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Published on August 3rd, 2023 | by Kayak Session

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An Icy Dance With The Godfall

Follow Olaf Obsommer back to 2010 on a trip to Iceland with Matze Brustmann, Adrian Mattern, Jobst Hahn from Germany and four-time Extreme Kayaking World Champion Sam Sutton from New Zealand! Check out this short clip from where Sam takes on Aldeyjarfoss…

The waterfalls in the north of Iceland are a challenge for daring white water paddlers even in summer. How crazy do you have to be to try these in winter?
The film tells the story of Matze Brustmann, Adrian Mattern, Jobst Hahn from Germany and the four-time extreme kayaking world champion Sam Sutton from New Zealand, who traveled to the well-known GoĂ°afoss at the beginning of March to dare the extraordinary. On the "Fall of the Gods", the quartet made a dozen successful journeys on a wide variety of routes within several days - including the first descent of the 14-meter-high main fall in mid-stream in winter.
"Apart from the lack of feeling in the hands, a descent is hardly more difficult than in summer," said the Munich paddler Matze breast man afterwards. "However, if you get into trouble and get caught in a treacherous undercurrent at the foot of the waterfall, the clock ticks relentlessly." To ensure a rescue in the icy water, two paddlers in the kayak were always on standby below the waterfall to look after their comrades in an emergency to be able to help. Bad luck for Kiwi Sam Sutton, who landed on the first day from a height of twelve meters on a block of ice that must have gotten out of the eddy and into the current. Instead of diving meters away, the braking distance was extremely short and painful. The resulting back bruise forced Sutton to watch from then on.
While the weather was initially unscheduled as spring-like with seven degrees, wind and rain, within a week GoĂ°afoss turned into a true winter wonderland with permafrost and constant snow showers.
Iceland is uniquely beautiful even in summer, but when Father Frost and Mother Holle reduce the contrasts to a minimum, Iceland is balm for the soul and sugar for the eyes." was attacked, the approach through an ice-lined canal had already shrunk to a meter and the water had taken on the consistency of a smoothie..."

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