Hrafnabjörg, ahh, Hrafnabjörg. You would not escape me a third time. Or would you? I had a free weekend coming up, and scheduled in Hrafnabjörg for Saturday. I was going to leave early, and take all the proper gear this time. Not like The first time when I didn't have enough day. Or the second time, where sunny weather in reykjavik meant snow and wind on the heath, and I had forgotten my gloves and rain pants.
No, this time, this time I would be successful! This time I would WIN This time I was going to get some exercise damnit!
But, you know, things happen. So I got a ticket to Réttir and went to see a bunch of bands, and Guido moved house on Saturday, so I helped out there, so I was just left with Sunday after a long music festival. But I was not to be denied. Oh no, not me, not this time, not again.
I was so prepared this time I even checked what time sunset was. I had my gps and plenty of spare batteries, my compass, a headlight, full layers top and bottom, I even made sandwhiches damnit. Just as well. First snows came on thursday, so although parts of Reykjavik are still green, and Þingvellir at ~330m are still beautiful orange, up at ~550->700m, it was snow and ice and wind.
Oh, and caves. Lots and lots of caves. Caves lying hiding in wait under the snow. Caves and broken lava that made you only walk where grass stuck out of the snow. Caves that made you laugh at the cave handbook only listing 3 caves on this heath. Caves that I started only marking them on the GPS with numbers. I thought a few times that I probably wouldn't make it up, at least not in any sort of safe manner, but I would at least walk to the base, and scope out the way up.
But, I kept walking, I kept enjoying the play of light and snow over the lake, the disappearing and reappearing mountain before me, and the slow change from snow on heath, through to heath sticking through snow, and finally just snow as I slowly got higher and higher.
With a big break in the weather moving over, and now up close to the base, I decided I could quite happily head up, and enjoyed a nice stroll around in blue skies and sunshine on top. I didn't go the actual top mind you, but you know what, I don't care any more. Hrafnabjörg, like many of these mountains, has a pretty flat top, about 1500m across, and though I think I saw where the high point probably was, I decided I'd rather head back down in good weather than traipse aimlessly around on top looking for another 30m height. (The view's normally better from the edges anyway :)
From the top, I could see that the road I'd stopped on actually continued well north of where I'd left the car. It's not on any of my maps, so I had no idea where it actually went. Now knowing, I struck out for the road, and followed it home, rather than winding my way through the lava again. Now, the road doesn't have any interesting caves on it, and not nearly as pretty with the plants sticking through the snow, but it was quite a bit easier walking :)
I stopped for a few pictures in Þingvellir on the way home, getting home just in time to watch the sun set into the sea while I went through Mosfellsbær. And damn it felt good to have gotten some good quality exercise for a change.