Photo Epic and Video: Escape to Iceland

Oct 21, 2015
by Yeti Cycles  
Views: 36,984    Faves: 609    Comments: 32


I realized while sitting atop a grassy pinnacle, overlooking braided rivers that worked their way down from massive glacier tongues, that Iceland doesn’t feel like another country, it feels like another planet. This strange land is littered with awe-inspiring trails hidden among icy winds and snowcapped peaks. The primordial terrain and variable weather made it an ideal setting for us to shred the new Yeti SB4.5c.

Iceland with Yeti images
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

Our crew arrived just outside of the capital city of Reykjavik and we were greeted by the eerie perma-dusk that would stay with us our entire three week mission. Our goal was simple: hunt down and ride some of Iceland’s best trails. We learned quickly the sun never really sets in Iceland and while it messes up your sleep patterns, it has its perks — we could stay out riding until late into the evening. Not far outside of the capital city of Reykjavik lies trail worthy terrain. After shaking off the last bit of jet lag, we explored the mountainous areas and found good use of the local trails and enjoyed the few rays of sunshine that shone through all week.

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

Our journey continued as we traveled south into the Thórsmörk region. Our sad little Jeep barely survived the numerous fjord crossings required to get there. As glacial runoff floods the Krossá River that snakes across the basin leading up Thórsmörk. We pitched our tents and looked up the trail — it headed straight up a ghastly and gnarled drainage with neon grass contrasting the blackest rock I’ve ever seen.

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

Once settled in, we saddled up and hit the trail. The technical climb meandered up a narrow bench-cut trail and then gave way to a wide buffed-out descent marked by tacky brown dirt and an exposed ridge that dropped away on both sides. Without warning, our screaming downhill was interrupted by patches of knife-edge sections where we were forced off our bikes and had to hopscotch over the rocks with our bikes on our shoulders. To say the riding kept us on our toes would be an understatement; I have never ridden anything quite like it. When we got down to camp and looked back up at where we had come from, all I could think was how few tires have ever rolled where mine just did. Four nights in Thórsmörk flew by. Even on our last day, after we thought we had seen everything, we found more to explore. We had merely scratched the surface.

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

Next our crew headed even deeper into the highlands to the volcanic region known as Landmannalaugar. As the crow flies, the two regions are close, but as the Jeep rolls it was a different story. Despite their geographical proximity, the regions were distinctly different. Thórsmörk is marked by its lush greenery, towering cliffs, and cracked glaciers while Landmannalaugar is full of rainbow hilltops, ancient lava fields and is enveloped in sulfur smell.

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

We rode long ridgelines at full speed and plunged into sharp, deep corners that caught our tires perfectly. Unlike Thórsmörk, Landmannalaugar’s rolling scree hills were marked by drawn-out climbs and descents following flowy ridge tops. The final descent took us careening down the hillside through the dried-up lava field looming over our camp. After ten minutes of childishly hopping our way through the igneous playground, we sought out a hot meal and warm soak. This became the norm — big rides, sore muscles and long soaks in the bountiful natural hot springs that surrounded the trails.

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

Mountain biking is starting to take hold in Iceland, but we saw very few fellow riders in our travels. It’s easy to escape the hoards and find your place in the big landscape. Most tourists stick to the Ring Road, which offers views of gigantic waterfalls and black rock beaches. We took the other trails…

Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.
Yeti Cycles x Iceland images.

I did the whole trip on my new Yeti Cycles SB4.5c and it worked like a charm. It was only a matter of time before we rolled out our Switch Technology in big wheels. The SB4.5c is optimized for 29" wheels and has a different personality than our other bikes. The pedaling platform is a little stiffer, so out of the saddle climbs feel effortless. Descending, it’s all trail bike — open it up and let the big wheels roll.

