Expedition Mission & Background
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The primary mission of American Expedition Vehicles is to provide transportation and support for a team of the worlds best expedition kayakers and film makers while they descend the largest river in Iceland. The kayakers will rappel 300 feet (using the Jeeps as anchors) into a series of caves within the Vatnajokull Glacier to the very headwaters of the Jokulsa River. Found virtually no where else on the planet, it’s a geothermal heated “hot river” that flows under the glacier. From here the team will kayak out from under the Glacier and proceed across Iceland, navigating extreme rapids (one of which is Europe’s most powerful waterfall, the deadly 300 ft Deaden Foss). From here they will continue all the way across the country to the ocean.
A similar expedition was tried in the mid-eighties with National Geographic. Instead of 4WDs they used a combination of snowcats, ultralight aircraft, snowmobiles and 4WDs. The expedition was not a complete failure, but was plagued by malfunctioning equipment and inexperienced kayakers (Kayaking was in its infancy at the time). With today’s specially prepared vehicles and some of the world’s best kayakers, the expedition has excellent chances of succeeding while providing spectacular film footage and still photos.
The Jeeps will provide transportation across the Vatnajokull Glacier to the put-in for the river; the vehicles will then complete the mission across the arctic desert providing support for the team, transportation for the film crew and emergency services if needed. The visual scenery in Iceland is fantastic, everything from lush green waterfalls, to huge ice fields.