As you come down the Öxnadalsheiði pass in north Iceland and into Öxnadalur valley, you are met with the atmospheric sight of Hraundrangi. The serrated ridge crowned by this pinnacle (1075 m) rises from the valley floor almost like a vertical wall. One of Iceland‘s great men, Jónas Hallgrímsson, was born here. (There is a website dedicated to him but it is in Icelandic.)
Hraundrangi was first climbed in 1956 by a party of three, an American and two Icelanders…The flat area on top of it turned out to be less that 0.5 m2. (vide Iceland Road Atlas, 11th edition)
There is an air of mystery to this area. It has the look and feel of a horror movie set or that of an extra-terrestrial landscape, depending on the lighting and weather conditions. In the first image below, we have the sun directly striking the ridge; here I saw the promise of a grayscale shot right away. The next morning turned out to be murky with wisps of clouds hovering around the pinnacle – I couldn’t have asked for a more delicious serving. For a full appreciation, these images have to be seen on a large well-calibrated monitor, or better still, in large prints.
The historic farm Hraun, birthplace of Jónas Hallgrímsson.
Open during the summer months, the Halastjarna restaurant has a dream setting.
Across the road and on the side opposite Hraundrangi lies the abandoned farm of Hólar.