ICELAND / by Angela Payne

I made it to Iceland!

It was a long day of travel to get here, but so far so good.

Keith Ladzinski and I met at the Denver airport early on Sunday to begin the first leg of the journey. I am a rookie in the expedition packing game, but I gave it my best effort and managed to shove everything into one large duffle. Thanks to Organic, I managed to strap two pads together as one and have a nice set up that carries quite well. Libecki, our trip leader, sent me two full duffles before the trip, so I went to the airport with four large bags to check and one carry on.

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As it turns out, it is more expensive to have a bag handled for a few hours than it is to have a dog boarded and trained for a few weeks. For the money we paid, I expect my bags to come when called now. So far, however, they are failing their obedience test. Between extra bag and overweight fees, we did some serious damage to the credit cards.

Currently we are in Reykjavik. Ethan Pringle and Mike Libecki met us here today, just as planned, so things are off to a great start. I was a little worried that Mike might would be delayed by his Russian expedition, but he is here in the flesh, right on time, to guide us to new places and unclimbed rocks.

We walked around town a bit and enjoyed an Icelandic dinner with dessert. Now I am succumbing to the exhaustion of travel. I am writing this from my iPhone and haven't quite mastered the app, so please forgive any formatting errors.

For the next few weeks I will be mostly out of touch, hopefully climbing new boulders and enjoying the beauty of untouched Greenlandic wilderness. However, there are a few blog posts that will be going up while I am gone, so check back each week for new content. Then, when I return to civilization, I will have loads of photos and stories to share.

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This is quite a trip I am about to embark on, and although I am admittedly nervous, I know it will be a once in a lifetime experience. So, bring on the beautiful scenery, the polar bears, the sea ice, the untouched rock...and let the adventure begin!