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Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

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We were facing the first stage of the Laugavegurinn in Landmannalaugar, about to start one of the routes we most wanted to travel through Iceland with Kristinartindar. A place from which we had heard and read countless stories, all of them being really good, a safe bet! But ... will it really be that way?


Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

Early summer 2015, specifically last week of June. One of the longest winters of which they remembered began to give their last thumps giving way to the expected summer. Since the weather in Iceland It is a matter of lottery and the trip plans were made months in advance, we could not move it back or forth. What we found we would have to assume.

Once in Iceland, we checked the last part of Iceland's highways and quickly got an idea of ​​how the mountains and the access roads to many of the tourist routes such as the Laugavegurinn. Already the track towards Landmannalaugar, where the route began, it seemed complicated and its access was only suitable for off-road vehicles, but not for any 4 × 4, but for the so-called “monster jeep”, huge vehicles imported from the United States or modified locally to be able to transit through any type of terrain


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

After using one of these fun monsters, we reach Landmannalaugar and inside one of the shelters that are there we had a cup of hot coffee and some food, all brought by us since there are scarce supplies.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

The area seemed quiet and there was only our group and another who had come exclusively to see the valley and visit the thermal areas near the shelters. We took the opportunity to visit them quickly and we started the route up a steep slope where the snow tried to hinder our progress. We were 600m above sea level.

The conditions of the routeLaugavegurinn They are usually better than those exposed here. Its implementation is recommended from the second half of July until the end of September


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

After that we climb to the top of a mountain where you can see excellent views of everything Landmannalaugar which unfortunately were many of them buried by a thick blanket of snow, covering in white what in theory would be a wide range of colors. The truth is that we love the snow and we were prepared for it, but in this case we wanted a little truce.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

We followed the path through another strong ramp towards a volcano that gave off gases and whose top had come off all the snow. Here we could see the real Landmannalaugar.

Once the volcano is crowned, more than 800 meters high (Brennisteinsalda), reality reappeared and an infinite target surrounded the entire path where the view reached and of course where the path passed. White, white, white and without prints. We were the first to make the route this year.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

I wearing snowshoes in my backpack quickly put them on and walking from here was a path of roses, even though we still had 7.5km to the shelter of Hrafntinnusker.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

As we were in "summer" from time to time we found some area cleared of snow, probably because in the highest parts the wind whipped. We took advantage of this to move faster but quickly the good was over.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

We went up and up and occasionally we took out the drone that we had anchored behind our backs and took a nice view of the place.


Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

As nature is capricious and with snow the heat does not get along very well, we constantly saw some green oasis surrounded by blocks of snow. Signs of volcanic activity under our feet. Rivers of boiling water with the smell of rotten eggs that, with the prevailing cold, made you want to take a dip. This place called Storihver It was located at 903 meters high and we still had 100m left to climb. The thing was almost done after checking that we had a long and desolate esplanade with some small slopes.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

The day and the conditions of the land did not end up respecting us and a strong fog made an appearance, leaving sky and earth painted white. Time to search our GPS and put the direct as soon as possible towards Hrafntinnusker.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

2 kilometers later and more than 1000m high, which for the Icelanders is a lot ..., we find the long-awaited rest under a few meters of snow, the refuge of Hrafntinnusker. Of course empty, except for the guard who had begun work a day before waiting for the first expedition, ours.

To enter we had to take out a shovel that we carried in our backpack and dig up the access to the door that had been buried by the snow that had fallen recently. It is seen that the guard did not want to leave the shelter ... Once inside, a set of bunk beds awaited us richly and a gas stove allowed us to cook food a soup and a good warm you.


Laugavegurinn stage 1, Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

It was only time to rest and prepare our next stage, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn. Tour with a similar profile and with very similar snow conditions.

Final Recommendations Trekking in Laugavegurinn / Landmannalaugar

How is the crossing indicated?

Bring a map and GPS, the route is not very well indicated and if you find snow the roads simply do not show. Occasionally there are well marked posts, but you can go several kilometers without seeing them and that can be confusing.

How difficult is this stage?

The difficulty is low, only when it is done with snow, the necessary effort is greater. Even so, we cannot qualify it as hard. Moreover, if it is not due to bad weather at the end of the stage, it is very possible that we would have made some additional route around the refuge.

What is the best time to do the crossing?

July and August. In June the route can still be found with a lot of snow and in September it can start to snow. However, when the snow has not left yet, you will hardly see people during the crossing and that is appreciated.

What should we take to the Landmannalaugar?

  • Warm clothes as if we were in winter.
  • Waterproof, to be able to be membrane Gore Tex or similar.
  • Windbreaker in jacket and pants.
  • Gloves and hat.
  • Flashlight or frontal. The Black Diamond for example are excellent.
  • Flip flops to cross the rivers. It can be done barefoot but it is a martyrdom ...
  • Underwear thermal.
  • Leggings if there is snow. Here is a good example of Leggings and eye with size.
  • Several pairs of socks.
  • Backpack of at least 30l and if we go on our own of 55l or higher.
  • Sleeping bag. The type will depend on whether we sleep in a shelter or in a tent.
  • Optional tent.
  • Map/GPS. Without this, don't even show up. As GPS our recommendation is the Garmin GPSMAP 64.
  • Batteries to spare. There are no plugs in the shelters.
  • Food for 4 days. He Water It can be taken from streams as long as it does not come hot.
  • Stove for those who go for free.
  • Some ibuprofenos never go wrong….
  • Cream and sunglasses.
  • Food and Water for several days. Water is usually drinkable, but be careful where it contains sulfur. If you don't trust, there are Purifiers very useful for hiking.
  • Newspapers to dry the boots every day. Do not wear sneakers.

More information

More information in the article Trekking in Landmannalaugar. Laugavegurinn, 4 shocking days.

Travel insurance

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Route made by the hand of Icelandiaviajes.net specialized in trips to Iceland.

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