Fog in the kettle

Hrúthálsar / Kollóttadyngja

Herðubreið, Herdubreid, Ódáðahraun, Odadahraun, Tuya, Volcano, Iceland, Island


"Das Bild des Ódáðahraun mag manchem unendlich trostlos und traurig scheinen. Dieser Eindruck kann jedoch nicht als allgemein und dauernd gelten. Einsamkeit ist nicht gleichbedeutend mit Eintönigkeit und Schwermut, Öde nicht mit Verlassenheit und Traurigkeit. Zum mindesten hängt die Stimmung, in die die Missetatenwüste ihre Besucher versetzt, ausserordentlich ab von Jahreszeit und Tageszeit, von der wechselnden Witterung und den Zufälligkeiten der Belichtung, der Sonne, des Mond- und Sternenscheins, der dämmerhellen Sommernächte."



It took some detours but finally I found a way over the Hrúthálsar. Repeatedly I stood in front of a yawning chasm and had to search for other feasible paths to the eastern Ódáðahraun plain. It was end of July and it became darker during the night, but still an unearthly glow span the northern horizon for hours. My luck with the fine weather maintained. Again it was a pity not to stay at some of these magic and lonesome places for longer, but the alure of the distant Askja was stronger and kept me on my way. 

Warm and cold brooks have their source in a small but colourful rhyolithic area located on the northeastern slopes of Eggert but dissappear in the porous sand very soon. I welcomed the first running water since I left Heilagsdalur three days before. The sun burned from a cloudless sky while I rested in the shadow of a big lava rock. The next evening I climbed the shield volcano Kollóttadyngja along its eastern slope over rough lava and fissures. What I found up there was a breathtaking view, not only all over the surrounding lava desert but also into a pit crater filled with fog like a cooking pot. Once again all this took place in a calm and cloudless northern summer night full of light. Tired I descended towards the hut at Bræðrafell and rested there for a few hours before turning south on the marked Öskjuvegur trail in the evening. 

Walking through a lava field in the night is a huge difference to the bright daytime. Suddenly the chaotic dark lava rocks are brought to life, change their form, pursue every step you take. You feel observed despite beeing the only living creature for kilometers. Who needs fantasy films when you can walk through your own fantasy scenery?


Route: Hrúthálsar - Hrútsrönd (Eggert) - Kollóttadyngja - Bræðrafell (Ferðafélag Akureyrar) - Öskjuvegur - Drekagil (Askja)


Herðubreið, Herdubreid, Ódáðahraun, Odadahraun, Tuya, Volcano, Iceland, Island
The crater cone of Herðubreið on a mild summer evening. If you look carefully you can see three people on their descend on the snow field in the lower left corner of the photo.

Picture of the Month

Heilagsdalur, Skjaldbaka
Skjaldbaka, seen from Heilagsdalsfjall