142 forum posts
It's been a long time since my last post here. I suppose graduate school and having 2 kids over a relatively brief period of time will put quite a hamper on one's internet usage (even more so on backpacking trips planned and executed). This past June, I was able to take a 1 week excursion to Iceland with a couple buddies. 4 days were spent hiking from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk via the Laugavegur trial (the additional days were spent driving around and wasting time in Reykjavik). This was a 55 km hike, and one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.
After arriving in Reykjavik, it quickly became apparent that our gear had not arrived. The marginal customer service at the baggage claim made us skeptical that this hike would happen at all. Anyway, we were given a slip of paper and the promise that we would be notified as soon as our luggage showed up.
Long story short, our packs were delivered to our Airbnb at 12:15 P.M. the following day. We hailed a cab as quickly as we could and hauled off to the bus terminal, as the last departure was scheduled for 1 PM. We made it with 6 minutes to spare (additionally, we rented out the last two lockers in the bus station to store our day bags with passports, etc.). The bus ride is 4 hours long, with stops at various sites along the way before arriving at the base camp at Landmannalaugar.
^Basecamp at Landmannalaugar. Weather was rather pleasant at this point. Due to our luggage not arriving, we were starting this hike at around 5 PM local time. Not to worry, we thought, as we have near 24 hour sunlight being as it was late June.
This would end up being my last photo of the day. Shortly hereafter, we ended up shrouded in thick fog, pelted by rain and hail, and assaulted by the most unbelievable, unrelenting wind I had ever been caught outside in. I truly wish I had captured some of the wind / conditions on video, but it was all we could do to try and keep on pumping to the top. Temps were in the mid-40's, but the intense wind and rain quickly made the going miserable. By this time we were post-holing each step through the remaining snow.
Having reached the summit of Hrafntinnusker through some of the most miserable conditions any of us had experienced, we gladly plopped down the money for space at the summit cabin.
Day 2 to follow...