This is a guest blog from Sandra our Channels Manager at Tempo.
Every year, Tempo’s hiking group, selects a new mountain to conquer. Like our previous missions, we headed towards the Vatnajökull glacier to Birnudalstindur.
Some in the group thought it would not be challenging enough, as the peak “only” rises 1326 m above sea level, but they were proven otherwise.
The group scheduled several training hikes in the months before the hike, with most of the hikes in the Reykjavík area, such as Esjan, Akrafjall, Helgafell, Vífilsfell, Hengill, and Úlfarsfell. The official training hike was Snæfellsjökull, where we got the best conditions possible with amazing views.
The day of the mission
We woke up pretty early and started hiking at 6am. It was a calm day, and the mountains were covered in fog. Living in Iceland and knowing the fog, we believed it would clear up during the day.
The start of the hike was steep, and we realized that this would be challenge, regardless of the height of the mountain.
The scenery on the way up through the fog was mystical. After climbing for a couple of hours, the fog started to lift off, and the spectacular Icelandic nature emerged. Even though I have lived in Iceland my entire life, our beautiful nature always amazes me.
Reaching the snow line
A large part of the hike was in snow. The snow was soft and mushy, and we were lucky enough to have excellent guides who lead the group and created footsteps for us to step in.
The landscape created some challenges for us, as we had to climb some cliffs, slide down hills, and spend several hours hiking in very steep conditions.
At one point we had to stop, so the guides could do avalanche tests, to see if it was safe for us to continue our mission. Luckily, it was safe :)
Reaching the top
We didn’t see the peak for most part of the hike, as it was hidden behind other peaks we had to either top or pass along the way.
When we go near the peak, we almost got into the “are we there yet” mode and then we saw it.
The peak was near and the last steep hill to climb was endless….but we made it and what a view!
The way down
We took a different route down with new excitement, fun, and challenges. The first part was the fun part (even though the entire day was fun), because the steep hill we just climbed to get to the top was now down.
Some people ran or walked, but the majority of the group took a faster way, sliding down.
We also had unexpected adventures on the way down, where we had to cross 2 rivers, and a creek. The second river had a quite strong current, so we had to cross it together in chains of 3.
When crossing the last creek, everyone was soaking wet.
So reaching the cars after a 15 hour hike it was a really nice feeling to take the wet boots off.
After every hike it’s important to celebrate!
Even though we reached our cabins pretty late in the evening, we prepared a delicious feast to celebrate the mission and plan our next adventure.