Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
Sept. 16, 2023
Álftavatn ➙ Langidalur camp
Shortly after packing up the tent Sept. 16th, the rain began. 💧
I put away the camera and took not one photo nor video for the entire day.
It was head down. One foot after the other for about 34 tough kms.
I was only able to get shelter from constant rain and high winds for late lunch at Emstrur / Botnar. It was still open as the American guided group was there that night — and provided a cook tent.
Hiking Laugevagur leaves you almost entirely unprotected from the elements. There is no place to hide.
I’d seen the monument to Ido Keinan who died, lost 1 kilometre away from the hut in Hrafntinnusker. Exposure during a late June storm.
I used the free Maps.me app offline to confirm I was on the trail. This works in the dark or the middle of dense cloud.
… After about 11 hours with very few breaks, I made it to Langidalur hut in Þórsmörk.
In fact, I HAD to keep walking all day to stay warm!
I marched past, trying to cross the river to Basar campsite, closest to the start of next day’s Fimmvörðuháls hike. I’d heard the hut had been closed most of the summer, but that the campground was open.
The wardens were having dinner. Called me over. And explained that they’d taken out the bridges due to the continuous rain. The river was impassable.
I had a choice to be a wet rat in a wet tent for the night. Or check in to the hut at a cost of about $90.
Another fun guided group convinced me to join them inside. Gave me $5 hot shower tokens. And offered me dinner and wine. It was perhaps the best $90 I ever spent.
Sept. 17, 2023
I was still hopeful the rain would break and I’d somehow be able to cross the river. And continue to the coast.
BUT the wardens and tour group offered me a chance to get a lift with them back to Reykjavik. I couldn’t say no.
Morning did arrive with better weather.
We did some day hiking.
Þórsmörk (Thorsmork – the Valley of Thor) is an area where trees are protected. And there are some surprisingly large trees.
Our bus did get stuck crossing the river for rendezvous. But the wardens have a tractor for flattening the river bed and even towing the bus, if needed.
The driver did not look worried. This is situation normal for him.
I enjoyed the ride back to Reykjavik with the tour group. Weather mixed, but improving.
Overall I was thrilled with the hike. Happy to have done the YOYO. Happy to have had only one day of bad weather in September.
This was a win.
Check our Laugevagur Trail information page for how to organize this adventure for yourself.