Meet Super Valdi who is Building the Unreachable Road in Iceland

Meet Super Valdi who is Building the Unreachable Road in Iceland

Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, 20.06.2024—What do you do when you work with the unreachable and keep hearing “Það er ómögulegt” (It’s impossible), “Gleymdu því” (Forget about it), and “Þú ert klikkuð” (You’re crazy)?

Why start a PR with these words? To me, the story is something worth having a look at, and the main reason for these comments is that my father was thought to be trying to reach the unreachable. It was easy to envision tourists’ cars sinking in mud up to the door handles, which would be an utter disaster. No wonder people were scared about how this image could negatively impact tourism in the area. But my father saw this as a challenge. He believed that he could overcome the mud by designing the road in the highest areas and creating a viable route. One day, I asked him where all this belief came from, but Valdi answered with a mysterious smile. 

In his first step, my father frequently drove close to the glacier to scout the area. He took me, my 5-year-old brother, and my mom, on some of these trips. My mom told me a story from these rides that still gives me chills, even though I’m in my late twenties now. 

It happened on a Sunday. We were on one of our usual trips, driving through the highlands. My father needed to look around, so he exited the car to survey the land. As he walked a couple of hundred meters away, a thick fog suddenly rolled in, enveloping everything in a dense, disorienting mist. My mother, my brother, and I were inside the car, anxious and fearing that he might not find his way back.  

Minutes passed by, but my mother stayed calm and didn’t let us feel how dramatic the situation was. Even though the visibility was at most 10 meters, my father finally found his way back to the car. As an experienced glacier explorer, he understood how close a call it was, but it only strengthened his resolve. If he hadn’t found the car, he could have easily been lost in the highlands, and his dream of building the road might have died with him. 

In the following months, my father slowly moved further and further with the new route. There were better and worse days, but the dreamer’s plan eventually became increasingly real. Suddenly, others came to join Valdi’s effort as they finally realized the touristic potential of the new route, which had the major advantage of being closer to Gullfoss—the star attraction of the Golden Circle. It also brought new life to the Kjölur route, which has been used for centuries, dating back to Viking times, offering breathtaking scenic views. 

Fast-forward to today. The new eastern route serves multiple glacier operators, offering a wide range of glacier tours, including ice cave exploration and snowmobiling. This also includes a company started by Valdi, which offers tours in the world’s biggest glacier truck—but that’s a story for another day. As for me, my father’s love for glaciers somehow passed to me, and I’m working with him to build up the company with the big trucks. 

Mission Impassable: Building the Unreachable Road


















My name is Margrét Ástvaldsdóttir, and the text above is the story of how my father, Ástvaldur “Valdi” Óskarsson, turned an impossible mission into a remarkable reality.

This story is a part of the 100 Stories from Iceland.

Contact: Margrét Björg Ástvaldsdóttir
Position: General Manager
Tel.: +354 820 9412