Eyjafjalljökull’s little brother – Fimmvörðurháls

It is 2 years since the rumblings began under Eyjafjallajokull so I thought I might share my memories of that exciting time. It was at the same time that I decided to start my photo tour business and the small eruption under Fimmvörðurháls coincided with my Mum’s one and only trip to Iceland.

When the Fimmvörðurháls eruption began it was a frustrating time for Icelandic photographers. The authorities created a 20km exclusion zone around the tiny eruption. Local people were evacuated from their farmsteads as the Volcanologists moved in stating ‘Stand back, we don’t know how big this thing gets’. The Fimmvörðurháls eruption created a new mound between the 2 glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajokull. The eruption occurred on a walking path. The path markers actually disappeared into the new mound.

Slow Steam

I started a thread on the Icelandic photography forum asking if any photographers would like to use their jeeps to get close to the new eruption. I wasn’t the only one with the idea, by the time we had arranged our 3 modified jeeps full of some of the most esteemed photographers in Iceland, the queue up to the Mýrdalsjökull glacier was growing.

This was the view as we approached the erupting volcano on Fimmvörðurháls, the mound in front was already collecting super jeeps…
The Hills are alive

I was in good company and lucky enough to be with fellow photographers as we all had the same goals, we wanted to wait until dark to see if there would be Northern Lights. In the meantime the volcano looked great against the dusk sky in late March.

Hot Crater

The crowds were gathering on top of the mound overlooking the volcano as it got dark. It was difficult to find a space for my tripod. the atmosphere was electric like a rock concert and the sound of the volcano was very memorable but unfortunately so difficult to convey here! It was like a giant kettle drum being thrashed by Darth Vader.

Compact Photo

Next… the actual Eyjafjallajökull eruption…

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