Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hiking adventure, Iceland

The weather has changed.
Quite a bit.
From +18 Celcius (when lucky) to minus-something-cold last night.
We were in Vestrahorn, planning to climb there. But the weather wasn't really cooperating. It was even too wet, windy and rainy for bouldering.
We thought it would be best to slowly drive to our 'final destination' in Iceland: Seydisfjörður. From where we would take the boat to Denmark again.
We're not really looking forward to the ferry trip. 3 days of nothingness, just hanging on the boat...
So we found we should at least do something to get us tired enough to survive the boat.
Too much wind to go out sailing, windsurfing or whatever possible with 'normal' amounts of wind.
Too cold to lay on the beach in bikini.
Too much snow for steep offroad driving.
Too much rain for bouldering or climbing.
And just too little ice and snow for skiing and iceclimbing.
Too much of bad weather...
So what stays when you take out all our regular stuff (climbing)?
We took some detailed maps and figured there was a walk just long enough to entertain us close to Seydisfjörður.
We packed our bags, decided a bivouac in a deserted house, ruin or something would be fun and set off. (Around 2 'o clock midday because we were lazy and didn't want to go outside in the horrible weather)
The first day our walk passed an old lighthouse, some ruins and had a very very steep slippery path on the side of a high sea cliff.
We arrived in Lóðmunderfjörður around 7-ish and still hadn't found enough shelter for a bivouac.
So we decided to carry on uphill on our way back already.
Around 10 it was really dark, foggy, extremely windy (stormy), snowy, cold and we weren't sure if we were still on the right path.
A big pile of stones we thought would give us just enough shelter for the night.
We build a small shelter, rolled out our bivy's and fell asleep.
Sort of.
At about every hour or more we woke up. The ground trembling, the old telephone mast whistling in the wind and our face hit by tiny knifeblades (generally called snowflakes).
My bivy could be zipped all the way, but Dennis' old amy bivybag always had a little gap around his face...
Around 5 in the morning the path was covered in at least 5cm of snow, the wind still whistling around the old wooden masts, blowing up the snow on small piles in every corner.
We decided it was time to walk on.
Our sleepingbags were frozen, the porridge was frozen, our water was frozen, our shoes were frozen (and yes I kept them inside my sleepingbag), and one centimetre above our small shelter the wind hit like needles in our faces.
Yay, good morning.
As fast as we could we stuffed our gear back inside our bag, pulled on our downjackets, raintrousers, rainjackets, gloves... (I thought it was August right now?)
We walked, as fast as we could. Following the cairns and our GPS down into the valley.
In the morning we arrived back at our 'home' and drove to the swimmingpool as fast as we could.
In the hottubs and sauna we defrosted our hands, feet and face.
Right now we're waiting for the boat in a lovely little bar in Seydisfjörður called Skaftfell. The pie and real coffee was too good and on the couch here I could easily fall asleep.
I think we'd spent enough energy to survive the boat.

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