Written by: Sam Seward
Rider: Sam Seward

Photography By: Joey Schusler & Craig Grant
Cinematography By: Craig Grant

Aerial Cinematography By: Joey Schusler
Directed & Edited By: Craig Grant


MENTIONS: @yeticycles / www.yeticycles.com / @joeyschusler



Must Read This Week

97 Comments

  • + 66
 Bucket list trip. Ends with jumping off that cliff like the Engineer in Prometheus.
  • + 12
 Awesome movie btw....
  • + 9
 I was fortunate enough to go ride in Iceland this year too. I'll be back for sure! It's truly a unique riding experience you won't find anywhere else.
  • + 7
 I would love if they could give us details on the logistics of the trip..let where exactly they went, stayed, rode, etc. Sounds like a fantastic trip!
  • + 8
 They should have an ews here!
  • + 1
 Reykjavik is awesome! I would advise anyone to pack a trail bike or bmx and go! Iceland is rad!
  • + 29
 Awesome! And he's not on a god damn fat bike
  • + 10
 Iceland. That's 29er country son...
  • + 25
 Say Yeti Bikes, I trust you uploaded some of those trails to Pinkbike's Trailforks trail resource site / app right? Right? Wink
  • + 13
 Spent 10 days driving around Iceland, sadly bikeless...next time I go I'll need to have some spare change in my pocket to pay for a guide. The open country is so vast and untracked, there is no real "trail center" where you can just head for a ride. Definitely a biking destination, but for those that have a little extra spending money to find/access the goods.
  • + 4
 icebikeadventures.com - Hopefully using these guys next year
  • + 1
 Me too. Too bad i hadn't my bike with me...
  • + 16
 As if I didn't already want to go to Iceland badly enough... Thanks a lot, Yeti.
  • + 15
 Haha, the grass there is definitely greener Big Grin
  • + 1
 That landscape brought me to tears, seriously.
  • + 15
 Happy to see the final result, great job guys.
  • + 14
 Thanks so much for all your help! We really appreciate it Magne.
  • + 4
 You guys @yeticycles need to look after @joeyschusler, he's been producing stunning work lately
  • + 12
 incredible photog work!
  • + 5
 Seriously, well done!
  • + 2
 Said as @bradwalton slowly begins digging out and dusting off his camera gear...stirred to new adventures.
  • + 8
 That landscapes are soo awesome, I'd love to ride with this view.
  • + 2
 They're so completely alien to me... It's like it's not even Earth.
  • + 4
 Another great job from Joey Schusler that captured the awesomeness of mountainbiking. Yeti Cycles could give him a rise in his paychecks later. Maaan. you make me hate my deskjob already.
  • + 6
 I'll take that over Mongolia any day and only a five hour flight from Toronto.
  • + 6
 Beautiful. Epic. Magical. Great work guys. Thanks for the inspiration !
  • + 2
 After watching Ashes to Agassiz and all the fuss it created online I was under the impression that "Mountain Biker" translated into "Satan" in Icelandic, that they would burn all EVOC bike bags that arrived at the airport and that their respective owners would be shot soon after.
  • + 6
 The best trails are all hiking trails where mtb is allowed (still) on. This video captures well the spirit of riding in this region, respecting the nature while Ashes to Agassiz was all about shredding regardless of where the trail is or it´s effect on the land
  • + 3
 Iceland is soo amazing.
#onepointaddedtothebucketlist

Each of these three vids got me.
1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYJeItqxHok
2. www.pinkbike.com/video/406081
3. See up there.
  • + 1
 serious question: why are those trails in such a perfect condition? keeping the really low population in mind, i cannot imagine that those trails are walked/ridden frequently?! or is this one of the few spots, that are visited often (tourists, the nature loving citizens)? i would thought icelands nature is untouched (thus without trails) pretty much everywhere - is that accurate?
  • + 1
 Awesome video and story!!
We love riding in Iceland...there's really nowhere like it on the planet. If anyone out there wants to ride Iceland we offer a KILLER week-long trip. Five departures next summer! Check it out: www.ridebig.com/trip_iceland_tectonictreasures.php
  • + 1
 Iceland's scenery is like nothing else on earth. I didn't get to MTB on my trip this summer, but I did get to see a fair amount of the interior as a support for motorcyclists ... absolutely jaw dropping. We met some guys at Landmannalaugar who'd cycled over from Thorsmork, and were postholing through two feet of snow in mid July to do so. Crazy. If you're going to go cycling in Iceland, go sooner rather than later. At the moment, the cycling in this region is pretty much a free-for-all, but a lot of people suspect in the next few years the sheer number of tourists are likely going to mean some numbers control, and perhaps even closing a lot of this region to bikes. Get in while the going's good.
  • + 2
 Just AMAZING. Thank you for the stunning photos and the spirit of adventure that was captured. This makes me want to get back in the saddle. Awesome job on this one, keep it coming!
  • + 3
 Wow amazing video and pictures, been there a few years ago with the mtb but did not cycle these trails... our guide kept us on quite boring roads compared to this.
  • + 5
 ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh geology
  • + 3
 Anyone know a good MTB guide for Iceland? Looks like an amazing place to ride.
  • + 5
 The guys at Ice Bike are super friendly and helpful. We couldn't have made this video without their help! icebikeadventures.com
  • + 4
 Then why not give them a shout out in the article?
  • + 1
 This is the most scenic and beautiful "Photo Epic" I've seen in a while - that alone means a lot. What landscape, riding, photography! Awe inspiring. Lot's of PODs in there, too.

