Trail running: Drangshilðar (aka Mount Suribachi)

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I’m currently working out of Skógar in South Iceland, home of the world famous Skógafoss waterfall and trailhead of the magnificent Fimmvorðuhals trail. After you’ve gotten over the novelty of this wall of water thundering down, the next thing you notice is this imposing hill dominating the handful of houses. I’ve been itching to get up there to see if I could find a nice route to train my anti-gravity endurance and today was just the perfect day to do it.


GET THE GPX FILE HERE

Skógar is a handful of houses in the south of Iceland right near the Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjökull – Iceland’s fourth largest ice cap. Drangshilðar is just over 400m high and gives beautiful views over the coastline and all the way to the hills at the foot of the ice cap. The base of the hill is mostly very steep cliffs where all kinds of sea birds have their nests, and the quickest way to get up there is through a weak spot near a small road leading up to a farm house. It’s hard to describe how to get to it, but just check out the GPX file and you’ll be led right up to it. You have to climb over some barbed wire, but nothing too difficult.

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Once you’ve found the way through the cliffs – passing a beautiful small waterfall coming off the plateau – you quickly enter a sea of grass. With good visibility the route is quite obvious. There are no trails or markings to guide you, but so long as you keep in mind that the western ridge is the least steep one, you’ll be fine. The flanks are quite steep though, so it’s not advisable to go there in damp conditions as the grass is bound to be very slippery, but in dry conditions the footing is pretty solid.

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Near the top the terrain becomes rockier, but the summit is quite docile and a perfect place to enjoy the views. All in all it’s a +- 8km run (more like powerhike) with +- 470m’s of altitude difference over blissfully soft terrain. If passing a night in Skógar on the campground or the hotel, I highly recommend going up there to enjoy the views.

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