Skiing the Pacific Ring of Fire and Beyond
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| Snaefell with rock glaciers pouring from the eroded crater
(photo by D. J. A. Evans)   <click to enlarge>

Snæfell
    6014 ft (1833 m) .
Location: Eastern Iceland, northeast edge of Vatnajokull,
40 miles (60 km) NW of Hofn
Lat / Long: 64.8° N, 16.1° W
Volcanic Type: Eroded stratovolcano
Volcanic Status: Extinct
First Ascent:
First Ski Descent:
Skiable Vertical: over 3300 ft (1000 m) locally, with
over 6000 ft (1500 m) across Vatnajokull to the coast



Snaefell is the fourth highest mountain in Iceland, an old eroded stratovolcano located just to the northeast of the Vatnajokull icefield, and not be confused with the more famous Snaefellsjokull which lies at the opposite end of the country on the west coast. The comparatively cold and arid climate in the rain shadow of Vatnajokull supports only small glaciers in the highest parts of the eroded crater of Snaefell, but there are also extensive rock glaciers lower down (rock glaciers are masses of rock cemented with interstitial ice, which flow downhill in the same manner as regular glaciers but much more slowly). Despite Snaefell's age and advanced state of erosion, there remain some good slopes for ski mountaineering. Access is easy from a dirt road which leads to a hut west of the massif, and continuing south from here is another standard entry point onto the Vatnajokull icefield and its lengthy traverse routes.



More photos and info about routes, access, etc. may be added in the future ...


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




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