tirsdag den 19. juni 2018

Hike across Iceland - Iceland traverse - Route planning

Click here to see the route in viewranger
The route for our hike across is in place. It has been that for a while. We have had a couple of planning weekends where we have been through the gear list, our food supply's and not least the route.

I think the word route is the correct term for the trip. There is no definite hiking trail from north to south. There are stories about old roads or paths that the locals used to horseback. But these no longer exist. We are going to hike approx. 550 kilometers and expect it takes about 22 days. Additionally adding. 3 zerodays (rest days).

The first week from start to Myvatn we hike on gravel roads, the so-called F-roads, replaced by a 34 km hiking trail from Asbyrgi to Dettifoss along Jökulsa, which is kind of Icelands Grand Canyon. Dettifoss is Europe's largest waterfall with a water flow of 193 cubic meters per day. second.

After Dettifoss we go the cross country to the town of Reykjahlíð, which is located by Lake Myvatn (the last camp in the picture below) In Reykjahlíð we have a zeroday. Here we have a day where we just relax. The town has a supermarket, hot springs and a pizzeria. So we will not be bored. At Reykjahlíð we will also pick up our first food depot, which we have sent from Reykjavik.

The top camp is Asbyrgi, where the trail along Jökulsa starts. P marks the parking spot at Dettifoss. Last camp is at Myvatn
The 2. leg, which is the longest, is expected to take one and a half to two weeks. We must cross the Icelandic highlands. A monochrome desert, where the only colors come from single flowers or a bird on the way. In connection with the planning of the trip, we have had contact with ICESAR, the Icelandic rescue service. We filled out an online travel description with information about our route and which gear we brought along with us. They could tell that drinking water can be difficult to find in the area south of Myvatn. So we are going to carry some water on this stretch.
Second leg - from first camp at Myvatn to bottom drinking glass. Here it can be difficult to get water
The picture below shows the last part of the second leg. Here are some rivers we need to cross. This also gives us access to drinking water. The second leg ends at Landmannalaugar, where we pick up our second and last food supply take another zero day.

The first part of the third and last leg is on the legendary hiking trail Laugavegur. The hiking trail often appears on top lists of the world's most beautiful hiking trails. The trail is approx. 55 kilometers long and runs up and down of rhyolith colored mountains.
Mountains at Laugavegur
Laugavegur stops at Thorsmark. From here we hike in snow crossing over a mountain ridge and between the two glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Below Eyjafjallajokull there is a volcano that erupted last time in 2010. Hopefully it will be in hibernation until we finish Iceland.

The route in between the glaciers
On the other side of the mountain ridge we take a path that follows the Skoga River. The Skoga river flows to and ends by the Skogafoss waterfall. A waterfall known from the Vikings series. Now we are at Icelands old coastline. The new coast is about 5 kilometers away.

We expect to end the trip at Dyrhólaey. Here there is symbolically another lighthouse, like where we started in the north

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