Þumall Hike & climb


About the tour

Þumall is 1279m above sea level. Back in the old days this mountain was said to be unclimbable and if you see the north wall of the column you get why. It was first climbed in 1974 and did not get many visitors over the next years. This rock is  basalt columns based on south edge of Vatnajökull and rises 120meters over the ice cap.

We don’t recommend trying hiking from Skaftafell to the summit of Þumall in one day. We start hiking from Skaftafell at noon The hike to the base of Þumall takes about one day, we recommend to do this in 2 – 3 days. Day one we start the hike from Skaftafell at noon and walk in the long valley named Morsárdalur, we follow the old river banks to the end of the valley right under Hnútudalur hills that we will go up the next day. That’s where we camp and sleep to gain power for a long day ahead.

Second day is a long one, from the camp side up to Þumall is 1200meters elevation gain, over different landscapes and stunning views over the valley (Morsárdalur). From the top of Hnútudalur to Þumall is a 250meters long ridge that can be challenging if there is no snow. We traverse under Þumall, get to the north side and start the climb. This traverse is on a glacier so we need to rope up for that part. From this location we can see the edge of Vatnajökull glacier and the east coast. The climb is one of the most beautiful ones in Iceland, it’s simple but takes 2-3 hours. After we abseil down 120 meters, we pack down the climbing gear and hike back to the camp. There we’ll pack up our tents and walk back to Skaftafell.

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

Day 1: Drive to Skaftafell, walk to Morsárdalur valley and camp
Day 2: Summit day 10-13 hours
Day 3: Pack up in Morsárdalur and walk back to Skaftafell.


Duration / Climbing: 3-4 hours
Elevation: 120 m.
III 5.5 /5.6

Level of difficulty: 5/5

Age min: 16 years

Pax: min 2pax – max 4pax

Time of year: summer

Pick up: Reykjavík, 8:00.

Meeting on location: You can meet us at Skaftafell national park, information center.

Meeting time:  12:00, Skaftafell national park


We provide:

  • Climbing gear
  • Helmet
  • Ropes
  • Climbing shoes
  • Harness
  • Local guide
  • Tents
  • Mattresses
  • Cooking gear
  • Dry food
  • Coffee & tea

You bring:

  • Warm cloths:
    • Rain gear pants and jacket
    • Down or primaloft jacket (can be nice on lunch brake)
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Hat and gloves
  • 20-30L  backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Food and water for the day
  • Sunglasses

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.


Contact us if you have any questions: info@northiceexpeditions.is