2016 Autumn Trail
We're now taking bookings for our Autumn 2016 trail. This will be a first Autumn trail for us and we're excited! At this time of year, the land is in dynamic flux: whole mountainsides turn a shade of burgundy as berries ripen, local farmers gather their sheep from the mountains, weather systems can be wet and wild, rainbows abound and the first snow may even hit the mountain tops.
The trail will be a mix of walking and camping in the wild, foraging for berries, mushrooms and seaweeds, visiting a remote farm to help out with a traditional réttir - the annual sheep round-up from the mountains, 4-5 nights accommodation, local hospitality, storytelling and some facilitated solo time out on the land. More info on these components can be found below.
- Dates: 11th Sept - 23rd Sept 2016
- Logistics: 6-8 days of self carry wild walking and camping; and 4-6 days accommodated (some flexiblity to adapt to conditions!)
- Group size: Max number of guests: 10 + 2-3 trail leaders
- Walking difficulty: The majority of the walking will be off path, where loose rock and gradient changes are common. Hrs walked during 'walking days' varies between 5-7.
- Cost: 295,000 ISK if booked before April 30th 2016; 327,000 ISK thereafter. The cost includes 2-3 trail leaders on trail with you at all times, all food, use of tents, accommodation, airport transfers (from and to Isafjordur airport) and all activities. The cost does not include travel insurance.
- Who? Couples, families; same sex couples; people travelling alone; father and sons; anyone who wants a great adventure! We have a mixture of single and double tents.
- Travel arrangements: guests should arrive in Ísafjörður by the evening of September 11th. we will return to Ísafjörður on the evening of Septmber 22nd and onward travel should be arranged from morning of 23rd. Follow the link for travel advice.
Walking and camping: during the first 5 days of the trip, we'll stretch our bodies and pace our minds against the northern mountains of the Westfjords. We'll be carrying our own equipment and food which will make us self sufficient and allow us to reach some very remote spots that very few people ever get to explore. The routes we walk were once used by sheep herders and people walking between settlements before the invention of roads. We'll climb up and down 700-900 metre mountains, trace the coastline, visit remote villages and once or twice take to the water to cross a fjord (courtesy of local rescue service!).
Accommodation: having walked the first 5 days, we'll arrive at remote, beautiful and powerful valley that's home to just one remaining sheep farmer, Betty, and her family. We'll base ourselves out of some beautifully rennovated accommodation for the next 4-6 days and guarantee you'll fall in love with this place!
Whilst here we'll take part in a traditional réttir - the annual sheep round-up from the mountains. This is a high adrenalin and rewarding way to experience the landscape and traditional Icelandic culture; your efforts will be hugely appreciated and you'll be fed well!
Following the réttir, the accommodation will allow us to shift attention inwards. We'll appreciate and explore our connection to the landscape through solo time and foraging.
Solo time: time spent alone on the land has long been recognised a powerful way to get in touch with the deeper aspects of self. As trained wilderness leaders, we will create a space and run activities that will help you experience connection to the earth and sea; allow you relax and be present, connect back to your natural rhythms, and find inspiration and insight. You don't need prior experience for this; the activities we offer are gentle invitations to explore and can be taken at your own pace.
Foraging: come September, the mountains provide a bounty of berries and mushrooms. Seaweeds are also available from the intertidal zone. As part of our accommodated time, we'll learn to forage and how to process and cook with the ingredients.