After the message reached us that a eruptive fissure opened
on the 3/21/2010 in Iceland near the Fimmvörduháls
passage east of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Marc and I
decided as fast as possible to start a trip to this fiery
The eruption announced itself already for many weeks by
stronger seismic activity, but it was not clear, where and
how violent this event will took place.
We arrived in the evening of 3/24/2010 and drove immediately
into the northern lain valleys to check out a remote first
overview. In the same night we changed to the south to the
place Skogar, where a good walking way for the entrance to
the new fissure exists. When I started immediately with the
16km and 1100hm ascent around 2:00 o’clock in the night,
Marc followed the course in the day. In an altitude from
approx. 450m a continuous snow layer began, with a heavy
backpack a considerable effort.
When I arrived at this place an impressive 300m long lava
fountain row expected me. The strength of the eruption
fluctuated. In calmer phases the lava lances reached up to a
30m height and in high phases over 100m. In the course of
the next days some areas of the fissure regressed to
interrupted strombolian activity.
With an excursion toward the northeast a view was offered to
me, where lava flows as well as melt water was running down
in falls. We spent the following night nearby the refugee, a
meter-thickly snow-covered hut at this time of the season.
The hut was locked and we had to bivouac with accordingly
through-frozen drinking water bottles in the morning.
One day I had the luck to experience together with only 5
people a lava break-through into a over-hanging side ravine
on the western side. First
I could observe only the steam of the lava tongue, which was
‘working through’ under the meter-high snow layer. Within
seconds a brown cooking melt water river formed itself under
the abort-edge of the snow. More and more snow crashed down
and created heavy steam expulsions at the ravine base. Few
minutes later a lava fall felt downwards with din into the
ravine. In seconds a kilometre-high steam and ash cloud
piled up, which prevented unfortunately the completely view
on the scenario. In addition, without a clear view and the
photo option it was an indescribable experience. In only 30m
distance I believed to myself staying in the middle of an
sights seen in contrast: Lava falls instead of water falls.
The descent took place in the afternoon to Skogar, in order
to find on the following day some recreation by visiting
phantastic Island places.
At the 28th we restarted a visit to the fissure,
this time we shortened the ascent with a helicopter.
Unfortunately the air sight was disappointing because the
pilot was weakly cooperatively and the fountains decreased
Nevertheless it was again being worth, because you could
come nearer to the AA lava flow on the west side and a new
lava fall was at present. We jumped adventurously over melt
water crevasses and over-hanging abort edge. Here only one
place for the complete overview was extremely exposed. Lava
fell over the cliff, impacted down and formed a broad river.
Melted water whirled up by the heat strongly and formed all
around the snow layer a blank ice cover. Here it would have
been useful not to leave the crampons down in the car…
A weather reversal brought icy north storm and due to this
hard condition we decided the descent. Shortly after our
departure a second fissure opened directly beside first.