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Posts from the ‘Básar’ Category

Preparing for a Trailteam summer…

When April arrives, we are very excited to return to Thórsmörk and Goðaland and begin preparations for our summer volunteers.

One of our first tasks each year is to survey the hiking trails, assess their general conditions and look for areas that have been damaged during the autumn and winter. These surveys are used to create a plan for work projects for the Trailteams. Each year priority is given to maintaining the most popular and well-used hiking routes with our remaining recourses then focused on improving conditions on other parts of the trail network including new sites that are chosen each season.

In recent years, some of our trail-building friends from other organisations including Landgræslan have joined us out on the trails in May to take a look at our past work projects and share notes on trail-design and best practices. This cooperation is very important as it links the ongoing work in Thórsmörk and Goðaland, with other trail projects around the country.

Hiking the trails for these initial inspections in April is one of the highlights of our season as it is an opportunity to revisit old worksites, see how they look after the winter and review the techniques that were used. This has helped us to learn about appropriate trail design methods for the area and steadily build up our skills over the last 10 years.

Pictures taken during a survey of the Fimmvörðuháls trail in May 2022.

Information about our 2023 programme including placement dates and application forms will be available here on December 15th. Placement applications will be open from December 15th – January 31st.

Volunteer opportunities

Celebrating 10 years on the trails!

When we first arrived at Langidalur to begin work on the hiking trails in June 2012, it was impossible to imagine that we would still be there more than 10 years later.

Following the success of the pilot project in 2012, the Icelandic Forest Service (Skógræktin) created the seasonal Trailteam programme to help maintain and improve the area’s hiking trail network. Volunteer camps were established at both Langidalur and Básar and a 3-month summer programme of practical group projects has been developed. Although the focus of the work has always been trail-building, our teams are also involved in landscape restoration and tree-planting tasks.

Since the Trailteam programme began in 2013, approximately 420 international volunteers have joined our groups and together we have completed more than 2000 weeks of trail maintenance and nature conservation work throughout Thórsmörk and Goðaland. Returning each summer has allowed us to steadily develop trail building techniques that are suitable for the area and to improve our practical skills along the way.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has joined us out on the trails and supported us over an incredible ten years. There is still a huge amount of work to be done and we look forward to returning to the trails with our volunteers in 2023 and to many more Trailteam summers.

Pictures from last summer…

Information about our 2023 programme including placement dates and application forms will be available here on December 15th. Placement applications will be open from December 15th – January 31st.

Volunteer opportunities

Preparations for our 10th season

It is difficult to know where all the time has gone, but this year we will be returning to Thórsmörk for our tenth season on the trails. A small pilot project back in 2012 led to the creation of our programme… and after 10 years, we are still going strong.

Recent weeks have been filled with planning tasks, reading applications and arranging interviews. January is always an exciting time for us as we discuss preparations for the season, meet our new teammates and also reconnect to old friends who will be joining us again. Despite the ongoing uncertainty over travel planning for the summer, we have received a huge response to our call for volunteers and the teams are now taking shape.

Full details about our summer plans including project outlines, placement dates and application forms can be found on our website. The groups are already starting to fill up, so if you would like to apply for a place this season, don’t delay.
Applications close on January 31st.

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 pictures from last summer

Selfies, trail building, hiking… and lots of food. These pictures tell the story of our adventures last summer.

Although travel plans were disrupted at the start of the summer, many of our volunteers were able to join us in July and together the teams managed to completed more than 100 weeks of practical work. In addition to maintenance work on the hiking trails in Thórsmörk and Goðaland, the volunteers also worked closely with our Forest Service colleagues on a series of tree planning projects on other sites as part of our carbon sequestration initiative.

We have now started putting together a team for 2021 and full detail including application forms are now available here on our homepage. Applications for next season will be open until January 31st.

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