Author Archive: syspbad

Philippe Patay

Philippe Patay Petursson, “Filippus“, 66, founder of Fjallabak and adopted Icelander. He has been traveling and leading trekkings worldwide : Sahara, Greenland, Scotland, Faroe, Eastern Africa, Nepal… and recently he discovered a new passion for Patagonia and Aubrac… Philippe was the first to organize regular trek and ski expeditions in Iceland in the early 1970’s. He is a member of the Guide Association of Iceland. An experienced, passionate ornithologist, photographer, mountaineer and world traveler, he also has a penchant for philosophical chats and for telling long jokes in several languages, often at the same time. His love and enthusiasm for the Icelandic wilderness, is shared by his wife and children, all of whom now work in the organization.

Laurent Jegu

Laurent Jegu, (38) is from Brittany in France. He has a master of trade and communication with a specialization in multimedia and audiovisual. Came to Iceland for three months to work in a production of films and reportage. Small casual jobs he eventually settled for good. He was busy organizing a film festival in Reykjavik and then leads to adventure tourism.Laurent is a dedicated leader, resourceful and tempered with whom it is a pleasure to travel. He often turns our duet with Estrid.

Pierre Brihat

Pierre Brihat “Pierrot” or “Pedro” (46), is proud to be from Marseille, the same town as the Greek explorer Pytheas, who is thought to be the first discoverer of Iceland in about 325BC. He is also renowned (Pierre, not Pytheas) to be the best pasta maker in The North. He has lived in California, but today lives in Paris from where he administers our website and our computers. Pierre has a serious disease called “fidgeting”. This spring, before coming to Icelandic for the season, he beefed up by riding his bike, a powerful BMW (R1200 GS Adv), around America on a 20.000 miles road trip. Despite the time gap and thanks to the internet, we were able to work almost as usual and thanks to Skype, we have visited many motel rooms as the background of a happy bikers face. We think that walking in Iceland is the only thing which makes him forget his bike.

Yoan Fontana

Yoan Fontana (26) is originated from the French Alps but he is guiding most of the year in northern Europe, sharing his time between Iceland for summer trekking and Scandinavia in winter crossing white deserts with his Siberian huskys. Since sled dogging was his passion, he naturally turn it into profession. “Self-sufficiency with friends is my way of life and nothing else matters.”
If in winter you’re looking for something unique in the middle of nowhere, you’ll meet in Lapland the passion and expertise of Yoan and Co to experience multi-activity raids or adventures in the European wild North, Russia and Scandinavia. North Territories provides experience, safety and traditional comfort for anyone looking for genuine experiences far away from the usual tourist tracks.

Matthildur Filippusdóttir Patay

Matthildur Filippusdóttir Patay, “Matta”, 36, head of the office and manager. She is the one you should talk to when planning your trip to Iceland, she takes care of all the details that make the difference between a good and a really great trip! Additionally, she is our chief translator and provider of wonderful smiles and good humor for tired travelers, guides and drivers. Daughter of Philippe and Sigga, out of season she studies at the University of Iceland or in Paris and is an expert on all of Reykjavik’s trendiest cafés. She takes her two sons to the mountains as often as she can,

Andrés Úlfur Helguson

Andrés Úlfur Helguson (43) drives in the mountains around the Mount Hekla during the summer for Fjallabak with the all the travelers equipment and supplies. During the winter he works as a driver/guide and glacier guide. He has the biggest smile and is the one who knows everything, our jack of all trade. The equal temper of this tall man, his calm and his disarming smile makes him a key element especially when the season overflows. Anthropologist and educator training for youth. He was sent on foreign missions to Ethiopia. Andrés is Matthildur’s companion and the father of their two little boys: Grímúlfur, Masked Wolf, and Filippus Flóki. The grandfather, already foresees positions for them in thirty years.

Þór Tulinius

Þór Tulinius, Thor (50), yes that’s right, as the Norse god. He is a renowned theater actor in Iceland. But with 330,000 inhabitants the country can offer him not more than a descent salary.

This explains the versatility of living in this country and simplicity of social relations. So when summer comes, he goes on guiding on the tracks. Thor spent part of his childhood in France and in the United States of America and speaks several languages. His prestence, dedication, great culture and its fine attitude make him an excellent guide.

Lea Gestdóttir

Lea Gestdóttir (28) is the very last mountain muse of Fjallabak. French by her mother, she recently got her diploma of philosophy from the Sorbonne University of Paris. When she speaks French she is the revolutionary resistant trendy type, but when she expresses herself in Icelandic, she talks with this strong old fashion viking accent from Dalvik in the North of Iceland. Lea is completely fluent in English and she is also very comfortable with Italian and Spanish. After one summer of intense formation in 2009, she is now one of our very experimented guide, indefatigable, friendly and devoted to her clients and in love with the mountains of Iceland.

Stephan Stephensen

Stephan Stephensen, “Stebbi Stef”, (42) mountain guide, returns to the highlands every summer to lead our tours. Yet, he is a very well known member of Reykjavik’s underground music scene and spends much of his year performing as a musician in the band Gusgus, at home and abroad. His ability to navigate whilst signing autographs for young girls is legendary in the mountains here

Estrid Thorvaldsdottir

Estrid Thorvaldsdottir, (37), trekking and sightseeing guide. Here is another linguist genius : not only she speaks all scandinavian languages, she also masters french and italian. Throughout the year she teaches yoga both at the city hospitals and in yoga centers, which makes her the perfect guide to get in close connexion with icelandic nature and tales.

PS.Her chocolate mousse is another wonder of the highlands !