Return to Geitafell. Last time I tried to walk up this mountain, I was turned back by flooding from snow melt. It was a beautifl crystal clear autumn day, though I somehow stayed at home until almost 3pm. Absolutely stellar time to be outside. Crystal clear air, amazing light, and not a breath of wind. Warm even! about 6C on the heath. I was not going to be turned back this time!
I parked the car and took off, not even taking a water bottle. Light and fast! Plus, I thought there'd be heaps of water along the way. I skipped walking over Sandfell this time, instead just following the jeep track out. It was like a different world after I hit the grassy field. Dry, effortless walking! The creek with waterfalls from last time was completely dry, just a channel.
At the base of the moutain, about where I'd planned on heading up, I unexpectedly came across some street signs! I presume these are part of some hiking network I was previously unaware of. I know reykjanes has a lot more tracks on it that I knew about. It also gave me my first reminder that Geitafell really is a big mountain. I'd already come 3km, and I was meant to be meeting someone at 6pm. I would have to get a move on!
I was already thirsty, and ate a few blueberries for some moisture, but it wasn't really enough. Plus, these blueberries had now been stricken by frost, and were no longer very tasty.
The hike up the side of Geitafell was steep. And mossy! And long! At 509m, Geitafell is a bit over one a half times as tall as Helgafell, and only a hundred meters shorter than the regular route up Esja. The moss continued to get thicker and thicker. Far more moss than I'd seen in a long time. And completely untouched. I found other foot tracks once or twice, just an isolated footprint. It felt quite bad having to walk on the moss, I know I've left footprints behind, but most of the time there simply weren't enough rocks to walk on!
From the top I had a great view of Stokkseyri in front of Eyjafjallajökull, Myrdalsjökull and Hekla, along with Hengill closer by. I took some pictures, and then headed off across the massive summit plateau towards a cairn I could see in the distance at a high point.
Astute readers will remember that last time I visited Geitafell, I nearly lost my tripod. This trip was no different. I took a glove off to answer the phone, and kept walking, and when I hung up, realised that I now only had one glove! Damnit! Evil nasty mountain! I backtracked a bit, but didn't find it. I decided to go to the summit properly, because I would never be coming back, damn this evil mountain! I started tromping off with wild abandon, moss preservation be damned on this evil mountain. It didn't even have any water for me! I'd eaten a bit of snow, which had wet my lips, but wasn't exactly refreshing.
I reached the cairn, which was certainly a high point, but off in the distance I could see a concrete pillar, the sort LMI use to mark peaks and locations. Damnit! I was done with the mountain by now, but I had sworn I would not come back, so I had to go all the way first. I headed off again. Just near here I was fortunate enough to find a puddle of rain/melt water sitting on a rock, which made for a wonderfully refreshing slurp!
The "summit" actually looked no higher than the other cairn. I didn't bring the gps with me, so I'll probably never know either :) By now, Þórlakshöfn was in view, previously having been hidden by the southern flank of the mountain. It had gotten cloudier in the last hour or so, late afternoon cloud moving through. Still lovely though.
Heading back down I attempted to retrace my steps more carefully to have a look for my glove, and wonder of wonders! on the second pass I found it! Perhaps the mountain isn't so bad afterall, perhaps it just likes a game. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. I'm still not sure I trust it :)
6:10 back at the street signs at the end of the jeep track, I was well and truly late, so I stepped it out walking home, stopping for just a couple more pictures on the way :) All up I was about 3 hours car to car. The moss on top is fantastic, and the view is great, but I'd still be a bit hard pressed to seriously recommend this walk. Other than the moss, there's not an awful lot to see. And of course, the mountain has a nasty habit of "borrowing" your things for a while.