Bet you thought the photos from this trip were never going to see the light of day. So last summer, Kata was doing some work as a tour guide, and one of the trips (that never went ahead, a long story that's not relevant here) was for her to lead a group of russians on Laugavegurinn, the walk from Landmannalaugur to Þórsmörk, a classic icelandic hiking route. Of course, Kata had never actually been on that route, so when an opportunity through some friends came up to go along on an already organised trip, we jumped at it, and I took some time off to go and hang out in the mountains with my girlfriend.
A bunch of phone calls back and forth, but it all got under way ok. We had a private bus taking the group out to Landmannalaugar, and a jeep driving boxes and extra gear into Hvanngil on night 2, and also to Emstrur and Þórsmörk for the final nights. The huts were mostly booked up, so Kata and I just took the tent and rode the bus.
The bus actually stalled out, and wouldn't start again just as we got into Landmannalaugur. Not an issue for us, we'd arrived, but the driver had to wait a while apparently. This was actually a portent of things to come.
We started out in pretty good weather, and with a fairly mixed forecast for the rest of the week. A LOT more snow than in 2005, and this was actually the same weekend in the July. Mostly straightforward walking, with a lot of people finding their sea legs :)
Arriving at Hrafntinnusker the plateau was completely covered in snow, and finding a suitable place for the tent was a bit more work than expected :) Most of the exposed ground was mud, and I hadn't really brought any snow peg material. The worst part was probably the slope from the camping area back up to the hut. Not really all that long, and not all that steep, but somehow extremely tiring. Kata cooked up some tasty dinner, and with temperatures dropping, we headed to bed.
Continued on Day 2