IMPORTANT INFO FOR THE FJÖRDUR WALKS !
The mountain area east of Eyjafjördur and North of Grenivik is called Fjördur. It stretches eastwards along the sea and is made up of the deep river valleys with surrounding mountains.
This is an almost 60 km walk taking you up over mountains aswell as crossing some wetlands and creeks. You should be rather fit and prepared to walk max 20 km a day while carrying all your equipment including tent, heating stove and all food. The only thing you will not have to carry is water ! You will need good walking boots and also be prepared for fording some smaller creeks. Flip-flops for fording is an option but should really not be needed, you can wade barefoot since there are only clear water creeks to cross.
On offer is a terrific scenery with magnificent views in an area full of contemporary history. I made this walk in 2001 and 2013 an I am really looking forward to make it again.
Limitations in participation
Due to practical reasons a walking group in this area should not exceed around 10-12 people. This means that when these people have signed in for participation on the home page I will have to close the possibility for more to join the group. That´s the way it is due to mainly transportation reasons. For those who want to do the walks on their own and meet at the event sites this is fine too just let me know, as a safety precaution.
Another important safety related question to put to yourself is if you feel doubts do this trip in case you are not experienced in mountain walking since earlier. I would rate the trip difficulty as a 2-2.5 on a 5 grade scale in fine weather. If conditions get cold and wet this quickly can become a 3-4. For you this means that you should be well prepared and also feel fully motivated to complete the task. This is important since turning back may be as difficult as moving on. Basically this trip is not about age, you can be 70+ or 10+ and be fine, it is as much about menthal as physical strength and motivation. Be positive and you will find the energy for making it !
History of the area
This was once an inhabited area but abandoned houses and house ruins tell us that this was some time ago. The last farm was abandoned in 1944. Considdering there are no roads to most of the area and being embedded by high mountains the harsh winter conditions left only the sea for meeting others or finding help. Many families lived here once but the tough conditions made them move away one after another already starting around 1800.
Due to practical reasons the meeting point is in Grenivik since car parking is possible there. This is also the start and end point of the walking trip for those who want to walk the full circle. If you want and can you can meet in Gil too from where the planned walk starts. As a lazy alternative I suggest to organise a transport from Grenivík to Gil by some 4x4 vehicle. Either you do this on your own or I will try to hire the required vehicle including a driver. Another option is to go by boat to Thönglabakki.
During the later part of July 2018. To be finally fixed during spring 2018. but there is a preliminary date suggestion already on the event page. A plan B will take place if weather conditions for the period are bad. Plan B is still in planning and heavily depending on weather in other parts of northern Iceland. I am also looking at interesting locations for good walks in the eastern parts too.
Prerequisites for the walks is basically fitness, durability and good walking equipment. Weather conditions may change rapidly despite a positive prognosis at start so carry what it takes to withstand a drizzle or even rain in hard wind. You and your tent should also withstand rain and hard wind.
Buy dryfrozen food or similar easy to carry meals at latest in Akureyri since the shop in Grenivik only supplies basic heavier to carry food. Do not forget to bring snacks with much energy like nuts, raisins, müsli bar, chocolate or dried fruit so you can keep both your energy and blood sugar up ! Do not overload your rucksack with things you most likely never will need. Keep the weight as low as possible. Every kg above 20 is a nightmare to carry and ideally you should target around 15 kg or better with even less.
Walking sticks may come in handy as will also gloves and a cap or hat. A good torch is a good idea too. If the weather is hot you may find that mosquitos can be a plague. A mosquito net on your hat or cap will make you feel less stress. Also a stick curing bites can be of help when you feel you only want to scratch yourself forever.
These walks can be done in one group or on an individual basis. Important to me is that when you sign in on the event page that you clearly state if you want to do this on your own and only meet for signing the logbook at the event site or if you prefer to walk jointly in a larger group. I can lead this group if that is wanted too, the choice is yours. Final confirmation of procedure will take place at parking spot in Grenivík.
Some of the huts are private property and we will investigate when the huts are free to book.
Area maps and geographical data
In case you walk fully on your own I recommend that you get yourself the relevant paper maps in scale 1:50 000 for this area (52, 61, 62) together with a compass in case your gps malfunctions. Please note that magnetic declination is minus 14 degrees which you will have to manually compensate for unless your compass has adjustable declination !!
