Ódáðahraun: Winter


"Millennia one feels relegated back to. The cold desolation gives a picture of the chaos before the light came: the earth was void and desolate. It was not always so as we see it, it will not always remain so, only the rigidity feigns utter lifelessness. The time seems to stand still here - but as the invisible working hour-wheel in the clockwork, slowly the picture is changing through the decades. Here too, the volcanic activity has not yet expired, the powerful embrace of eternal ice was not able to suffocate the fire of depth, fine smoke strip above the glacier reveal its breaths. Nothing but the wind that sings around the cliffs that drop abruptly to the Knebel-Lake in our backs bothers the silence of the vastness. No perceptible change but the migration of the shadows prescribed from the change of the sun. Here, when the midsummer day passes by without evoking a touch of rejoicing life with his light, how may look the winter night?!"


- Ina von Grumbkow, Isafold - Reisebilder aus Island -


February 2018

Mývatnsöræfi (Fjallaborg - Búrfellshraun - Mývatn)

Winter, Búrfell, Panorama, Skógarmannafjöll, Mývatnsöræfi, Rauðka, Fjallaborg
Before the warm winds arrived...

The expectations were different... For the last two weeks of February we wanted to experience again the winter conditions of the icelandic highlands. We expected heavy winds, snowdrift and icy conditions. But the warmth is never far away in Iceland. And this time we exactly hit the worst time. The polar vortex split up and Iceland got its share of warmth and stormy weather while mainland Europe got frozen solid...

We left the bus north of Búrfellshraun in nice snow conditions, skied to the first camp and the nightmare slowly started: Plus degrees and strong wind from the southeast almost every day. We could watch the snow melt away. Already after two days, when reaching the Fjallaborg hut, we decided not to ski further into the highlands. The forecast got worse, two storms with 25m/s and plus degrees were following close on each other. Instead we were zigzagging as direct as possible towards our final destination Reykjahlíð, Mývatn. Always in search of residual patches of snow to pull our heavy pulksleds. Temporarily it felt like early summer. Only the Aurora tried her best to compensate...

Galleries under construction...

Búrfell, Burfell, Mývatnsöræfi, Winter, Aurora Borealis, Polarlicht
Aurora spans the horizon between the foothills of Búrfell. Frozen meltwater ponds were the miserable remains of winter.

March 2014

Mývatn - Botni - Bræðrafell - Heilagsdalur - Mývatn

Herðubreið, Herdubreid, Flatadyngja, Eggert, Ódáðahraun, Odadahraun, Kollottadyngja, Winter, Ski, Bræðrafell, Öskjuvegur, Askja, Pulk, Crater, Volcano, Iceland, Primordial Landscapes
The long awaited view... (part of a 360° panorama)

Ski "expeditions" on Iceland have usually one aim: the complete crossing of the Highlands and/or Vatnajökull. Only few teams accomplished such a goal, much more aborted their attempt or were even rescued by ICE-SAR. Well, that was not my pair of shoes and so I planned a seemingly less intimidating two week ski journey with pulksled and tent from Mývatn to Askja. It was more about the experience of the wintery Ódáðahraun desert than any athletic aim, I thought. But already the second night and very difficult snow conditions taught us different. We were slow, too slow. But even the shortcut to the Bræðrafell hut passed into the nightmare of fighting four days against a northerly snowstorm during the way out of the other world... My conclusion? Try again later, but with more time...














"Such a momentum has the time, weather you follow her or not. But pleasant it is to wander with the stars and to be equal to them in motion. It was good walking here. In the moonlight the snowy montains looked so low and far, and here and there streaks of starlight reflected in black shining, nightly ice. Such a hike was like a poem of rhymes and magnificent words; in the blood it became a poem. And like a poem you learn it by the heart as it were - and then it drove one repeatedly over here, to see if everything was unchanged. And that it was: strange and inaccessible - and yet familiar and indespensable."

- Gunnar Gunnarsson: The Good Shepherd -


Picture of the Month

Ódáðahraun, Holuhraun, 2014, Eruption, Lava, Nornahraun
Lava Climate