If you drive north west out of Reykjavik you can't help but notice the spectacular presence that is Mount Esja. It taunted me on a couple of occasions as we drove to Thingvellir National Park. I looked at it in awe thinking how much it reminded me of the sharp peaks surrounding Banff in Canada. I spied a couple of routes to the summit that looked like they might be climbable by a casual visitor in a set of hiking boots and a plucky attitude. I discounted it as summit fever and put it to the back of my mind.
We had a spare day on the holiday with forecasted sunny weather ... not something to be wasted in Iceland. I can't remember what prompted me to Google search the mountain, perhaps autopilot kicking in, but before I knew it I had established that climbing Mount Esja is a very popular activity, relatively easy and it has its own car park and a path to the top. Brilliant! The only challenge that remained was to convince Gill that it was a good idea.
Esja, or Esjan as the locals call it (meaning 'the Esja') is 780+ metres high and a relatively easy climb if taking the popular Pverellshorn route on a summer's day. What I thought would be relatively idyllic conditions was slightly marred by the fact there was a killer wind in our face and icy sections of path which freaked Gill out, as usual. But with a gritty determination and a foot long Subway sandwich in our pockets, we soldiered on and got to the summit point that we were happy with. The photo slideshow below tells the rest of the story. A must-do for all hikers in the Reykjavik area itching for a challenge that does not involve an organised minibus tour!
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