Kerlingarfjöll, Rhyolite valley

Climbing up towards the ice; cloud thicker, dimmer. Flecks of sleet-cold rain hitting bare skin. Slipping down loose wet rock, water trails seeping under the moss, beneath the suspended ice crust. Sheltered for a moment between the mountains, white snow glowing under the dark cloud. Footholes refrozen, solid and slippery. Semi melted pools of stained ice; black bands of rock. A single figure wrapped in waterproofs climbs down, then is gone. Beyond the boulders the ground colour changes, rhyolite clay, a film of water on the surface of the ground, pooling in the pitted earth.

 

Standing at the plateau edge, yellow mud caked around feet in the saturated clay. A moment of light falls across the valley, intensifying the orange hills beneath the dark ash and white snow patches of the high peaks that circle the valley. A fumarole roars out steam nearby, surrounded by geothermally altered ground; pink and white, crusted.