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Video from the Laugavegur Trail

Opportunities for hiking have always been an important part of our volunteer programme and our location in Thórsmörk, at the southern end of the Laugavegur Trail, means that many of our volunteers have the opportunity to complete the famous multi-day hike. For many participants, the Laugavegur hike is the highlight of their visit.

Liam Corcoran, one of our talented Trailteam volunteers, made a short video of the experience last summer and we would like to share it with you here…

Mountain trail volunteering

In between the October snow showers, we were able to hike many of the trails and review the recent work that has been completed by our volunteers. It was very encouraging to visit all the different sites and see the success of the work and everything that was achieved last season but it is clear that there is plenty still to do and many challenges ahead.

Our autumn survey found that that several of next season’s work sites will be some distance from our camps at Langidalur and Básar and could include 2+ hours hiking each day. This means that we will be looking for participants with a love for wilderness and who really are ready for the challenge of lots of hiking and working in remote areas. The tasks planned for 2022 are ambitious and include a major project on the Tindfjöll Circle trail, a new (first time) project on Útigönguhöfði and continuation of the work close to Morinsheiði. Training and instruction in the work is provided, but participants must bring their own love for the challenge with them.

Our search for volunteers begins again soon and priority will be given to volunteers who were offered paces last season, but could not join their teams due to the ongoing Covid travel restrictions.

Full details including placement outlines, dates and application forms will be published here on December 15th. Interviews and placement allocations begin in the new year and applications will be open until January 31st.

Our summer in Thórsmörk

We would like to thank all our volunteers for another amazing season out on the trails in Thórsmörk and Goðaland.

Despite the challenge of ongoing travel restrictions this summer, we were able to go ahead with our volunteer projects as planned. This season we hosted 30 international volunteers and together our teams completed more than 170 weeks of practical work. As usual, our activities were focused on trail maintenance tasks and conservation projects in the area but our volunteers were also involved in practical projects at Tumastaðir Forestry Station where they worked with staff on tasks in the tree nursery and also helped with tree planting projects.

Once again our trail work in Thórsmörk focused on the busy paths on Valahnúkur where the teams returned to face the last few remaining difficult sections. As well as repairs to stone steps, the teams used forest timber to build several new sections of steps on both the east and west trails. In Goðaland, work centred on the Fimmvörðuháls trail with the main work sites close to Morinsheiði where work included repairing winter damage and improving drainage. This was particularly challenging as the sites are quite remote and a long walk out from our Básar volunteer camp.

We hope the teams enjoyed their time with us and would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support. Preparations for next season have now begun and 2022 placement details, including dates and application forms, will be available here on December 15th.

https://trailteam.is/opportunities/

Foresters and Trailteamers

We began our practical trail work earlier this month and for our first team project of the season, we were joined by forestry students who are taking part in Skógræktin’s internship programme at Tumastaðir Forestry Station. Our trail volunteers have been involved in several planting projects with colleagues at Tumastaðir in recent years and we were excited to host a return visit for the foresters.

This was the earliest project we have ever organised and it was an excellent opportunity to get ahead with our maintenance tasks before the arrival of visitors on the trails. We had cold-bright weather conditions and the team was almost completely alone in the area… which is quite a special experience.

Together we worked on repairs to winter damage on the main Langidalur-Húsadalur trail, explored the trail network to locate work sites for the season and also found time for a hike up to Rjúpnafell.

We would like to thank the team for their hard work and look forward to working with more of our Forestry Service colleagues out on the Thórsmörk trails.

Pictured: Lunch break on top of Rjúpnafell

Returning for our ninth Trailteam season in Thórsmörk

Our ninth Trailteam season has now begun and we are expecting our first international volunteers to join us at the Langidalur camp today.

Despite international travel restrictions and ongoing uncertainty, we intend to go ahead with all of our planned projects and are hopeful that many of our volunteers will still be able to join us. Heavy rain in recent weeks has left us with plenty of maintenance tasks on the trail network and we are eager to get started this week.

We will begin with the opening the Langidalur volunteer camp and then focus on maintenance and repairs to water damage on the main trails. This early season start means that there is time to survey the trail network and plan work projects ahead of the arrival of our main volunteer teams in June.

Weather conditions in Thórsmörk have been excellent during the last few days, cold with bright sunshine and just the occasional snow shower.

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