Northern Light

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The road north from Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, around the cold waters of Faxaflói and out to the western tip of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, is rough and desolate. Over time, the highway's surface has been grooved by the studs of passing snow tires. Traffic is sparse. Open gas stations come at long intervals.

Toward the end of the peninsula, the glowing snows of the Snæfellsjökull ice cap, high atop a 4,744-foot dormant volcano, come into view. Jules Verne set the opening of his adventure novel Journey to the Center of the Earth on this glacier. With the help of a local snowcat and a set of fat skis, adventures of another sort are within reach.--Charles Glass

Maritime storms and Snæfellsjökull's glacial ice conspire to create strange snow conditions, like these crumbly, icy, cauliflower swells.
SKIER: Woody Lindenmeyr