Ascent of Snæfellsjökull on 2020-07-01

Climber: Dhruv Garg

Date:Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:4744 ft / 1445 m

Ascent Trip Report

Snæfellsjökull is one of the most famous volcanoes in Iceland as it supposedly contains the passageway to the center of the earth (For more info, please direct your queries to Jules Verne).

My girlfriend and I were exploring the Icelandic west coast after summiting Hekla a day ago and decided to give Snæfellsjökull a try before making our way back to Eyjafjallajökull (5417'). The weather looked very promising and the 24/7 daylight assured us of ample time to summit the archaic volcano. Looking at the road conditions online, it said that F570 was impassable. We drove our 4x4 on F570 for about 6.7km until we hit the dreaded impassable sign due to a 100m snow patch. It was clear that this was as far as our rental car would go.

We took all our glacier gear even though the glacier is thick enough that it's somewhat safe to walk on it without roping up. After traversing the lava fields, the namesake glacier presented itself with its crevasses looking ominous up above. As expected, the terrain didn't warrant the need to rope up as long as we stayed away from the obvious crevasses. Climbing the glacier, we tried to loosely follow the trail reports online using the northern ridge as a handrail. It was a straight-forward march all the way to the summit plateau with a small crevasse crossing that needed careful probing.

Once on the summit plateau, we could see the signature summit cone rising 150' above us. With our crampons strapped and ice axe in hand, we started the climb to the summit with measured and well-established steps on the steep icy slopes. It was slow-moving but we finally stood atop the mountain with a 360 degree view as a reward for all the hardwork. After snapping photos to our hearts' content, we started the sketchy downclimb. We got back to the summit plateau, took off our crampons, and started our way down. We took a more easterly route than our way-up to cut down on the mileage. If you decide to do the same, you might be able to spot an abandoned ski lift on the easterly slopes. We had 2 classic Icelandic volcanoes in the bag with more to come.

Trip times (excluding stopped time for gear change):

  • Parking spot to summit plateau (~1390m) - 2.40 hours

  • Summit plateau to true summit (~1441m) - 40 mins

  • True summit to summit plateau - 20 mins

  • Summit plateau to parking spot - 1.05 hours

On to the next mountain on our trip...
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2467 ft / 751 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2467 ft / 751 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2467 ft / 751 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:NE slopes
    Start Trailhead:2277 ft / 694 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2467 ft / 751 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Eastern slopes
    End Trailhead:2277 ft / 694 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dhruv Garg
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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