Vatnajokull is the largest glacier in Europe and, like all other ice caps, is in danger of extinction due to rising global temperatures.
The expedition starts from the west side of the glacier on January 18, 2017. Alex has company, the adventure photographer Matteo Zanga. The first days are very tiring, the path is all uphill, the sleds weigh over 50 kg each, the nonstop wind and the thick snowpack slow down the progress.
On the fifth day Alex and Matteo reach a weather station near the crater of a now extinct volcano. The next day the fog is so thick that it prevents Alex and Matteo from seeing beyond the tip of their skis. Leaving the weather station behind, the two resume their march eastward and a few minutes later Alex makes a navigation error and falls thirty meters into the crater. Fortunately, in the fall he does not get hurt.
The problems are far from over, in an attempt to get back to the top he slips for two hundred meters to the bottom of the crater. Alex, unharmed, gets rid of all the equipment and climbs up from the crater on foot, in two hours he reunites with Matteo who in the meantime, believing him dead, has called for help.
The rescue team arrives five hours later and it is at that point that Matteo confesses that he is scared and wants to abandon the expedition. Alex does not want to give up the crossing and continues solo.
Over the next ten days the weather conditions put Alex’s morale to the test, but on February 2nd he reaches the east side where his team awaits him and takes him to the first nearby village.