2 September, 2012
With autumn closing in, and some pretty rainy days behind us, it was coming up on caving time. A trip to the actual bottom of Búri was proposed, most of a group organised, and batteries charged and most gear sorted, when the day dawned to a rather spectacular break in the weather. The scattered storms weren't going to arrive until later that night, and Sunday afternoon was bright and sunny and calm. Not a day to be underground!
Still, we had planned on starting quite late, so we couldn't drive too far, and we still wanted an energetic day, so we pulled out the Esja map, and looked for something that met the following criteria:
- Decently long
- Rarely travelled
- Not something anyone had done recently
We settled on the route from Meðalfellsvatn, up Sandsfjall to Esjuhorn, over to Laufaskörð and across to Móskarðshnúkur and then down. This would however require a car shuffle. Various people were called, but in the end we just did it ourselves.
And it was a great day! Only ended up being about 13km, which we knocked off in just over 4 hours, but we were keeping up a pretty good pace. Great views from the north side in the afternoon sun, to Baula, Eiríksjökull, Langjökull and Þórisjökull, Hekla, the glaciers in the south, Snæfellsjökull in the west, and all the mountains around Þingvellir.
A comparatively easy crossing over the top of Esja via Esjuhorn, and then we popped out looking over the southern edge back towards Mosfellsbær and Reykjavik. We debated going all the way over to the main peak of Móskarðshnúkur, but it would have added a little bit long with the light starting to fade and the storm starting to come in.
We saw more berries than we could possibly pick on this trip, and more cars stopped on the roadside picking them than I've ever seen before, easily 30 carloads, just on the routes we followed. Particularly further from the road, and off the beaten track, the bushes were just overladen with berries. It's been a great summer!
Also, this made the first trip (in over seven years) that I actually finally managed to walk all the way across Esja, not just up one of the sides and back down again. And with the car shuffle, we also did a complete circumnavigation!