Vestri Hnappur is one of the peaks of Öræfajökull. It is located on the south rim of Öræfajökull. The peak is 1851m and you can enter the climb around 1700m.
In order to access this peak, we traveled along the antenna access road behind Foss Hotel Glacier Lagoon and up to about 800 meters. We came to Stigárjökull at about 1000 meters and roped up from there to the base of the Vestri Hnappur. This ascent was done in April so there were almost no exposed crevasses on the way up to Vestri Hnappur.
This climb is between both Einhyringar and Gnar for Breakfast. This path follows the avalanche gully, which is slightly steep but somewhat mellows out after the initial 3 meter steeper section. From there, it’s about a 50degree snow climb until the section just below the summit, which is the last tricky area until the walk to the top.
Overall, it’s not very changing climb but the lack of reliable protection makes it one to think about. It would do you well to carry 3 snow pickets and use 1 as an intermediate belay and the other 2 to make a bomber anchor to belay up the second.
Lastly, why ‘Gratitude’?
Being in this country has been a pleasure beyond belief. So much opportunity exists here to learn and grow as an alpinist and a guide. This climb goes out to all the Icelandic alpinists both current and past, who have laid the foundation that allows us to play in this amazing alpine environment.
Eystri Hnappur is a peak on the south-east rim of Öræfajökull at stands at 1758m tall. It is possible to drive up to about 6-700 meters depending on road conditions.
In order to access Eystri Hnappur one must traverse into the crevasse fields below the peak. This can pose one of the most formidable challenges depending on the season and the condition of the many crevasses. It would probably be impassible in late May / June.
Our traverse into the crevasse field started at about 1640m and after some tight navigation through through broken ice and a thin bridge, we made it to the base of the climb. The first pitch itself can range from WI3 to WI3 + depending on the line one would choose. There are some exposed sections and technical moves to the first belay. Protection is minimal at best less one takes the time to make a t-slot. This first pitch was lead by Mike and is about 50+ meters.
The second pitch, which was a ridge traverse was about 50 + m and poorly protected. The pendulum risk is high here as protecting the ridge itself was not possible due to the deep snow. Riggi set up a belay after the 50+ meter pitch halfway up the ridge using a vertical picket and screw and Mike set off for the third pitch.
The third pitch (55 + meters) was another ridge traverse with fall hazard on both sides. Again, protection was sparse and was only possible once the ridge ended and transformed into the final ascent slope. Both a deadman and vertical picket were placed for the belay. Zanet lead the final pitch to the summit. The descent down takes the standard north face route.
FA: Mike Reid, Ra Dost & Rögnvaldur Finnbogason
Why “Stinky Chick”?
This pitch is dedicated to Zanet as it was both her birthday but also, and most importantly, she is a woman who breaks free of stereotypes of what a women should be and forges her own path of adventure and awesomeness. She has no regrets after coming down from big days of adventure a little “Stinky” and owns it proudly. This one is for you “Stinky Chick”, you are an inspiration.
Vestari Hnappur er einn tinda Öræfajökuls og situr á öskjunni sunnanverðri. Hnappurinn er 1851m hár og klifrið hefst í rúmlega 1700m hæð.
Aðkoma: Hnappaleið liggur beint við. Hægt er að keyra upp í 8-900m hæð upp jeppaslóða sem byrjar rétt austan við Foss Hótel Hnappavelli. Þaðan er gengið upp vestan við Stigárjökul upp í um 1200m hæð þar sem komið er á jökul. Jökullinn neðan við Hnapp er heldur sprunginn og geta erfiðleikar í aðkomu farið eftir árstíma og snjóalögum. Ef aðstæður eru erfiðar væri Sandfellsleið einnig möguleiki og þá þyrfti að fikra sig austur eftir öskjubrúninni inn að Hnappnum.
Leiðin er staðsett austan við eldri leiðina Einhyrningar og liggur upp snjóflóðagilið, sem er þokkalega bratt en aðeins dregur úr hallanum eftir fyrstu fimm til sex metrana. Hér tekur við rúmlega fimmtíu gráðu snjóklifur þar til komið er upp undir lokahaftið, seinasta erfiðleika leiðarinnar áður en hægt er að ganga upp á topp Hnapps.
Allt í allt er klifrið ekki mjög krefjandi, en tryggingamöguleikar geta reynst síðri en best yrði á kosið. Ísskrúfur virðast alla jafna gera lítið gagn enda kom ég einungis þremur fyrir í leiðinni (þar af einungis einni traustvekjandi), en ef auka snjótrygging er tekin með getur hún reynst vel sem millitrygging.
Michael Reid, Eugene Gilbun og Deividas Matkevicius – 24. júní 2019
Myndin sýnir annan mann að elta upp í 50° snjóbrekkuna