Hvannadalshnjukur: The Highest mountain in Iceland
Hvannadalshnjukur: The Highest Peak in Iceland
Hvannadalshnukur, the highest peak in Icleand, stands at 2110 meters (6900 feet). Located in the southeast of Iceland on the north-western rim of the Oraefajokull volcano, the peak is part of Vatnajokull National Park.
Enhaling the view from the top of the highest mountain in Iceland is a once in a lifetime experience. Many tour companies in Iceland offer exciting and adventurous hiking excursions up Hvannadalshnjukur, the highest point in Iceland. Although climbing the mountain is not as techinically challenging, it is a lengthy hike and requires mental concentration and an immense amount of patience. Taking at least 10-15 hours, climbing Hvannadalshnukur is both physically and mentally challenging. At a total walking distance of 23km (14 miles), the land covers challenging terrain including large mountain crevasses as you walk upon glaciers making their way down to sea level.
There are two main routes to the top of Havannadalshnjukur and commence on the western flank of the mountain. As each route up the highest mountain in Iceland includes about 6600 feet of elevation gain, they each take the entire day to accomplish.
The Hryggjaleid route from the Virkisjokull glacier is used only until about mid-July and is then closed due to crevasses and an icy surface.
The more-standard Sandfellsleid route starts a bit further south and is open most of the year. The latter route takes about 12 hours (8 hours up, 4 down).
Given the equipment and expertise needed, taking a guided a hike is highly recommened in climbing Hvannadalshnjukur. Since weather in Iceland and therefore on the highest mountain in Iceland can be extremely unpredictable it’s best to go with an experienced and knowledgeable guide.