In our last week for this season, we took a few days break from the autumn rain in Þórsmörk and returned to Þjórsárdalur Forestry Station. Our small remaining volunteer team planted more than 2000 spruce trees which brings our total for the season close to 4000.
Although our main activity is still trail maintenance work, tree planting has become an important element of our programme as we try to address carbon sequestration for the international flights associated with it. This season, the programme has increased its focus on locally based staff and volunteers, but we were also joined by 16 volunteers who traveled from abroad.
As our international volunteers now stay with us for up to 10 weeks, comfortable indoor accommodation is a welcome break from life at our camps. We would like to say a huge thank you to our colleagues in both Tumastaðir and Thjorsárdalur Forestry Stations, for hosting our teams.
The long sunny days of July already seem a long time ago as the start of August has brought us storms, growing rivers and lots of rain.
Despite the weather, progress has been very good, the team are still smiling and our work continues… with orange waterproofs close at hand.
Tree planting team at Tumastaðir Forestry Station (Michelle Pröstler)
Checking numbers and repainting trail markers on Laugavegurinn (Anna Mariager)
Hiding from the rain at our Langidalur hut (Nicolas Talou)
Our team heading out to work (Nicolas Talou)
Box steps on their way to Valahnúkur (Anna Mariager)
Rainy (but still beautiful) day at Langidalur (Nicolas Talou)
Tree planting at Tumastaðir (Rahel Paasch)
Bridge building at Langidalur (Nicolas Talou)
Sunshine on Valahnúkur (Theresa Schaber)
The team have gathered some of their pictures of this season’s first big week on the trails. It has been an amazing week of trail work, bridge building, hiking and camp fires… with lots more adventures still to come.
Friday evening at Langidalur (Jenny Allen)
Bridge building (Jenny Allen)
Hiking day on Rjúpnafell (Jenny Allen)
Our amazing team leaders (Anna Mariager)
Coffee break on the trail (Ellen Halldorsson)
Moving materials to Morinsheiði (Isabel Cadec)
Hiking to work (Michelle Pröstler)
The Fimmvörðuháls trail (Ondřej Kupka)
Step construction (Michelle Pröstler)
Although we arrived to an empty valley, a steady stream of international volunteers and summer staff have been joining us since the start of June and the team has been growing steadily each week.
As well as improvements at the Langidalur volunteer camp and ongoing surveys of the trail network, we have been able to return to several of our favourite work sites and get our hand dirty again. Our main focus in recent weeks has been building stone and timber steps on Valahnúkur as well as general maintenance and improved trail marking on the Fimmvörðuháls trail.
Preparations at our Langidalur volunteer camp are now complete and we are very excited to welcome the international volunteers who will be joining us on Sunday. After months of uncertainty, our planned 6-week project is finally about to start.
Our summer staff building log steps on Valahnúkur
Bridge constrction at Langidalur
Maintenance on the Fimmvörðuháls trail
After months of uncertainty, it was very good to finally arrive back in Thórsmörk yesterday. As always, our first visit of the season is an opportunity to take a look at how the winter conditions have affected our previous work. Despite heavy snow, the trail network was in good condition in most of the areas that we visited.
This first trip of the season is also the time when we start putting together a project list for the groups and we found plenty of interesting work to do. So far, the list includes everything from stone construction to timber stairs and of course… lots more drains.
We are currently working on a new safety plan for Covid-19 and hopefully it will be possible for our volunteers to join us later in the season. In the meantime, we will open the Langidalur camp this week so that work in the area can begin.
The drying hut at the Langidalur camp
Little water in Krossá
Snow at the Básar camp