16 September, 2015
Mum and I kept up our active regimen of restday, hikeday by hitting the tracks again. We had ummed and ahhed about the weather, and aimed to hit a gap in the weather, and man, did we succeed. Coming out Mosfellsdalur and past Þingvellir, the wind was absolutely howling. We scoped out the approach up the western side of the ridge, but decided the eastern side looked a lot better, and as soon as we came down onto Laugarvatnsvellir, the wind stopped. We had calm sunny weather just about the entire day, with the wind picking up when we headed home in the afternoon. Yay us!
But where were we going? Kálfstindar are a pointy long ridge of peaks north from Lyngdalsheiði, running pretty much from the Laugarvatnshellir north for "a while". The naming of individual peaks I find to be rather unclear, and it's certainly not one of the most travelled walks around. Ferðafélag Ísland has been there as well as a few other walking groups, though just about everyone seems to go a different way and have different names :)
We just headed off, loosely planning on aiming for the "824m" (or 826m) peak, and loosely planning on walking a loop around the ridge, depending on time.
We had a lovely day, but we got our distances a bit wrong, and walked a lot further than we needed to before heading up. On our way back, the path up Flosaskarð is kinda obvious, but we hadn't really been looking for it that early. We saw the ramp up to the left of Kálfsgil, and thought it looked like the perfect way up onto the high ground, and just continued on our merry way.
It's an impressive canyon, truly a hidden gem. Given that it's "not the right way" it's probably quite rarely visited. We climbed up the left ramp reaching the top of the canyon at around 450m? but there was _no_ way past or up. You hit a lovely dramatic drop off into the canyone, and some cliff bands and very steep rocky slopes. Nothing safe or sane!
Given the length of the backtrack, we decided to instead go back down and hike up into the canyon itself for a looksee, then just head towards home again. And it is a really really nice big canyon. Still very full of very dirty late snow in the upper end, I didn't feel like pushing much further forwards, this wasn't a place to punch through some snow melt and break an ankle or worse.
A lovely day out in some good weather, travelling the less trodden. Thanks mum for the motivation to get out grabbing the day.