"Extending north, west, and south of Askja lies a large lava-field, the Ódáðahraun, or "Evil-Deed Lava". It is so named because of the havoc wrought in the valleys and the extensive plains which the lava from Askja has penetrated. These lava sheets lie at an altitude of about 1,500 feet and consist of numberless lava flows, some of them thousands of years old, clothed with lichen, while others are of recent origin."
- W.S.C. Russel: Askja, a Volcano in Iceland -
A few pictures from this summers trekking journey through the eastern part of the Ódáðahraun desert. Three weeks more or less around the Queen of Mountains. Sometimes high above the lava plains, sometimes a few feet below...
A new gallery from the Jökulsárgljúfur trail in August 2016:
In the first days of June we left the ringroad at Hrossaborg for a 14 day walk along the Fjallagjá graben into the heart of the Mývatnsöræfi. We took advantage of the snow that still lay in plenty amount in the crags and on the mountains. The weather was very nice to us and we used the nights for walking and exploration while we tried to find some rest during the bright daytime. And this time we followed this procedure the whole journey and were rewarded with wonderful experiences far away from any human signs... Enjoy four new galleries of seldomly visited places of Iceland (yes that's still possible today!):
The plan was to spend a few weeks in and around the Askja caldera to visit some surrounding mountains ridges and hidden places. But waht are plans on Iceland? The long winter left a lot of wet and deep snow so that the Dyngjufjöll were still in some kind of winter condition. Instead we surrounded the Dyngjufjöll in a wider arch. That was not neccessarily a bad decision...
A solo hiking journey through the greatest desert of Europe, the Ódáðahraun. Iceland is notorious for it's often bad weather and a lot of rain. But in more than two weeks of walking between the lava formations of Dimmu Borgir and the Highland Hut at Nýidalur I surprisingly never got wet by any water from above. Instead, a lot of dust, deep sand and sunshine contributed to real desert feeling. As there was still enough light during the nights I used them for walking and experienced an otherworldly atmosphere between the shield volcanos, lava creatures and deep fissures in a very seldomly visited part of the Northern Ódáðahraun (Mývatnsöræfi).
"Du goldnes Sehnsuchtsland mit weißen Träumen,
der milden hellen Nächte Paradeis!
Du Land des Stolzes, wo die Ströme schäumen,
wo Kampf es heißt mit Feuer und mit Eis!
Du Land der Berge, wo die Quellen springen
in Lavawüsten und in Eisespracht,
wo Adlerjunge üben ihre Schwingen
in weißer Einsamkeit bis in die Nacht!"
- Gunnar Gunnarsson: Der Geächtete (1929) -