4 British Teens Rescued 3 Times Attempting to Cross Iceland in Winter

Chris Wallner | BackcountryBackcountry
Four teens trekking across Iceland!

Four British trekkers attempted to film a documentary called “The Coldest Crossing” about an unsupported 250 mile trek across Iceland in the heart of winter with only the food that they brought with them. Due to the fact that this trek was unsupported, it posed a lot of risks for the four British trekkers. The Iceland Search and Rescue, a free service that is supported by donations and run by volunteers, felt the affects of the lack of support when it came to rescuing the trekkers.

The route taken and the rescues that occurred on the way!

The trekkers had to be rescued three times, but each rescue had a different reason behind it. The first rescue occurred because one member had developed a lung infection. The second rescue was for a trekker that had frostbitten toes. The third and final rescue occurred when the trekkers were too exhausted to continue with the endeavor. The group was criticized for wasting the limited resources that Iceland Search and Rescue had, but they hoped to give back to the organization via donations after the endeavor was completed.

“The two remaining healthy members of The Coldest Crossing did not feel it was in their best interest to continue on with the expedition with their current team size,” stated Charlie Smith, the expedition leader.

The four trekkers that were between the ages of 19 and 20!

The group of four British teens experienced hatred from local and foreign groups of people due to their lack of success and use of limited resources in Iceland. Internet critics withheld from providing the group with any sympathy when they came out and apologized for using the rescuers three times. Along with that, many people thought that the group was just pursuing publicity while taking on a trek that seemed nearly impossible during a time in the winter where the sun never fully rises.

“This expedition is different to most, if not all other Arctic expeditions because after we have progressed through the relatively flat Pole-like Icelandic Interior, we shall then cross a so-far-uncrossed route over the Southern Icelandic mountain ranges, including the world famous Eyjafalljokull Volcano,” stated Charlie Smith, the expedition leader.

The plan on paper!

The four British trekkers made their biggest mistake by failing to learn from their mistakes and the fact that they had to be rescued three separate times shows that they failed to take their mistakes into consideration when attempting to change their way of executing the expedition. They attempted a difficult trek that was designed for an experienced individual, despite their lack of experience. The group had excellent planning and preparation, they just failed to execute the plan that they had designed. If the group had executed their plan, they would’ve walked over 250 miles in a month and taken over 450,000 steps in doing so, now that’s an accomplishment!


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One thought on “4 British Teens Rescued 3 Times Attempting to Cross Iceland in Winter

  1. I think this might be a case of ‘flight of the Buffalo’ – charismatic, photogenic leader Charlie Smith gets “an idea conjured up over a pint in a pub” (his quote) to do a December trip, the fatal error. No-one goes in December. Oh, it’s also a false ‘first’ claim, modified twice to fit the reality. They generate massive publicity and get 30 or so commercial sponsors. No prior contact with Iceland expertise until they get to Reykjavík; no shake-down trip to actually use their kit, much of which is unpacked for the first time on day 1 of the expedition! There’s something a bit ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ about the whole sorry mess. Unfortunately there’s also the blockheaded self-justification after the event: “We are very grateful for the wonderful job done by the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR), but neither we nor they consider an apology to be necessary,” team leader Charles Smith. Good grief ….

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