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Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.

Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby metalmountain » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:35 am

Hello everyone! Me and a friend (or two) are headed to Iceland in early August for a couple weeks of backpacking and climbing and other shenanigans. We have some general ideas, but I figured someone on here has been there and may have some details they might be willing to share with us. We also wanted to do some rock climbing while we are there. I know there are some good sport areas out there, but I am really not sure of the logistics of getting my gear out there, or just renting some when we land, etc...The basic plan right now is this:

1.) Fly to Reykjavik
2.) Take buses to Skaftafell National Park

Well...that is about it so far :P Actually...we are slowly hammering out some details, but I would really love to get someone's input that has been there. I think Hvanndalshnúkur is probably out of my league as far as climbing goes at the moment, but some of the other peaks look doable. Thanks in advance for the help and possible reality checks!
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

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Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby Nathan Hale » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:45 pm

In the realm of dayhikes, when I was there last summer we took a city bus from Reykjavik to Hveragerði and then hiked a ways out of town to some natural hot springs. The route trail we were on continued for a while and I believe that it ended up at Þingvellir National Park. Nothing technical, but it might be a nice trek.

Another thing that I've looked into for the future is Fimmvörðuháls to Laugavegur, which seems like it would be a really fun trek, though again non-technical.

My impression is that most of the lofty summits involve glacier travel, so you'd want either experience with that or a guide, but I think you can get a guided tour up Snæfellsjökull (namesake of Mount Sneffels) for a pretty reasonable rate. Also, keep in mind that renting a car there (and especially a 4x4, which would be necessary for approaching a lot of trailheads and for venturing at all into the highlands) is really expensive.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

http://mtns.nathan-hale.com

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Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby Nathan Hale » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:51 pm

Also, if you're going to be there for a few weeks you'll be ending in mid to late August and you should be aware that in parts of the country things will already start getting wintry by that time, particularly in places like the Westfjords.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

http://mtns.nathan-hale.com

Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby metalmountain » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:21 pm

Nathan Hale wrote:Also, if you're going to be there for a few weeks you'll be ending in mid to late August and you should be aware that in parts of the country things will already start getting wintry by that time, particularly in places like the Westfjords.



Thanks for the info! We were probably not going to rent a car, and will try to bus it wherever possible. We are heading up the first couple weeks in August so hopefully it won't be too bad temperature wise yet. I wasn't really counting on it being warm though. We wanted to find a couple longer trek (multiday) type excursions that were not really technical. I will definitely check out your recommendations though. We are there for 2 weeks so we figured we would spend the first week or so out in the wilds, and then relax in Reykjavik for a few days.
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby metalmountain » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:38 pm

Fletch wrote:I went there on my honeymoon. Great place. We rented a car and drove around the island. Get a guide book and hit the trails. It will be cold and windy, but manageable. It will also be daylight abotu 20 hours a day. We found access to the trailheads to be fine and rented crampons and an ice axe one day for a venture up some of the glaciers. Iceland is a first world country and in many repsects is easier to navigate than parts of the states. Getting your gear there will be no problem and almost everyone speaks english. Guides are reasonable and knowledgable.

One thing, we were there about 4 weeks before Iceland defaulted on their national debt. Things are A LOT cheaper now. They may still sting a bit, but when we were there prices were flat out ridiculous. But... happy wife, happy life. In their defense though, the quality of the goods and services you were purchasing was top notch.

You will love it! Have fun.



Thanks! As far as backpacking type food and such, do you think its easier to just pick up once you arrive? The summits aren't a huge deal to us either, although it would be cool! We just go and soak it all in. What was your favorite outing when you were there? Also, do you happen to remember how easy the bus system made it to get around? Of course you did say you rented a car so you may not have had to try it out.
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby metalmountain » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Fletch wrote:food should be no problem. find a 66 north store, they're like a smaller icelandic REI.

i cant imagine the bus to be a problem, but the rental car will give you much more freedom.

get to the blue lagoon, gulfloss, reykavik, and check out vik, cool little town. go drinking/dancing on a friday/saturday night. epic stuff.



Thanks! We are going to try and set up some reservations for some huts and such for the hikes at some point this week, and the Blue Lagoon is definitely on our list already :)
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

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Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby I fall a lot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:15 pm

I didn't believe the guidebook when it said that they start partying around midnight and it lasts till dawn....they do and it did.

Have fun!

Re: Hiking/climbing in Iceland

Postby metalmountain » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:16 pm

I fall a lot wrote:I didn't believe the guidebook when it said that they start partying around midnight and it lasts till dawn....they do and it did.

Have fun!



But in august its only dark for a few hours...hehe ... ;)
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

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