Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Iceland

  1. #1
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    25


    Hi I'm thinking of doing the OMM in Iceland at the end of May - fly out 23rd. As it is half term I thought me and my partner could make a week of it and follow the event with a few days exploring part ofthe island preferably by doing a 4 5 day trail. The Laugavegurinn, or Laugavegur hiking trail looked ideal but it doesn't look like the huts that service it are open till mid June and it is suggested that the route shouldn't be walked when the huts are closed. Does anyone have any experience of the trail or Iceland at this time of year? Would the trail be doable or does anyone know of other good alternatives. Thanks in advance for any info.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,529


    Paddy of course is the font of all knowledge here but I can add that we went from Fljótsdalur to Landmannalaugar, arriving there on May 12th. It was bloody hard work but the weather helped. We had verydeep soft snow on the higher partsand where the snow and then the frost had left the ground, it was like walking through a deep slop of mud, stone and gravel, a long way up one's boots. We arrived at Landmannalaugar on probably our very best day in the mountains ever - the snow above theHrafntinnusker hut was at last frozen hard and we belted up and over the pass, then shotdown the other side in breathtaking scenery - to finish with a swim in the thermal pools. Next day we headed back, eventually to Skogarfoss, having seen not a soul in 11 days.

    But the point is, it was arguably too early and we could have got in a right mess going so earlyif the weather had not been on our side. Most of the path markers were buried under snow and south of Porsmork was interesting - there's a wide, deep gulf and it looked, in those conditions, almost impossible. There was nothing to tell us where the route went. Had conditions deteriorated then, we'd have been in a very exposed spot, somewhat stuffed! We had the slightly disturbing feeling that we were being lured into increasingly difficult and remote locations by the good weather, so we hurried on, not doing the side trips I'd hoped, to make the most of the weather.

    You may find going a little later that conditions will be ok, but there's still a big risk. Have you much experience of such places and snow, river crossings etc? You may want to consult Dick Phillips - the guru on Iceland for a few decades. He knows the place like no other I suspect. He was veryhelpful to us in 2006. When I emailed him on our return, he sent his congratulations. He knew our plans and thought we would not complete the trip, such are the conditions at that time. I think we were verylucky!

    Good luck - do let us know how plans progress?

  3. #3
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267


    The only things stopping anyone from walking most of the trails in Iceland in May are...

    1. Deep, lingering snow, and highland roads closed.

    2. Not many buses for access, and none at all in the highlands.

    3. Hut closed... in fact... most things that tourists use are closed.

    If you packed skis or snowshoes on top of everything else you need to survive, then you can go wherever you want, but if time is limited, then you won't be able to get to most of the places you'd want to trek, so it's a bit of a non-starter.

    One the other hand... an ideal solution if time is limited...

    1. Fly to Keflavik and get the bus to Reykjavik.

    2. Get the bus from Reykjavik towards Hveragerdi/Selfoss.

    3. Ask the driver to drop you at Hellisheidi (not a regular stop).

    4. Pick up and follow the Reykjavegur.

    5. Follow it for five days, camping wild.

    6. Finish at the Blue Lagoon for a bath and bus to the airport.

    The Reykjavegur is unlikely to have any snow on it in May, but you have to camp wild as there are no huts, and you have to know where you can get water, because it is fairly scarce along the route. You won't be able to buy any food unless you either detour off-route to Hafnarfjordur or Grindavik.

    Full details in my book. This Google preview cuts out at page 75, which gives just the bare bones introduction to the trek.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,529


    One thing to add - most of the huts had unlocked emergency boot rooms, which we used rather than camping, although we did not know this before we went - it was a nice discovery! Dead cosy and easilyenough room for two. There's an honesty box.

    We carried fuel for melting snow for half the time but only had to do this once. The water source at Hrafntinnusker was many feet down an almost vertical-sided hollow - no way could we have got to it.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267


    Rob... it's nice if you get an unlocked boot room. Not so nice, on the other hand, if it's the Fimmvorduhals hut on the top of the Skogar Trail, where you get the toilet!

    Fortunately... I had the door code!

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,529


    Paddy - I agree! We dug in to access it and decided it really wasn't what we wanted... So we bashed on to the next hut (can't remember its name), which was then in an awful state. Possibly as it was relatively close to the road (by Iceland standards)? But we swept it out and enjoyed the sunny views from its balcony. The strong north wind required many layers, but sitting there facing south, with the route pretty well in the bag, was just plain lovely. The next day - wow - what a way to finish! Awesome waterfall after awesome waterfall. But then it went wrong at the bottom - the bus times we had been assured were correct by the bus company... Not a bloody thing on the roads - we waited for ages until a very nice German brother and sister took us right into Reykjav√*k. Ironic that after all we'd been through, that's where the problems arose, on the road!

  7. #7
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    N/A
    Posts
    9,267


    The other hut you reached would have been Baldvinsskali... a sort of A-shaped hut... two floors... and often used by people who just dump all their rubbish inside. It was as bad as ever when I last passed it, but I was told that a replacement was planned. The idea was to load a pre-fab hut on a truck and take it up the dirt road, make a bonfire of the old hut, and put a new one in its place. I haven't heard if that actually happened.

Similar Threads

  1. Iceland
    By Hayley Dyer in forum Soapbox
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 29-08-2019, 09:51 AM
  2. Iceland
    By Paddy Dillon in forum Travel
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: 17-12-2013, 04:54 PM
  3. Iceland
    By Michael Bardsley in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 31-12-2012, 05:43 PM
  4. Ever been to Iceland?
    By Dawn in forum Walking and Climbing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-07-2008, 07:00 PM
  5. Iceland
    By Wanderlust in forum Travel
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 25-01-2008, 08:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •