Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Another packrafting trip on the river Leie

Thanks to the fine weather that was upon us on Sunday afternoon, the Leie river looked very inviting for a paddle. I therefore made another trip by packraft, starting at the drawbridge in Astene and ending at the E40 highway bridge in Afsnee, passing the villages of Deurle and Sint-Martens-Latem in the process. Total distance was about 15 km, which is quite enough for an afternoon on a river without any noticeable current. A perfect exercise for the arm muscles…

Due to the unusually dry weather of the past 12 months or so, water levels are quite low, which has caused a number of small beaches to appear on the river banks. Perfect for a quick rest.

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30-08-2017 17-02-10

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Iceland 2017: Kjalvegur

During the second part of my Iceland trip earlier this month, I took a straight line across the Kjölur highlands from east to west, and then followed the ancient Kjalvegur footpath, which has been in existence since the time of the first settlers.

Kjölur and its surroundings boast a variety of landscapes including rocky deserts, tundra, icecaps, mountains and geothermal hot springs. My “customized” Kjalvegur route was 67 km and took about 2.5 days to complete.

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The Story of a Tent in Iceland..

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August 15: Still in good shape!

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August 16: Gale force winds rip a hole in the fabric of the outer tent. But, nothing that a bit of good old iron wire can’t fix, right?

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August 17: The situation becomes increasingly grave, and more drastic “surgical” measures are in order…

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August 18: Another night of non-abating strong winds and the fabric rips apart further and further…

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August 18: The situation is hopeless. The patient has deceased…


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Iceland 2017: Kerlingarfjöll

Earlier this month I made another short but intense impromptu trip to Iceland. The first part of the trip was devoted to a solo 50 km – 2.5 day circumvention of the rugged volcanic Kerlingarfjöll mountains, which are located in the desolate and uninhabited central highlands.

The circumvention of Kerlingarfjöll is known as “Hringbrautin” and is something I already did in 2013 as part of a guided trip, however with fairly lousy weather conditions. I was therefore happy to encounter more reasonable conditions this time, which made the trek a more enjoyable experience.

The full report of the Kerlingarfjöll trek is available in the meantime. The report of the second trek of my trip, which was some kind of alternative Kjalvegur trek, is to follow in due time.

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Norway 2017: Femundsmarka

The pictures and full report of last month’s 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka (and a bit of Rogen, on the Swedish side of the border) have been uploaded:

Unfortunately, the trip was cut short since I had to return home unexpectedly halfway through. Nonetheless, this was yet another fine adventure blessed with reasonable weather conditions (contrary to the foul weather further west, that I was luckily able to avoid).

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Packrafting the Grøtåa river (Part 2/2)

Towards the end of my 5 day – 125 km solo trek through Femundsmarka I returned to the Grøtåa river for some relaxed paddling on its lower section. In the meantime the weather had turned for the better and I much enjoyed both the river and the camp I had established in the vicinity of mount Kratlvola. Fine weather and low winds unfortunately also mean mosquitoes in these areas, so a headnet was unfortunately in order.

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