Hitting the slopes - Blue Mountains & Skálafell (1:2)
Description: SEEDS volunteers will be working with the Reykjavík municipality in two of the main skiing areas in the capital region of Iceland, Bláfjöll (or the Blue Mountains) and Skálafell. In Skálafell the ski slopes are turned into a bike park during summertime and mountain bike enthusiasts can nourish their passion. The main tasks will include renovation and maintenance work on the bike trails; mainly raking and scraping them up. Other possible tasks may be related to general cleaning of the area. In the Blue Mountains, the main tasks will be maintaining the slopes and preparing them for the next ski season. The city and a few sports associations run lodges and mountain huts there and they might also need some renovation jobs, such as painting and/or cleaning.
Type of Work: The working plan is flexible and it will depend on the needs of our local hosts. No previous experience is necessary but the work is demanding and requires a good physical condition. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as depending on the weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned. The landscape is raw and volunteers need to be motivated to work outdoors and to experience isolated mountain areas.
Study Theme: The camp happens around the summer solstice, when the sun hardly sets and the nights are almost as bright as the days. The bright nights are magical and staying awake enjoying the beautiful surroundings is a unique experience. During the time of the camp participants will have the opportunity to experience the midnight sun as there are 24 hours of light even if the sun sets for shorts periods of time.
Accommodation: SEEDS volunteers will stay in one of the ski lodges in the mountains and sleep in a sleeping bag accommodation, sharing rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag. Volunteers will receive food supplies and be in charge of the cooking and cleaning activities. Do not forget some traditional/typical food, drinks, music and recipes from your country for the international evening.
Language: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
Requirements: The locations of the camp are remote and isolated, even though still close to the city. Free time activities in the surroundings are mostly hiking and trekking.
Other excursions (South Shore, Hot River hike, Snaefellsnes or Reykjanes Peninsula) can be arranged at discount fares for SEEDS participants in case there is additional free time after work or during the weekends.
Approximate Location: The skiing areas of Bláfjöll and Skálafell are both about 30 minutes drive away from the city. Bláfjöll is south-west of the city and Skálafell is located to the east of Reykjavik. Both areas have great slopes for downhill skiing and snowboarding as well as tracks for cross-country skiing. Bláfjöll has 16 lifts and Skálafell has 4 lifts. The sports area in Skálafell is situated between the elevations of 380 and 700 m. The Blue Mountain range stretches to the west from the mountain Vifilsfell near the main road (#1) from the capital area to the South-western lowlands.
Notes: Volunteers shall be prepared for physical outdoors work & should bring good working shoes and clothes. In the mountains, the weather can change quickly and drastically. Even if it is summer, the weather can be cold or rainy. We recommend to bring good walking shoes/boots, warm and/or waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats) as most of the tasks and activities take place outside.
The areas are excellent for recreation, not only for alpine and cross country skiing, but outdoor activities as well such as hiking and mountain biking. Nature lovers are certain to find something they like there, but it’s important to be careful crossing the rugged lava fields because of the numerous caves underneath.