Ascent of Laki on 2006-06-24

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Garrett Clark
Dain Carmen
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 24, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Elevation:2664 ft / 811 m

Ascent Trip Report

My second ascent of Laki, this time with friends and more than one vehicle. See my ascent of Laki from a week prior to learn about the weekend and how my truck broke down in the middle of nowhere...

This weekend was destined to be better. I went with Dain and Garrett and we took 2 different trucks in order to switch out towing my truck as needed. Since we came out this whole way, we decided to explore both Lakagígar and Fagrifoss first. The re-ascent of Laki was enjoyable and we spent a better part of the day exploring the area again.

The original issue with the truck was that when I went to downshift into first gear, the transmission sent up a puff of smoke through the shifter and I immediately shut my engine down in case it was on fire. This shows how little I know about vehicle repair. When I went to restart it, I couldn't get it into gear as if the clutch wouldn't engage. My hike out is detailed in the other trip report. While I was back at work for the week, I talked with some redneck guys from Georgia who can fix anything. One of them told me that based on what I told him, it was either a bad clutch or a leak in the clutch fluid line. I immediately ordered a clutch from his buddy in Georgia who promised it would arrive within a week. Upon our arrival at my truck, I tried what he suggested, which was starting the engine without engaging the clutch and while the transmission was in first gear. It worked! I was in gear and moving! Naturally, we had already hooked the tow strap up to the front end of my truck, but not yet to Garrett or Dain's trucks. I drove around them and made a beeline for the main road, yelling at them to follow me while I was moving under my own power. I had to kill the engine when I reached a gate that needed to be opened to drive through. This was fine since I dragged the tow strap through the mud for a mile or so and needed to remove it and toss it in the back. From this point, we hatched a strategy by which Dain would drive well ahead of us, opening any gates as needed and Garrett would drive behind me to close them as needed. The guys also suggested that I try granny shifting to move along faster than first gear would allow. They instructed me to just get the RPMs up to 3,500 and just slip the transmission into the next gear. This worked, though anytime that I needed to stop required a restart of the engine. We also agreed that we would keep it in 4th gear so I could make it through the towns without killing the engine. I needed 2 or 3 restarts to make it through the traffic in Selfoss, and it was here that we came up with another idea of just towing me through Reykjavík with Dain's truck to avoid stopping at all of the lights and stop signs. This worked well, and we finally made it back to the base by the evening. As it turned out, the problem was a leaky clutch fluid line that I was able to assist in the repair of with the redneck guys from Georgia who immediately diagnosed the problem, found a spare part in the junkyard for 100 krónur ($1.35 at the time) and fixed it over a 2 day span in the ambulance parking lot at my work. Now, I had a $120 clutch I didn't need and couldn't return....

Anyway, Laki was a great hike the second time and I got my truck back from the countryside.

The pictures include some of the final pictures from my failing camera (seen around my neck in one of the photos) as well as some pictures from Garrett's camera.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:695 ft / 211 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:695 ft / 211 m
    Start Trailhead:1969 ft / 600 m
Descent Statistics

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