One of the first "big" walks with the T66 crowd. Botnsúlur, at the end of Hvalfjörður, goes up to about 1080m or so, and with a nice low start, at sea level at the head of the fjörd. I'd walked underneath here back when we hiked Leggjabrjótur But I'd never really gotten around to getting back. It needs a full day, not some of the last minute half days I often go out walking on.
The group was headed up to Vestursúlur and Norðursúlur, which are a bit easier to get to. There are three other peaks, but they have different approaches and some of them are quite a bit steeper.
Logi and I joined up with Siggi, the guide's we'd been with on Geitafell, and we headed out, along the Leggjabrótur track. (Siggi also happened to be along on a private trip to Langjökull I'd gone on with some old work mates a few years back.)
Which, if you've been along there before, is muddy, rocky, but has some nice spots where the creek cascades down the hill. If you're lucky, you get a good view across to Glýmur. We had quite variable weather throughout the day, but coming across the muddy plains, it was almost shorts weather, under bright sun.
Which quickly got colder when we went into the shade of some clouds, and got up high enough to hit some overnight snow. (The snowline ascended during the day, we're properly into spring now) Our group had a pretty wide spread of walking speeds, so when we hit the steeper parts of the ridge leading up, 4 of us from our group split off and joined another group going more our pace.
Basically, we just kept following the ridge, up up and away. The weather closed in as we got up to the saddle between Vestur and Norður, but we just kept on trucking, onwards and upwards. With ~170 people, and probably 30 or so in front of our group, there was a pretty clear track :) We ran into a private party of 3 with their dog, I don't think they were really expecting to see _anyone_ else, let alone 170 other people :)
We topped out Vestursúlur in white out conditions, and headed down and over to Norðursúlur, just sticking to the high ground. (And the footprints. There's a lot of "eyes on the feet of the person in front" and not a lot of learning to scope the route yourself when you've got a group this big.) On the top of Norðursúlur we were surprisingly out of the wind, so stopped for a good snack and lunch, while the two lead groups headed off down and homeward.
Suckers. :) By the time they were down in the saddle again, the skies had opened up, and we had sun and blue skies, and a great view north over Hvalfell, and out to the beyond. Still, all good things come to and end, and we still had a good chunk of walking to do yet.
But, down's always easier :) Bumsliding on the snow, and with the smell of home in your nose, you just breeze on down the mountain!
A good leg stretcher, and well worth waking up early for :) Saturday night however, was far from over :) Logi and I went to the pool for a good soak, then I slept for two hours and went to the Peaches concert at Nasa. Which was also excellent. A most excellent Saturday if I do say so myself.