Weekly bulletin from Safetravel
Here we have the forecast for the next few days. Both road conditions and the weather forecast should be checked multiple times a day for the forecast given is not a 100% reliable such a long time in advance – check out: www.road.is + en.vedur.is If you have information or tips that you feel would enhance our service for example about travel destinations close to you we would love to hear about them in an email. Pictures always appreciated.
Weather and road conditions:
Nothing remarkable happening in the south and south west, just like this week. It‘s good to keep in mind though that in conditions like these, early morning and late afternoon we could see some ice form on the roads.
After 12:00 tomorrow, Friday, towards the night we‘ll have some rain or sleet on Hellisheiði.
In the north- and northwest we‘re expecting little to no wind and radiation which results in icy roads today and tonight, also in Eastfjords.
Tomorrow it will snow on Holtavörðuheiði between 3PM and 6 PM with little to no wind.
This will likely be a considerable amount of snow (10-20cm in spots) on mountain roads in north- and northwest. On Steingrímsfjarðarheiði and Klettháls mountain roads in the Westfjords we can expect the wind to blow snow around forming piles.
Sat: It will snow in the morning in N & NW. Breefly it will be blizzard-like but over and done with by mid-day. No considerable winds either. Other parts of Iceland will have little action in the weather.
Sun: It will snow considerably on most mountain roads but temperatures above zero and sleet/rain below 300m. Uncertainty regarding temperatures though.
The highland roads are all impassable as usual and will stay that way until late spring or early summer! Those travelers that wish to visit the highlands must do so with a scheduled tour in a modified vehicle. We‘ve had a few incidences where visitors think that having a 4x4 vehicle is enough to do this – that‘s of course not the case! The damages can cost thousands of dollars so it‘s important to inform out guests of this!
Popular tourist sites:
As mentioned earlier, our highlands are only accessible in a modified vehicle incl. popular sites such as Landmannalaugar, Þórsmörk, Kverkfjöll, Snæfell and Kerlingafjöll. Not all these roads will be closed with a clear closure over the road so it‘s important that our visitors are informed of this before heading out. Some traveler think that a 4x4 is good enough to handle the winter highlands but that of course is not the case.
The area around Gullfoss is now very wet! No ice but trails are still slippery due to mud! The lower trail towards the waterfall is CLOSED!
The trail towards Dettifoss is marked. The trail itself it extremely slippery and crampons are absolutely necessary! Combination of ice, water and snow! Walking from the car park towards the waterfall is 1500 m (3 km out and back) so this is currently very challenging and requires good stability and crampons! One dry toilets are open.
Hiking trails in Ásbyrgi are extremely slippery - ice over most parts, other parts super wet and muddy all the way towards Botnstjörn, crampons are highly recommended!
Reynisfjara is always dangerous, even in “no weather” like now-a-days, due to the unpredictability of the waves. It‘s not that the waves are big, it‘s the fact that they are sneaky and unpredictable. Every 7th, 10th or 12th wave goes a lot further up the beach than the rest and this can catch visitors by surprise that are too close to the water. The sand is very fine and the sheer pulling factor of the wave makes it easy for it to pull visitors out to sea. If you know that your guests are going there by themselves – make sure they are informed of this.
Kirkjufjara by Dyrhólaey has been CLOSED due to increased dangers in rockslides and deadly sneaker waves.
Popular hiking trails: Weather should always be assessed! If there is strong wind in lowlands hiking mountains should not be attempted! (winds get stronger higher up)
Esjan: To hike up to „The Rock“ is fine. We don‘t recommend that poeple continue to the top due to possibility of ice. We recommend that poeple bring their crampons along. Trail is partially very muddy and slippery! People must not underestimate Mt. Esja because of how accessible she is – during the winter time you need proper hiking boots along with proper gear for winter!
Skaftafell: S1 and S2, towards the glacier are in good condition. Trail up to Svartifoss is ok, partially muddy but the last 200-300m. down to the waterfall are extremely muddy and slippery! Hiking poles recommended because of this fact! Longer trails such as Kristínartindar are only for very experienced mountaineers! You’ll need a guide’s expertise with that one!
The campsite is open but is not serviced. The only service in the area are bathrooms and two showers by the Information Center Skaftafellsstofa. People can pay for the campsites inside there and will be charged half price.
Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls: Both these trails are closed for normal traffic. There are no scheduled busses running to or from Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk. The start of the Fimmvörðuháls hike above Skógafoss has been closed for now due to bad conditions and in attempt to restore and protect vegetation in the area.
Reykjadalur: The trail is wet and muddy right now. Good hiking boots with ankle support highly recommended. The route is marked with trail markers. It is a hike that is easily accessible but during the winter it can be quite challenging.
Glymur waterfall: the ideal spot to see the waterfall is from the southern side of the canyon but to reach that you need to cross Botnsá river. Usually, during the summer, there is a log people can cross on but during the winter it is removed due to danger and therefore it is necessary to cross the river on foot. The trail after that can be quite steep and slippery especially with the rain kept in mind. It‘s always better to have crampons on this hike. The hike can take around 3-4 hours at this time.
Avalanche danger: Low (level 1/5) & Moderate (2/5)
Moderate danger in mountainous areas like Tröllaskagi Peninsula and low danger in Eastfjords and Westfjords. Travelers should be discouraged from hiking into areas where the danger level is 2 or higher. Further info can be found here: http://en.vedur.is/avalanches/forecast