Maps can be bought in book stores in Reykjavik or Akureyri. For overview purpose only you find these free downloadable maps http://www.lmi.is/okeypis-kort/ . If you just want to look at terrain maps on your computer at a detailed level you find scalable maps for the whole country here http://atlas.lmi.is/is50v/ . A good idea is to protect your map with a plastic film which withstands wear and tear and also some water.
Garmin gps maps are discussed in the tab "practical stuff".
If an accident happens
There is no immediate external help to get. In the worst case you are 2-3 daywalks away from help. Mobile phone connectivity exists on top of some of the mountains only but not in all the valleys. Act responsible to yourself! Take no risks by leaving the group if there is fog ! Keep together ! If the worst comes to the worst we will of course do the utmost to get professional help and get people to medical care. If you walk on your own make an agreement on meeting place and latest hour to be there.
About liability and event organiser responsibilities
I got the question if participants in these walking events are insured or can claim other guarantees when signing up for these walks and the clear answer is no. You will have to cover your own insurances and eventual costs since this is not a package trip with a legally seen responsible travel organiser. These walks are completely non profit and there is no company or organisation in the background funding them. The normal conditions as stated by Groundspeak are thus valid, you do these walks fully on your own responsibility. This does on the other hand not imply that you are completely left on your own in case of emergency. As long as you signed in to be a part of the walking group and not decided to do the walk on your own at least I will do my utmost to help. According to Icelandic law you will not be able to sue me in case you are not content with the trip afterwards since I am not a travel organiser seen from a legal perspective and neither is of course Groundspeak. A bit strange to have to cover this aspect here but perhaps it is better to be safe than sorry.
About the routes to the events
First event day starts with meeting in the parking in Grenivik for those who need transportation to Gil. Walking will start in Gil, around 25 km from Grenivik. Here some organisation is needed for transporting people to Gil from Grenivik. This is not solved yet but depending on participation I will find a solution, eventually a rental bus. The dirt track is only passable by 4x4 or possibly a 2x4 with higher ground clearance. You may aswell walk or drive to Gil on your own and wait for the rest of the group there too. On the cache page you will be requested to mark your preference. In the case it is possible to arrange for a boat trip this will be the preferred way of going to Thönglabakki.
For this transport there will be a cost for each member taking part in it !! More info when the transport extent is known.
Event logbook is signed when we arrive at our target for the day (except for the last day when we will sign it in the morning before the walk starts), in this case in Thönglabakki. Just to make sure only people who really did a walk will sign. Calculate with 3 - 4 hours to walk from Gil.
There are in total 4 events planned for this walking roundtrip. Note walking, since there is no other legal way to travel off track in this area - unless you have access to a helicopter !!
For those arriving Grenivik in a 4x4 and who are prepared to help in transporting people to Gil, please contact me for practical details well in advance. Vehicle will probably have to be left in Grenivik but we may save some time and can start the walk earlier from Gil. Or as an alternative leave the vehicle in Gil and fetch it later on.
Second event day walk will start at old farm Thönglabakki where the first day ended. Target for the walk is Keflavik, which has only the name in common with the international airport. It is very a beautifully situated bay. The track to there is steadily inclining up to around 350m height with some smaller ups and downs. If the weather is fine some small deviations to places worth visiting in the mountain area may take place too before the decline to the sea starts.
Calculate with a 5-7 hour walk. Depending on weather conditions climbing some of the nearby mountain summits is an option. Event logbook will be signed in Keflavik.
Third event day walk will start at Keflavik by the sea heading for the next bay at Látur crossing a mountain ridge.
If there is much snow in the mountains (and there often is) we will browse downhill on the snow. So bring a big plastic bag to sit on making your downhill trip more adventurous !
Also here you should calculate with a 5-7 hour walk. Depending on weather conditions climbing some of the nearby mountain summits is an option. Logbook will be signed somewhere along the route to Látur. More details later on.
Fourth event day will start at Látur and take us back to Grenivik again.
Easy but somewhat long walk back on a gravel track to Grenivik. If requested perhaps a transport by 4x4 could be arranged the last 12 km ? This would of course come with an extra cost.
This is the longest walking day with around 20 km of walking but also the least demanding since 12 km are on a gravel track.
There is a warm pool in Grenivik which we could visit jointly after completion of the walks if there is interest for this.
There are a few caches along the track placed in 2013 but basically this is a walking event and not a power trail !