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Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

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Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Planning on doing the hike from July 17th through 21st. I've read that the conditions are unusual this year, with a lot of snow still covering the trail.

We'll be starting in Landmannalaugar (camping) and hiking through Thorsmork (staying in reserved FI huts along the way starting with Hrafntinnusker). We will be as prepared as possible with water/windproof clothing and waterproof boots, etc.

Has anyone done this hike recently, or does anyone have any idea if the weather conditions will improve much by when we go?

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Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar
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Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Gardabaer, Iceland
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1. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Pictures from yesterday:

https:/…

Laugavegur hikers visible in the distance in couple of the pictures. The half covered mountain cabin is in Hrafntinnusker. The situation will improve but make sure your hiking shoes are good and sturdy, bring leg gaiters, extra pairs of wool socks and such. Waterproof (rubber) boots are a nuisance more than beneficial even when you have to ford rivers due to their weight and size. Sandals with a heel strap (Crocks) are much more lightweight and helpful for river crossing. Conditions are improving rapidly and three weeks from now there will be less snow for sure.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Is this going to affect the Bus/SuperJeep tours also?

Gardabaer, Iceland
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3. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Only the buses going to Hvanngil, Álftavatn and Emstrur. To see the affected routes to one of the companies: …tumblr.com/post/121196353734/kindly-note

Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

We did the hike June 26-30 Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork. Two days were challenging - lots of deep snow on the trails, markers buried for the most part, and then it rained, was foggy, and we had near gale force winds. Not for the inexperienced or ill-equipped. However, one huge benefit was that the huts were nearly empty, and we met very few hikers on the trail. After Alftavatn, things improved considerably. Some people were hiking south to north, prepared to turn back if the going got too tough. Good luck! It's a fantastic hike in all seasons I suspect. The link Unnar posted to the recent photos is accurate - if you are hiking on a sunny day.

Gardabaer, Iceland
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5. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

@ PacificSeaGirl: Did you sink deep into the snow or did it support your total weight (oneself and backpack) properly ? That factor makes considerable difference to the hiking difficulty.

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Sinking 3-5 cm. Was like walking on beach sand. Three of our party broke through the surface, the deepest fell up to her waist. So yes, Unnar, slow going and hard on the ankles and knees. Highly recommend boots that support the ankle. Even though under the right conditions, the melt will happen rapidly, I felt there were places where the snow might not disappear until August. It is still at least a couple of metres thick in those places. Good enough as long as you can stay on top of it.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Pacificgirl- Thanks, this will help me plan my trip cautiously. Unnar thanks for the link as well.

Edited: 11:06 am, July 07, 2015
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8. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Thanks everyone for the information, very helpful.

I will have a GPS with me - since the trail markers may still be covered in snow, how are people staying on the right track? Is there a good updated GPX file of the trail somewhere that someone can vouch for? FI.is has the coordinates of the huts, but obviously that won't help much staying on the actual track itself.

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9. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

I am due on trek from 12-15 july and doing solo so a bit concerned with weather conditions and thinking I now just come up to Landmannalaugar for an overnight and some day hikes before getting bus back again. This sound sensible or am I being bit over cautious - I thought as on my own this better idea but need to decide soon to make alternative arrangements if i do change.

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Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar
140 Reviews
Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Gardabaer, Iceland
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10. Re: Laugavegur hike trail conditions? Still a lot of snow?

Thank you PacificSeaGirl, very informative. I guess the stepdowns were mostly because of an empty void under a thin shell of snow, usually caused by a creek, small crevass or something where snowdrift left a gap.

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@ MMalcolm1: Only you know your qualifications and limitations. I, and no one else can say that you can or you can't do the hike. Hikers are already going the route without any large problems. At the same time other hikers going the exact same route are in troubles because they're underequipped, ill prepared, uneased, frightened and crying because the conditions overwhelm them. Some have to be escorted to a cabin after anxiety attacks or exhaustion, other were basically rescued.

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The route from Álftavatn is gradually reaching normal conditions so that leaves the are around Hrafntinnusker with snow, and in Hrafntinnusker they expect to have some snow until August. With that information I can guarantee that you will hike in snow for some time on day 1 from Landmannalaugar, and also in part on day 2 if you stay in Hrafntinnusker.

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Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar
140 Reviews
Landmannalaugar, Iceland