Hvannadalshnjúkur  / May 26 2012
ascend  2184 meters
type  Cross-countryskiing
Glacier Hundar
Hvannadalshnjúkur / May 26 2012
Glacier Hundar
  • distance 184.7km
  • ascent 2184m
  • descent 3158m
  • lowest 23m
  • highest 2110m
  • duration 7 Days
short description

This was a 10-day trip on mostly flat glacier, so cross-country skis were the most comfortable and useful and we just needed to walk for sections too steep for these skis. We mostly camped on the glacier, but 2 nights were spent in unmanned basic huts. The route was carefully chosen to have a gradual ascent and 3 summits (Kverkf...

This was a 10-day trip:

Day 1 (May 24, 2012): drive to climbing area near Skálafellsjökull and camp at climbing area.

Day 2: Leave 8 am to be driven to Jöklasel (starting ski point). Begin skiing closer to noon. Ski until 18:00, covering 15 km and raising elevation roughly 800 m. Conditions were wet snow and very little visibility (clouds / fog), but the...

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Starting point Skálafelssjökull
Getting there Our route started at Skálafellsjökull. This is about a 1 hour drive beyond the national park Skaftafell. We drove there in our own cars and then left them at a local climbing area. From there we got a ride from a local guiding company  in a large modified Range Rover. to our ski starting point. There is a dirt road that leads up to the restaurant / snow-mobile rental house Jöklasel. This is one of the easiest approaches because the glacier has a gradual ascent and the road leads up to the snow, so we did not have to carry our sleds any distance. The road, however, is not in the best condition and would be challenging even for normal 4-wheel drive drive vehicles.
Parking At a little-known climbing area where no one would mind.
Public transit We paid the guiding service Öræfaferðir to drive us up to the glacier and pick us up at the end point.
Directions Most of the days were straight lines from Skálafellsjökull to Kverkfjöll to Grimsvötn to Hvannadalshnjúkur. These straight lines were modified to go around many steep crevassed areas. When entering Kverkfjöll, we followed the high route to the east side of the bowl. When entering Öræfajökull again we followed the high route. We have been warned that these two areas are especially difficult under bad visibility due to relatively narrow regions of crevasse avoidance.
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Pamela Woods
teamleader, 37 years

I am a U.S. citizen living half-time in the U.S. and half-time in Iceland as a PhD student enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA, and at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, Iceland. I study fish biology in Icelandic and Alaskan lakes, so I spend a lot of my time outdoors, both professionally and for fun. I joined the Mountaineers Club in Seattle a couple years ago, and since then have been squeezing in as many trips into the mountains as possible between studies. I plan to celebrate my graduation with this adventure. Hopefully another PhD student and friend (also with Mammut mountain in Iceland) will be joining so we have a double graduation adventure!

Wendy Woods
Member, 49 years

I love being outdoors--I need some sun on my face every day! As an oceanographer I do sometimes get to work outside, but more often I'm in a lab or at a computer, so after work I like to play! I love beach volleyball, kayaking, tennis, scuba, boating/fishing, skiing and snowboarding, though on a daily basis I most often run or bike. I am a camera bug so I enjoy hikes through interesting landscapes and travel to experience different cultures.

Haffi Hafsteinsson
Member, 32 years

I enjoy anything with a challenge, especially in learning new sports and training. I love to meet new people, travel, and have adventures. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice, but always with a good attitude. Sometimes it takes having a foreign girlfriend to realize that I haven't explored my own country enough though...

Arianne Gaehwiller
Member, 44 years

This user has not entered any information yet.

Camille Leblanc
Member, 34 years

I am a young scientist, originally from France but working in Iceland since a few years. I am enjoying the beautiful Nature of Iceland and I have been dreaming about hiking on the mythic Vatnajokull glacier for a while! With the Mammut project this dream could turn reality with the insurance of having the right guide and an awesome team of friends! I am a beginner in mountaineering but I am a pretty outdoory person. I have been a free- lance and full-time rafting guide for the last four years in North Iceland (check it out: So I have more experience with water than ice :) and after all water and ice maybe not be that different, right ? I did some trekking in Iceland including the Laugavegur Trail (Þórsmörk - Landmannalaugar with Wendy and Pamela our team leader), glacier hiking on one of the glacier tongue of Vatnajokull! Last winter I went up Maelifell (highest point of North Iceland) using crampons and ice peak for the first time! My next expedition is scheduled for November 2011: a white water expedition on the Tamur River, Nepal, in full autonomy for 12 days including 3 days trekking and 5 days class 4-5 rafting. Overall I will simply say that I am a good team player and I am always looking forward to new adventure and sport challenges. I will be a nice addition to the team by bringing sense of humor, knowledge about Iceland and wilderness. Finally I can also do some french cooking to motivate the group :)

Anup Gurung
Member, 35 years

I was born in Himalaya but white water sport fascinated me before alpine sport. But for last 11 years, after hanging around with lots of climbers and monkeys, it dragged me in. Today I am into it but long way to go. As I say "we are never perfect when it comes to deal with Mother NATURE"