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Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

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The second stage of the Laugavegurinn, between the shelters of Hrafntinnusker and Álftavatn. A priori stage simple and physically demanding. As in the previous stage in Landmannalaugar, we will cross numerous valleys surrounded by volcanoes and mountains of different shades although again the colors were dyed white because of a winter that resisted disappearing.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

We have spent a long "night" although we could say "day" because at this time he only hides just one hour. We spent a lot of heat since the shelter's radiators were full and I was not sure if they fed on the hot water coming from the nearby volcano Hrafntnnusker, just 300 meters above our heads, which gave name to our shelter.

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 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

After tasting a breakfast based on dried cereals with milk (all in one) and a little hot water, we regained strength and began to walk under a thick fog that did not bode well. They were waiting for us 13 kilometers on the way and with little slope until Álftavatn, the next shelter.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

The beginning of the route is very smooth, leaving several streams and more than one pit with boiling water. Overcome a wide straight of more than two kilometers Almost in a straight line we reach our first slope, something that changed the monotony of the road, especially as we could glimpse the contours of the mountains that were previously hidden.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Overcome the first slope and continuing on the 1000m high we reached a hidden tube that we had to skirt and separate from the large blocks of ice and snow that surrounded it. Here it was easy but later another step would make it a little more complicated.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

We started to go down and we saw that the step we had to overcome was quite complicated, not only because of the strong inclination due to the snow but the danger of detachments that there was. There was no choice but to stop for 30 minutes and stockpile a shovel and ice axes to remove several blocks and build a ladder on the snow. The surprising thing is that the other side was free of snow, things of Iceland and its rivers of hot water.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Now the road would go up to a rope that would take us to the top of the Joekultungur, at 950 high and from where you can see spectacular views of the valley where the refuge of Álftavatn and the "frozen" lake of the same name.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

In fact, the shelter with a good zoom was perfectly visible, so we only had to go down and down until we reached a large esplanade to reach our deserved rest.


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

The descent was rapid, but always taking extreme caution. In this place the snow had already disappeared giving way to very loose stones that facilitated a fall. I still remember when in a similar descent byGredos I broke my coccyx ...


Laugavegurinn stage 2, Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Once down the sky opened and finally we saw the blue sky after two days seeing everything gray, which enjoyed !. In addition we already had a warm tea in mind when we arrived at the shelter from which we were separated just 2.5km in a straight line.


Álftavatn

After arriving at the shelter ofÁlftavatn at 540m of altitude and still quite forcefully, we left what was not indispensable in our beds and as it was still early and knowing that here it never got dark, we got back on our way and made a couple of additional routes from Álftavatn We will comment below.

Optional routes from the shelter of Álftavatn

Ascent to Bratthals (751m)

The first thing we thought was to ascend the Álftavatn of 751m located on the left bank of the lake of Álftavatn. Simple ascent with only 250 meters of unevenness and low signaling. It is a peak of volcanic origin with strange shapes on the summit. You can climb to the top in about 45min having spectacular views of the refuge and the lake. In addition, from the top you can see the valley where the third day stage takes place. As you can see in the photo below, the weather the next day on this mountain was very good.


Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

The worst was undoubtedly the beginning by having to take off our shoes to cross a frozen water river and that made our feet stop feeling for a few minutes. After this bad drink, we began to climb and only with the views of the lake did they cure the last bad drink.


Laugavegurinn

We begin the climb across a slope with a lot of soft snow, leaving behind us a beautiful snapshot of the lake spending its last days of winter.


Ascent to Bratthals (751m)

After that we simply had to follow the smooth rope of the mountain until it reached its peak. An empty mountain, without people and that few people climb when preferring to rest in the shelter.


Ascent to Bratthals (751m)

Route to the F210

A classic route from Álftavatn it was simply to go to the foot of the lake and from there walk north leaving the lake on your left until you reach a track where in more pleasant summers 4 × 4 vehicles can circulate.


Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

The lake was almost an ice rink but they were beginning to see how the thawed water gained ground. Then we follow the east bank until we reach the dirt track that communicates with another valley. Once there and seeing that it was time for dinner, we turned towards the shelter. We had barely walked a couple of kilometers.


Route to the F210

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, as you see at the end of the stage, we made an additional route around the shelter of the quite interesting shelter due to the good weather and the little tired we were.

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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