The Brits, by comparison, approached their expedition in reverse.
“They were extremely well researched,” Ozturk said.
“They just don’t have some of the sixth sense that comes from doing this stuff over a lifetime, and that’s not their fault.
On December 3, 2015, four friends from the UK, ages 19 and 20, set out to cross Iceland on lightweight alpine-touring skis, without support.
You may have heard about them: a series of setbacks and two monster storms doomed their attempt, and the team accepted a helicopter rescue from the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, known as ICE-SAR, ending the trip well short of the goal.
Cold and soaking wet, the four young men and American filmmakers Renan Ozturk and Taylor Rees, who joined for parts of the expedition, were flown 100 miles from a hut in the gravely hills on the southern part of the island to Reykjavik on December 29. ”Although the team members lacked experience on big expeditions, they compensated with social media and marketing savvy befitting seasoned professionals.
After the evacuation, the four Brits were skewered as irresponsible and cocksure by Icelanders and media outlets around the world. They dubbed the expedition the “Coldest Crossing” and put together an extensive media kit detailing their plans.
“Grand ambition is no substitute for common sense,” read an editorial in the of London. Rees recalled a local man confronting the Brits in a Reykjavik coffee shop after their evacuation. Team leader Charlie Smith designed a website that looks as slick as any you’ll see in the outdoor industry.
They had a filmmaker friend cut together a trailer about their trip using footage from a five-day training hike through Iceland they’d done last summer.Two months before the expedition, Smith sent Rees the trailer on Facebook to get her thoughts.She had never heard of the Brits or their plan, but their objective and glossy presentation intrigued her.She and Ozturk happened to have a block of free time in December, so they signed on to document the expedition.“Part of the reason Renan and I committed was, ' Wow, first winter crossing of Iceland, that’s pretty unique,'” Rees says.the Brits would be “the first to cross Iceland unsupported in winter.” In fact, a handful of other adventurers had completed unsupported crossings of their own—east to west, diagonally, and north to south—the earliest ones dating back nearly a century.