Skiing the Pacific Ring of Fire and Beyond
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W. EUROPE &
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  Beerenberg
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  Katla
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MIDDLE EAST &
CENTRAL ASIA MAP


AFRICA MAP




| Closeup view of Hvannadalshnukur,
the highest peak of Oraefajokull, from the east
(photo by Hjalmar Bardarson)   <click to enlarge>

Öræfajökull
    6952 ft (2119 m)     Highest point in Iceland .
Major Peaks:
Hvannadalshnukur:     6952 ft (2119 m)
Sveinstindar:     6706 ft (2044 m)
Snaebrid:     6696 ft (2041 m)
Location: Southeast Iceland, southern edge of Vatnajokull,
50 miles (80 km) SW of Hofn
Lat / Long: 64.0° N, 16.7° W
Volcanic Type: Stratovolcano with caldera
Volcanic Status: Active, last eruption 1728
First Ascent: Oraefajokull massif: Svein Palsson, 1794
Hvannadalshnukur: Frederick W. W. Howell,
        Pall Jonsson, and Thorlakur Thorlaksson, 1891
First Ski Descent:
Skiable Vertical: over 6500 ft (2000 m)



Oraefajokull is the highest and largest volcano in Iceland, and also one of the most spectacular. A broad squat cone topped by a flat 3 mile (5 km) diameter ice-filled summit caldera, its volume of about 90 cubic miles (370 cubic km) compares favorably with much taller stratovolcanoes such as California's Mount Shasta. Located directly beside the Atlantic Ocean, it juts out as a peninsula from the southern end of the Vatnajokull icefield, and magnificent outlet glaciers spill in all directions from its summit caldera. Like several other of the more accessible Icelandic volcanoes, its climbing history dates back over two centuries and it remains one of the most popular areas for climbing and ski mountaineering. Access to Oraefajokull is exceptionally easy from roads to the south, and it provides a standard starting point for a traverse of Vatnajokull.



| Topographic map of Oraefajokull (1:100,000 scale)
<click to enlarge>

| View of Oraefajokull form the south near the coastal highway
<click to enlarge>
More photos and info about routes, access, etc. may be added in the future ...


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Amar Andalkar   Seattle, WA, USA   <About the Author / Contact Me>
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