Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

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texasbb
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Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by texasbb » August 31st, 2018, 11:45 am

Some weeks ago I promised to post an International trip report, if only to test the forum's tolerance for distant reports. :) So here goes... Flame away!

I spent about two and a half weeks playing around in Iceland, 21 July through 7 August 2018, including hikes of the Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals trails, climbing (walk-up) Snaefell (tallest mountain in Iceland apart from the ice caps), and several short dayhikes. A small sample:

Glymur Falls is the tallest waterfall in Iceland. I only got to see the very bottom of it because of the fog, but...who cares:

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Glymur Falls

The Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals trails are the most popular backpacks in the country. Laugavegur is maybe 32 miles, Fimmvorduhals maybe 15? Day 1 on the Laugavegur was beautifully clear; the rest of the trip was more "normal."

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Lava flows and colors (Laugavegur Trail)

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Hot pool in the distance (Laugavegur Trail)

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Colors! (Laugavegur Trail)

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Alftavatn Lake, 1st night's camp (Laugavegur Trail)

A lot of day 2 traverses long, flat, black, sandy, lava fields:

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Gorgeous, stark, barren, black lava field (Laugavegur Trail)

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More stark, barren...beautiful lava fields (Laugavegur Trail)

Because of a bad weather forecast, we were urged by the warden to go all the way to Thorsmork (finishing that trail) on day 2, which we did. We then spent an extra day there to do a little dayhiking.

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Thorsmork (end of Laugavegur Trail, beginning of Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Glacier view near Thorsmork

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Krossa River, Thorsmork

As we prepared to head out on the Fimmvorduhals Trail, the warden recommended we not hike, due to forecasted winds in the 30 to 50 mph range, followed by rain. We hiked. The forecast was right, but we made it to Skogar (end of the Fimmvorduhals Trail).

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Morning light and color to ford by (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Sawed off mountain that we crossed (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Land of fire and ice (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

The last half of Fimmvorduhals follows the river and views something like 23 waterfalls. It was raining, so I didn't get pictures of all of them, but here are a few.

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Falls (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Falls (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Falls (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

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Falls (Fimmvorduhals Trail)

On the east side, a little north of the big Vatnajokull Glacier, sits 6000-ft Snaefell, Iceland's tallest non-ice cap mountain. It's a relatively easy walk-up (3300 vf over ~4 miles), at least when the snow/ice fields are soft.

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Snaefell

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Lava flow on the way up Snaefell

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View to Vatnajokull Glacier, which covers 9% of Iceland

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Looking south from Snaefell's peak (Vatnajokull in the distance)

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Looking north from Snaefell's peak

For a short dayhike of only about 2000 feet of vertical gain, you get some incredible views of the Skaftafellsjokull outlet tongue of Vatnajokull Glacier.

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Yours Truly at the terminus of the Skaftafellsjokull outlet tongue

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Looking up

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A nice day in Iceland

I could go on and on (I guess I have!), but that's enough for now. Lots more pics here if you've got time and interest.

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Peder
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by Peder » August 31st, 2018, 1:41 pm

Great trip report! I have always wished to visit Iceland and your pictures convince me that it is an excellent place for hiking. Thank you for sharing.
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retired jerry
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by retired jerry » August 31st, 2018, 2:37 pm

yeah, great report

but how to you pronounce those names??? :)

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by Don Nelsen » August 31st, 2018, 3:33 pm

Great TR and pics! I've only been there once and only had three days to enjoy it but loved the people and the scenery. I look foreward to spending more time in Iceland next time and your TR gives me some great incentive.

dn
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texasbb
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by texasbb » August 31st, 2018, 3:44 pm

retired jerry wrote:
August 31st, 2018, 2:37 pm
yeah, great report

but how to you pronounce those names??? :)
Mostly I don't. :lol:

I'm not convinced even the Icelanders can pronounce them. My theory is they make up a new random sound every time they try. :) However they handle them, it has to burn a lot of calories.

Actually, the names in my report are mostly easy, relatively speaking. For example, the Fimmvorduhals (fim-VOR-du-halls) trail goes right by the Eyjafjallajokull (yure-gess-good-as-myne) glacier. And I saw the word(?) Flugbjorgunarsveitin on the side of an old rescue vehicle in a museum. That one I won't even try. Fortunately, virtually everybody there speaks very good English.

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aiwetir
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by aiwetir » August 31st, 2018, 9:53 pm

I see a lot of people going to Iceland lately, is Iceland going to be the next Oregon?
- Michael

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K.Wagner
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by K.Wagner » September 5th, 2018, 11:28 am

I wanna go! Whine, whine, whine!
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maobie15
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by maobie15 » September 8th, 2018, 10:48 am

I went to Iceland in August 2015 for my honeymoon and it reminded me soooo much of Oregon! We didn't do as much hiking as we originally planned and we did no backpacking as we were "splurging" and stayed in hotels each of the 7 nights we were there. I wanted to move there after we got back and seriously looked into it. However, I work in healthcare and all of the hospitals require you to be fluent in Icelandic :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

We plan to go back for our 5 year anniversary and drive around the entire island in a campervan and doing at least 1 backpacking trip. Your pictures make me want to go back sooner :D
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texasbb
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Re: Iceland is not in Oregon (but it's very nice!)

Post by texasbb » September 8th, 2018, 5:03 pm

maobie15 wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 10:48 am
We plan to go back for our 5 year anniversary and drive around the entire island in a campervan and doing at least 1 backpacking trip.
I think that's a good way to do it. Saw quite a few people in rented 4-door Toyota Tacomas with over-cab camper tops. Nice ride, nice bed, and 4WD to reach the remote stuff in the interior. I was in redneck heaven with all the home-built 4WD camper rigs...don't know if you can rent those, though!

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I thought I was a pretty good redneck, but we didn't have 10-wheel drive tour buses where I grew up. :cry:

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