Cllr Hayes ready for the big chill on Iceland WCRR fundraiser

April 13th, 2024 7:00 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Kevin and Paul Hayes are off on another expedition, this time to Europe’s largest glacier in Iceland.

Share this article

WHILE his colleagues in the West Cork Municipal District will be facing the hardship of canvassing for the next local election, Paul Hayes, who is stepping down as an independent councillor, will be facing a different kind of hardship – traversing Europe’s largest glacier in Iceland.

Paul said his brother Kevin provides the inspiration for their expeditions, including their trek to the Everest base camp in September 2022.

The two brothers flew from Dublin to Reykjavik early on Friday morning to join eight others, plus their guides from Go Beyond Adventures, to traverse 110km of the Vatnajökull glacier as part of their 10-day adventure.

They will be making that journey on skis, and hauling their gear behind them. Then they will then put on their boots and crampons and head to the highest point in Iceland, Hvannadalshnúkur, which is on the rim of the Öræfajökull volcano.

At almost 7,000 ft, it is twice the height of Carrantuohill, but with temperatures at the peak likely to be in the region of-30C, Paul and Kevin will rely on specialist equipment to keep them safe from frostbite, sunburn, and snow blindness.

Afterwards, the brothers are hoping they may even get to sample some of the country’s hot geysers, to decompress after their expedition.

Paul and Kevin have paid for their own flights and the entire cost of their trip, but, as before, they are using the opportunity to raise funds for a very worthy local charity, West Cork Rapid Response.

‘Dr Jason and his team of first responders have literally been the difference between life and death on so many occasions. They provide a vital service, which is totally dependent on donations – to a rural area like West Cork, so people are responding generously,’ said Paul.

Paul said they are looking forward to experiencing what it might have been like on the epic polar expeditions that Shackleton, Scott, Crean, and Keohane took as part of the golden age of exploration, more than 100 years ago.

Share this article