Aug. 17th, 2013

canyonwren: (coffee)
My summer hiking getaway was to do the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, which runs from the Landmannalaugar area, up and over volcanic highlands, and down to the wooded gloriousness that is Þórsmörk. I held onto the possibility of continuing on the Fimmvörðuháls route to Skógar, but ended up only hiking to the pass and returning for a second night in Þórsmörk due to threatening weather. (And the presence of a sauna in Þórsmörk.)

Kilometers: ~64, with the jaunt up the pass to stare at Eyjafjallajökull.
Buttkicking factor: Not bad. I thought it was a pretty easy hike overall.

To start, Iceland is the perfect place to play that old game of "The GROUND IS MADE OF LAVA!" Because, you know, it is.

Click to get inundated with photos. )

The next morning I was up before any of the other hikers, hoping to hit nice morning light while out on the trail. The day was definitely less foggy and started off in a gentle downhill beside the local steaming vent and then several ice caves.

The second day of gorgeousness! )

The third day was the hardest day, although it truly wasn't that physically demanding. For fitness, the first day felt like I had legs of lead. The second day, I was still kicking into gear. The third day, I was feeling fine, but the terrain was an endless slog of volcanic debris fields. VERY windy and not as pretty as the previous two days.

More photos! Lake Alftavatn to Botnar in Emstrur. )

The walk into Þórsmörk! I'd been looking forward to this for a while. This area is a mountain ridge between the glaciers Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull. It has a warmer climate than most of Iceland and has far more vegetation. Birch trees, some other planted trees, moss, ferns, other shrubs, and so on. When the eruption happened in 2010, some months after I'd been there for the first time, the entire area was apparently covered in ash. There's no sign of devastation now, though. All the ash has cleared away and the area looks just like it did in 2009.

Day 4. Started off the morning... )

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Jen Kleis

November 2014

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