Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, September 17, 2007

4 Orienteering Maps in Iceland


How many orienteering maps does Iceland have? I'm not sure, but I've seen four and spent some time on two of them. I suspect that these are the only O' maps in Iceland, but I could be wrong.

The maps I've seen were all made in 1997 by Swedish O' mappers - Perola Olsson and Morgan Svensson.

Laugardalur is an area of sports fields and camping a bit east of the center of Reykjavik. Laugadalur has swimming pools, the botanical gardens, and the zoo. As you can guess, it is park O' terrain. Mary and I didn't spend any time at Laugardalur.

Ellidadalur is an area of trails, forest, and streams at the edge of Reykjavik. The main orienteering features at Ellidalur are a trail network, patches of forest, and low knolls. Mary and I drove by, but didn't stop, at Ellidalur. Here is some info about Ellidadalur.

Oskjuhlid is a big hill that sits above the domestic airport in Reykjavik (right next to the center of the city). If you've been in Reykjavik, you've seen the big water tanks on the hill. That's the center of the Oskjuhlid O' map. The terrain at Oskjuhlid is a mix of park O' and some interesting forest. The forest is mostly quite thick, but there is a dense network of trails that make for some good route choice possibilities. Mary and I explored the area a bit and the map stands up quite well (despite being 10 years old). The water tanks at Oskjuhlid are worth a visit. One of the tanks has a fascinating (and fairly strange) museum devoted to the Icelandic Sagas. A fancy restaurant sits on top of the tanks and just below the restaurant there is a cafe where you can grab a cup of coffee and look out at the view of the city.

Galgahraun is the most interesting of the four maps and the hardest to find. It sits just outside of Reykjavik, not far from the main road to the Keflavik airport. Galgahraun is lava terrain ("hraun" is an icelandic word that refers to lava fields). The terrain is fantastic. The map is quite small, but because of the intricate lava features it makes for good orienteering. The footing is a bit rough. In particular, running through the low spots was difficult. Mary and I explored Galgahraun and found it really fun. The map has aged very well.

As best I can tell, orienteering isn't established in Iceland. But, if someone wanted to start an O' club in Reykjavik, these four maps would be a give them a good chance to set up some events and training sessions.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:36 PM


I believe I have a much older map from Iceland, but I couldn't find it on a quick search. From memory, it is a mountainous fell type area, mostly open (rough open), with only a few patches of white, which I was told still was not normal forest. This map was probably made by Norwegians ~1980, because it was given to me by Norwegians around that time.
Cool, look what I found: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=64.1252,+-21.9197&ie=UTF8&ll=64.126404,-21.918926&spn=0.01133,0.031757&t=k&z=15&om=1

Nice description. Got any more pictures of the countryside?

I'll go to Iceland on May (2009) and I really want to have o-maps. Where did you get those?


Johanna from Finland
Hi all!
There is an oriennteering club in Reykjavík, Iceland. You can find the maps here: http://rathlaup.is/category/kortamyndir/
Feel free to contact the club, they are very helpful and nice peopple!
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