Ascent of Iceland's highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur

The ascent is a challenge for serious hikers but the rewards are the breathtaking views across Vatnajökull and southeast Iceland, and the experience of hiking through a glacial wilderness.
We drive up to the snowy glacier slopes of the volcano Öræfajökull, then using Nordic skis with skins underneath, (or snowshoes), we walk up the slopes until we reach the southern edge of the 1820 meter high crater. There we remove the skins and cross country ski across the smooth, 4 km wide glacier filled crater. Then, on the NW side of the crater, we ascend the peak Hvannadalshnúkur with the aid of crampons and ice axe

  • Period All year round, but not Sundays
  • Duration About 12 hours
  • Group size 2 to 8 people
  • Price €463 pr. person (2 pax)- €356 pr. person (3 pax) - €285 pr. person (4 pax)
Good clothing and fitness is essential, skiing skills aren't !

People near Iceland's highest peak on Vatnajokull, 2110 m

Equipment list

ExplorIceland provides you with:

  • Harness with carabiner for rope attachment
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Skis or snowshoes
You must bring:
  • Warm clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Sunglasses
  • Food and drink

Clothing requirements:

Even on a sunny day in summer, there may be wintery conditions up on the glacier. It is essential for your own comfort and safety that you have suitable clothing. Cotton is a poor insulator when wet, therefore you should not wear cotton garments next to the skin, and especially not jeans.

BODY layering system for temperature control, e.g. thermal top + fleece or woolen mid layer+ fleece/down/wool jacket + wind and waterproof jacket

LEGS hiking trousers or thermal leggings + wind and waterproof outer layer

FEET hiking socks or woolen socks, if you use our skis we provide the boots but if you use our snowshoes you will use your own. If you have gaiters, bring them. Bring also spare socks with you!

HANDS wind/waterproof and warm gloves or mittens

HEAD woolen/fleece hat or headband + jacket hood

FACE ski mask or balaclava or scarf. If you have sun block bring it.

About rucksack:

Must be big enough to carry ice axe, crampons, food, drink and most of your outer layers of clothing when you are too hot! On some parts of the route we need to carry the skis or snowshoes on the rucksack. (Arrange the contents so that you can use the rucksack as a seat in the snow, and put everything that must not get wet in plastic bags). About sunglasses:

Without of some sort of eye protection you risk snow blindness. Normal sunglasses with UV protection will do, but of course glacier sunglasses or ski goggles are the best. Food and drink:

Important to have enough to drink! Minimum 2 liter's. Not too much food! Snacking is more important than a big picnic. Example; 2 sandwiches + apple + packet of biscuits + mix of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate.

If there is something in the list above that you do not have or are unsure about, then please say so before we go. I may be able to lend you what you need. Be careful that batteries in your camera are fresh. Cameras tend to freeze on the top! Don't hesitate to email if you have any questions.

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