Backpacking Iceland 2003


After crossing the Pjorsa River, the ground became a landscape of all volcanic rock ranging from volcanic pebbles, to volcanic ash, to small volcanic rocks, to volcanic refridgerator size rocks. Along with the change in landscape the area yeilded no streams of any kind for 3 days. We had to get all our water from small glacial melt pools and water seeps. Hekla is the largest of the surounding volcanic mountains, peaking about 1,400 meters, large for Iceland. Hekla is also one of many active volcanos on Iceland. Hekla's last eruption was in 2001 and 1991 before that. We peaked the steep assent up Helka and then traveled towards Landmannalauger.

In the backgound the volcanic mountain Hekla can be seen amongst the clouds. After crossing the Pjorsa River the landscape was a consistain black, and of course all lavs rock.

In this picture John requested that I would die... so I did. The lava rocks that sourounded me are of all different sizes from Refidgerator size rocks to soccer ball size, small rocks, pebbles, and ash. And it was everywhere.

Only short grases and small flowers could grow here. They are rooted into the pebble size volcanic rocks. There was no organic soil that I could see so it was amazing that these plants could surrvive.

Follow the foot prints and the tiny green dot that's not grass is John. The ash and pebbles was very tiring to walk though, and really wore on our boots and poles. See the section on of damaged gear to see more.

This is one of the more resent lava flow. Hekla is an active volcano that has eurupted 1991 and 2001.