Schillaci said. “The continuing volcanic activity and near-Arctic location shapes the land in ways that make Iceland unique. The tourist-oriented infrastructure makes most sites of interest readily accessible.”  Among those sites are an iceberg-studded fjord and hot-spring-fed pools adjacent to the sea, as well as sites of historic and geologic interest.
Schillaci has been a member of the LA Mountaineers since 1967 and has trekked in the Himalayas of Nepal, the Peruvian Andes, the Pyrenees, and extensively in the Alps; he also has climbed in the Cascades, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.
The Los Alamos Mountaineers, founded in 1952, promotes a variety of outdoor-oriented activities. For information on the Mountaineers and upcoming trip opportunities, including skiing, hiking, biking and horse-packing, please visit