Rótarfjallshnúkur skiing


About the tour

Rótafjallshnúkur is a magnificent place, this expedition takes you to the one of many peaks on Öræfajökull. Hiking up to the peak is not a technical climb but it requires good stamina, hiking time is from 9-13 hours.

Our guide will meet you the day before the tour to make sure you know what the summit day is going to be like. Our guides will also go over how the glacier gear works. We also want to know your experience in mountains to set the starting time right. If you are a beginner we start earlier so we can do this on a nice pace, but if you are a good hiker and used to mountaineering we can start later in the morning, the main purpose is to be on the summit around 13:00 a clock (1pm).

The trip starts early in the morning, our guides will meet you at Sandfell (Sand hill) which is the beginning of the hike. The first part is a steep gravel hill that take us from 100 meters up to 700m. The good thing about this first hill is that you can refill your water bottle in a spring around 500 meters high, so you don’t need to bring a lot of water for the first 1-2 hours, this is also a nice place to grab some snack.

We will continue on gravel, rocks and snow up to 1100m. This place is called Skerið or (the reef) at this point we put on harnesses and rope up for the glacier ahead. This is another good place to eat and drink something so it’s nice to stop and take in the nature and view the area.

Next part we will go from 1100m up to 1800m that is a long snow hill and will lead us to the plateau of Öræfajökull glacier. On a clear day the view can be beautiful in this area so it’s nice to break up this hill with some stops to drink and take some photos. The main danger on this part are crevasses, that our guides will navigate through. This is also a good time to look at the hill you are going to ski down.

When we get to the plateau it’s a perfect place to have some lunch and enjoy the view and the achievements of the morning. After lunch we start to cross the plateau to the summit itself. The summit rises to the east above the plateau. We make a short break below the summit and put on crampons. On clear days the view from the top is stunning, you can see Hvannadalshnúkur, Kvíárjökull and part of Vatnajökull ice cap.
Next, we’ll hike back down to the skiis and enjoy the 900-1400meters ski slope back to the car. it depends on conditions how far we can ski down.


It‘s nice to take 3 days to do this hike,

Day 1: Drive to Skaftafell
Day 2: Summit day 7-10hours
Day 3: Sleep, recover and drive back. We don’t recommend to drive back to Reykjavík the same day as the hike is.


Duration / Walking: 7 – 10 hour

Level of difficulty: 4/5

Age Min: 13 years

Pax: min 2pax – max 6pax

Time of year: Summer

Pick up: not available

Meet on location: Freysnes or Hotel Skaftafell.

Meeting time: 06:00


We provide:

  • Glacier gear
  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Ropes
  • Carabiners
  • Harness
  • Local Glacier guide

You Bring:

  • Warm cloths:
    • Rain gear pants & jacket
    • Down or primaloft jacket ( can be nice on lunch brake)
  • ski boots
  • Hat & gloves
  • 20-30L backpack
  • Food & water for the day
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • skis
  • helmet
  • skins for skis
  • crampons for skis

You can rent some of this gear from us if you don‘t have it.

About the weather in Iceland
Weather in Iceland can change fast so if the weather is not good for this hike day we may have to cancel this trip or we can move the hike to the next day if that is better.