Europe, Iceland, Hraundrangi, in Öxnadal

Publication Year: 1957.

Hraundrangi, in Öxnadal. Two members of the Icelandic Air Ground Rescue Team, Finnur Eyjolfsson and Sigurdur Waage, accompanied by Lieut. Nicholas B. Clinch, USAF, accomplished the first ascent of Hraundrangi, August 5-6, 1956. The peak stands nearly vertical, 80 meters above the Hraun ridge, and has defied all ordinary means of climbing. The sagas relate that the hero Grettir Asmundarson had climbed it in ancient times and had left a knife and a belt on the top, “to belong to the one who could get it.” The fact that nothing was found on the summit seems to prove either that someone had been there since Grettir, or that the hero had never been there at all—the latter appears to be the case, notwithstanding the saga. Enticed less by the legendary prizes than by the challenge of the peak itself, the three climbers flew from Reykyavík to Akureyri, where assistance was rendered by the local AGR as far as the base of the peak, on the Hraun ridge. From this base the climb was effected in nine hours, up and down, with the aid of pitons, nylon ropes, and other modern gear. (From Icelandic newspaper clippings.)