After the flooded glacial stream incident from approximately 2 posts ago, our guide in the Thorsmork region of Iceland took us to this slot canyon whose name he neglected to mention. This little waterfall was pictured near the end of a 10-20 minute scramble from rock to rock through the stream at the bottom of the narrow canyon.
The thin grey line at the bottom left of the picture is a hand rope facilitating the climb over slippery rocks to the 25-foot sheer waterfall just out of sight. Because of the close quarters and poor lighting, the larger waterfall was almost impossible to photograph, but I can assure you it made quite an impression falling through a sun-lit, moss-lined keyhole at the top of the gorge 25 feet to the rocks below.
Because of the ridiculous lighting conditions, I had to edit the levels a lot on this photo to make it visible. I’m clearly pretty new to it. Give me tips if you got ’em.
I had a free Wednesday in Reykjavik so I impulsively signed up for a guided cave tour in one of the many lava tubes beneath Iceland’s volcanic tundra.
More than the actual cave itself, the experience of which was tempered by a rather inexperienced tour guide (a story for another day), I was struck by the character of the landscape. A thick rolling fog hung over everything, tempering the deep blacks and browns and greens of the moss-covered volcanic rocks, and giving the impression that each mountain stretched infinitely. That imagining, to me, is more exciting than a clear day.
Turns out while I was in Scotland I was in Iceland, too. Thorsmork has the most capricious weather I have ever seen. Furiously storming and spitting rain one minute, then sun shining brilliantly with dark clouds rolling in the background the next. Our tour guide was initially going to have us cross this glacial stream and head up the valley, but upon seeing the water level he declared it impossible. I, being an obnoxious American, declared that we should do it or die trying, but no one else was quite as excited about that as I was.
So I went to Scotland awhile back and was blown away by the Tolkien-esque highland landscapes. Here, have a picture. Have it in super-high resolution!
Let me get one thing straight: I am not an experienced kayaker. I will not soon be seen bravely leading any of my friends through the rapids, I will not be rescuing any stranded swimmers or anything like that. I have done maybe 4 or 5 actual river trips, have not mastered my roll, and am furthermore slightly terrified of capsizing. Read More…