Treks in first week of June
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 22, 2013 9:28 PM Last Post By: manaljos
Jan 19, 2013 6:55 PM
Treks in first week of JuneI keep reading that the season for treks to Laugavegur and Skogar-Thorsmork begin June 15 but I will be there the first week in June and would really like to do any or all of these hikes if possible. Looks like there is a bus out of Thorsmork beginning June 5. I will be bringing camping gear from colorado and am used to colder temps. Should I plan to just walk from Skogar up to the pass and turn back for a simple daytrip, hike from Skogar to Thorsmork for a 2 day trip if possible, or if at all possible even carry on to do the Laugavegur trail? I know weather is unpredictable but would like to get a guage on how possible these treks are for the first week of June. Thanks!
Jan 20, 2013 5:19 AM
1It cannot be predicted exactly. The quantity of snowfall, and the progress of the snowmelt, vary considerably from one year to the next. There can easily be 3 weeks' worth of difference in the conditions from one year to another. Thorsmork is fairly low down and the road there often opens in April or May, and as you say RE is offering service there from 5 June - that date will be related to the quantity of the demand rather than the opening of the road. There will still likely be quite a lot of snow patches on the higher part of the trail between Skogar and Thorsmork in early June. Transport to Landmannalaugar at that date is much more dependent upon whether the road is open rather than the demand. They have tended to advertise 15 or 16 June in recent years, but have not always managed to start on that date because the road has not always been open.
As far as walking to Landmannalaugar before the bus service runs, what do you propose to do when you get there? If the road itself is already open earlier, maybe you can hitch out, but it is the kind of place where hitches are relatively hard to come by - there isn't passing traffic from the local population, it will be mainly tourists who have paid a lot of money to hire 4wds. If the road isn't even open, you'll be walking out. You can at least check if the road is open on http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/road-conditions-and-weather/
Some people do walk in the south Icelandic highlands before the main season. The rate at which trekkers must unfortunately be removed from the trail in boxes rather being able to walk out on foot is also much higher at this time of year, mainly because the passing traffic to find and rescue them if they do get into trouble is so much less. Delay in finding someone is a big issue, as the main cause of death is hypothermia, if you become immobilised on the hill. Being 2 of you is therefore probably a good idea at this time of year, if you believe you do have the skills to walk when there is still a lot more snow on the ground, and trails over the snow less obviously trod. Having a GSM phone would also be a good idea, as the coverage is rather good in the highlands these days.
Jan 20, 2013 9:36 AM
2Thanks iviehoff. Looks like Lanmannalaugar will have to wait for another trip. I did some more research and it looks like Volcano Huts shows buses running into Thorsmork as early as May 1. Right now my plan is to rent a car and park it at Hvolsvollur to pick up the bus to Thormsork. I would still like to do the hike from Thorsmork to Skogar but Utavist's hut on the pass is not available before June 20 so I would have to finish the whole hike in a day? Would then hitch hike from Skogar back to the car in Hvolsvollur. Any thoughts on this plan? Thanks!
Jan 21, 2013 1:37 AM
Jan 21, 2013 7:18 PM
Jan 22, 2013 1:48 AM
Jan 22, 2013 9:28 PM
6WILLEMSPIE said: "There was also an always open abandoned hut not far from the pass, below the new hut."
In September 2012 a new hut (Baldvinsskáli) was erected on the site that WILLENSPIE mentioned. According to the photos at first they left the old hut standing but am not really sure if that is a permanent thing.
The hut(s) belong to Ferðafélags Íslands and I imagine the new hut will be operated similar to the Útivist hut at Fimmvörðuháls - closed and locked when not in use or available on reservation only.
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