On a cold and rainy January afternoon we needed a little reminder of Icelandic summer.
This short film was made by Johnny Rolt and Ollie Campbell when they joined us 2017. It is a really beautiful film and it captures life at the volunteer camps and our work projects in Thórsmörk, Goðaland and along the Laugavegurinn trail. For anyone joining us for the first time this season, the film gives a good idea of what to expect from our volunteer placements.
We wanted to share this amazing film once again.
Sit back and enjoy a few minutes of summer…
Following their success last season, we are organising pre-departure Skype meetings for our volunteers before we head back to Thórsmörk.
The meetings are planned for April and all volunteers who are joining us this season will be invited. Their aim is to provide an opportunity to discuss preparations for the placements, including the chance to talk about the conditions at the camps, required equipment and travel to the meeting point at the start. It is the perfect opportunity to make contact and for us to answer any last minute questions that the team may have.
The meetings will take place over about two weeks and details of available times will be emailed shortly. We would like to complete the meetings before we move to the Thórsmörk to begin setting up the camps and where Skype contact is limited.
This summer our volunteer teams will return to worksites on the famous Laugavegur hiking trail and once again we will be organising a programme of trail maintenance projects in partnership with The Iceland Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands). FÍ have been providing facilities and material support for our volunteer teams since we arrive in Thórsmörk in 2012. The valuable support that our teams receive from the hut wardens is hugely appreciated.
Planned project sites around Emstrur will be accessed by teams hiking from Langidalur and staying at wilderness camps close to the trail there but activity further north is coordinated from a volunteer camp that has been established at Hvanngil. Last season the teams focused their work on a 5km section of the trail between Hvanngil and Álftavatn where the main tasks included improving drainage, repairing damaged sections and adding about 200 new way-markers to encourage hikers to stay on the trail. Working at Hvanngil is particularly challenging due to exposed worksites and changeable weather. Our teams normally walk the 28km trail from Langidalur to Hvanngil in a day.
Despite the challenges, these long-range Highland projects are extremely popular with our teams. We change the groups between the projects each week so that participants experience a variety of locations and work tasks during their placements. Volunteers joining us for 2 weeks this season will hopefully have the opportunity to take part in the Highland projects in the second week of their placement but as always, the final decision will be made by the weather.
Throughout the main season (June-August) our volunteers will be divided into four teams working on project sites throughout the area from Monday – Friday. On Friday evenings the teams will gather at the Langidalur base camp for a meal together, a campfire and the chance to catch up with weekend plans.
We plan to open the camp at Langidalur on May 1st.
Applications for the 2017 programme closed at the end of January and we have been busy putting the summer teams together.
Our request for volunteers received a huge response with hundreds of applications from over 50 countries. A (not so) shortlist was made and the Skype interviews have been completed. Most of the places are now allocated and we have waiting-lists ready to finalise any remaining placements within the next couple of weeks.
This season, the programme has received a lot of interest and allocations have taken longer than expected due to the large number of applicants. We wanted to give all the applications carefully consideration. There were many more good applications than places available and unfortunately it was not possible to accept everyone though we have added some extra places to the programme so that we can include as many as possible.
Now that we have our team, final preparations for the summer can begin!
We have now reached the last few days of applications for our 2017 trail teams. This month we have been busy with placement planning and Skype interviews and although many of the places have now been allocated, we do still have some places available in several of the groups.
As our work area and number of teams increased last season, we have expanded our Operations team and created several new places for additional volunteer leaders. Applications will close on Tuesday, January 31st, so if you would like to join us, don’t delay!
No previous experience of trail construction work is necessary as practical training will be provided. We are looking for participants who have some experience of camping and hill walking, enjoy wilderness landscapes and are ready for a challenge. Iceland’s notoriously changeable weather means that our teams have to be well prepared with warm clothing, good waterproofs and sturdy tents. Due to the strenuous nature of our work, participants must be physically fit and as many of our work sites are in remote locations; we do a lot of hiking to get to them!
Full details and application forms… https://trailteam.is/opportunities/