Love it.
  • + 2
 Schusler- You're one talented Mo-Fo... This dude shreds on a bike, and puts out some seriously beautiful work. Well done man. You're making some folks out here in CO proud!
  • + 3
 Nothing makes you want to go out and ride as much as guys shredding singletrack
  • + 2
 Has someone been playing with the contrast settings or does Iceland actually look like that in real life? I want to go!
  • + 3
 Stayed there for a week (not with bike), these are great photographs, but it really does look that other-worldly!
  • + 2
 Its videos like these that reminds me of why I love mountain biking! well done!
  • + 4
 UNREAL
  • + 3
 Literally wanted to cry that was so beautiful.
  • + 3
 Fantastic that's a beautiful place! Love the bike
  • + 2
 best fotostory and video in while! thanks!
  • + 1
 Wow, that piece of land looks like untainted by the human pollution! Reminds of beginning of the movie Prometheus!
  • + 1
 Amazing. The landscapes... and the light in the pictures and video... just amazing!
  • + 1
 video and photos - absolutely gorgeous, this bike- dream, Iceland - I will go there.. no matter what Smile ))
  • + 2
 That was just beautiful. Thank you!
  • + 2
 Now that is a trip I could take. Awesome.
  • + 2
 geez i wanna go ride now!
  • + 1
 WOW that scenery is incredible, mad props for the production quality too, that's somewhere I have got to check out!
  • + 2
 amazing video!! iceland must be such a great destination
  • + 1
 The most alien landscape i have ever seen a bike being ridden. The photos are spectacular! Thanks!
  • + 2
 Once again more Yeti porn at its best. Great video!
  • + 1
 Wow amazing video and photos, thanks very much love these. Definitely one for the bucket list!
  • + 1
 so good, you dont want it to end...hopefully i can go to iceland in my lifetime
  • + 3
 epic
  • + 3
 Looks EPIC
  • + 3
 Sweet!
  • + 2
 I love what Iceland did to their banks haha
  • + 2
 Perfect trip.thanks for video
  • + 1
 What was the temperature like on that trip? Because im getting chills just watching the video. Amazing country.
  • + 2
 This is why I am proud to own a Yeti!!!
  • + 2
 That looks as cold as it's beautiful. Awesome landscape.
  • + 2
 Amazing shots and sick fun trails
  • + 1
 BRAVO! spectacular stills and cinematography.
  • + 1
 Beautiful place , and very great movie!
  • + 1
 I can't believe this is online for free. Thanks yeti!!
  • + 1
 How do you find out about these trails? Tell me and I will go.
  • + 1
 Beautiful edit, thanks Yeti. Makes me want a proper trail bike
  • + 1
 Selfish dude went all by himself.
  • + 0
 Iceland pictures never look bad...raw like no other

"Escape the hoards.." lol

does pinkbike proofread anything?
  • + 2
 Or shown instead of shone
  • + 2
 wow wow and wow
  • + 2
 crazy!!!!
  • + 1
 Wasn't there photos of Aggy here not too long ago?
  • + 1
 Beautiful place
  • + 1
 Thank you
  • + 1
 Just... Don't... SKID!
  • + 5
 Compared to Aggy's Iceland edit i gotta say they really made an effort to stay on the trails here and i bet the slopes look less steep than they were in reality.
  • + 2
 I hear you. I am a tribe member and think the Yeti vids are great, but being a trail advocate and builder I cringe when riders lock up their back wheels. I guess it is dramatic but would prefer proper trail etiquette to be demonstrated- especially in such a pristine, beautiful location.
  • + 0
 Cringe? Really? What is that stock 2.2 Ikon going to do to the Iceland terrain? Destroy the planet?

I get it - its important, but be realistic. That trail gets so much rain, snow and bad weather that if the trail was going to be destroyed, it would have happened already. Same goes with most trails everywhere. Chill out, ride, be smart, but there's no need to be .. you said it, dramatic.
  • + 1
 No motorcyclists allowed!
  • - 1
 Don't really think my comment was dramatic KG - maybe where you live trails don't get wide, blown up and rutted but in socal they certainly do. I am a bit sensitive because I spend time and effort to build single track. I am also a IMBA instructor and try to teach folks the right way to ride trail. One Ikon does minimal damage but 100? 200?
  • + 1
 unreal video!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2017. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.072941
Mobile Version of Website