Saturday, July 22, 2017
Weather and conditions on the main roads:
Nothing out of the ordinary in the forecast as of now. Many Highland roads are wet after heavy rain and rivers can be bigger than usual as well. We recommend everyone to keep an eye on www.road.is
Tourists often mistake 4×4 for a vehicle that can take on all terrain, which is of course not the case and this must be explained as damages can cost thousands of dollars.
ATTENTION: It‘s important not to follow GPS-devices blindly as not all take closures into consideration and will lead tourists on to mountain roads that they are not equipped for. This often happens because these roads are often shorter in distance while being very rough and much slower.
Conditions in the highlands:
Fjallabak: Rivers are still bigger than usual after heavy rain and roads are wet and more difficult therefore. Kaldaklofskvísl and Bláfjallakvísl have especially been bigger and are only passable in 38“ superjeeps.
Lakagígar: Conditions remain the same. Very wet earlier in the week and Varmá and Hellisá are almost impassable for inexperienced drivers.
Sprengisandur: Roads are in relatively good conditions, F26. The fording north of Nýidalur has been quite deep, it has been fixed a bit but smaller 4×4 should cross it with care and talk to the Highland patrol, wardens or rangers beforehand.
Kjölur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Kaldidalur: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions
Askja: Markers for water depth are now in the fordings at Lindá and Graflandsá so that drivers can take better informed decisions. A rope has also been strung accross Lindá so as to guide drivers the right way over the ford. Cars have been getting stuck where F910 and F88 meet, drivers must put cars in 4-wheel-drive and drive slowly. F910 between Askja (Dreki) and Nýidalur is only for Superjeeps, and even then drivers have had troubles, this route takes about 8-9 hours.
Conditions in popular tourist sites:
Þórsmörk: Smaller 4×4 should only head towards Básar so as not to cross Krossá. Drivers still need experience in crossing rivers. Numerous people have had trouble in Steinholtsá river because of bad route choice, important not to cross where the river is calm as that is where it is also the deepest. Hvanná has a sandpit upstream of the ford to be aware of. Krossá is normal, but no car rental cars are to cross over to Langidalur or Húsadalur. In heavy rain, as is to be expected this week, the rivers can get dangerous and change extremely quickly.
Landmannalaugar: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Geysir og Gullfoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions.
Dettifoss og Selfoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions. Road 864 open to all types of vehicles, but road 862 has gotten very bad, only bigger vehicles and 4×4 should continue on between Dettifoss and Hljóðaklettar.
Goðafoss: Nothing remarkable or unusual about the conditions
Dynjandi: The hiking paths become hazardous in rain.
Látrabjarg: Cliffs are very fragile so it is important not to go too close to the edges
Rauðisandur: Narrow roads that thread the side of the mountain. Tourist have found this challenging – especially when passing oncoming traffic.
Reynisfjara: is always dangerous due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not every wave – it‘s every 7th or 10th or 12th wave that goes alot further up the beach than the rest making it difficult to assess danger upon arrival. There are no rocks in the ocean that break the waves and only a few meters of shore there‘s an underwater cliff so the pulling factor of these already powerful waves becomes evern greater. On top of this the sand is very fine ash which makes it extra difficult to get away from these waves.
Same applies to Kirkjufjara beach, it‘s CLOSED due to this fact and also Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Conditions on hiking trails:
Esjan: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Skaftafell: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Laugavegur: Still snow on 4-5 km part of the trek. Hrafntinnusker camping is getting better after the storm and rain. But people still have to keep in mind when putting up their tent that wind can be strong there. It is very important to inform hikers of the fact that it’s easy to get lost when thick fog hits in the snow (white-out) so a GPS is required! River Bláfjallakvísl is changing, it is getting deeper, rockier and colder so extra shoes/sandals are a must.
Fimmvörðuháls: Still quite a lot of snow in the pass for about 3 km. Conditions vary a lot dependent upon weather. If clouds hang low it can be difficult to navigate in the snow, therefore GPS is required. This is a long hike, over 20 km and you need to be well equipped in proper footwear! No drinking water is on this path after the canyon.
Reykjadalur: Important to keep to the paths as new geothermal areas are always forming
Jökulsárgljúfur: Nothing remarkable about the conditions.
Víknaslóðir: Nothing remarkable about the conditions. Weather forecast should always be looked at.
Hornstrandir: This area is classified as Wilderness and therefore there are no services to be found there. People travelling to Hornstrandir needs to be self-sufficient, camp in designated areas and leave nothing behind. It is strictly prohibited to light fires in the area! This area can be divided into two; the western part and the eastern part.
The Western part, from Hesteyri until Hlöðuvík, has decent conditions although Fljótavík is wet as usual. Rangers can be found in the area from Hesteyri until Hornvík.
The Eastern part, the inner area of Jökulfjörður and east of Hlöðuvík, is still in difficult early spring conditions. Snow in mountain. Rivers have started making their way through the snow and snow bridges are becoming hazardous. The Eastern part is also dangerous for the thick fog (visibility only 50m) that covers the area in Northerly and North-Easterly winds.
Lónsöræfi: Little snow in the area. The road is open and passable, even though the river levels are low they change quickly with weather changes and should only be crossed by locals in bigger 4×4. The hike from road 1 to Múlaskáli is about 20 km. Before travelling to this area, the Vatnajökull National Park should always be contacted, Snæfellsstofa if coming from the North and Gamla Búð in Höfn if travelling from the South.
Askja: The hike to Víti in Askja is still mostly covered with snow, about 2,5 km each way. This makes the hike difficult if people are not properly equipped.
Kverkfjöll: Nothing remarkable about the conditions
Kerlingarfjöll: Nothing remarkable about the conditions. People must still be aware that thick fog can hit with no warning.
Glymur: Conditions the same as before, steep uphill climbs and loose rocks – important to wear appropriate footwear.