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Hraundrangi (centre), photographed from Öxnadalur in June 2007
Highest point
Elevation1,075 m (3,527 ft)
Coordinates65°35′24″N 18°35′43″W / 65.59000°N 18.59528°W / 65.59000; -18.59528Coordinates: 65°35′24″N 18°35′43″W / 65.59000°N 18.59528°W / 65.59000; -18.59528
Hraundrangi is located in Iceland
First ascent1956 by Finnur Eyjólfsson, Sigurður Waage, Nicholas Clinch

Hraundrangi (Lava Column[1] or Rockfall Spire[2]) is a conical peak in the Drangafjall ridge dividing Öxnadalur from Hörgárdalur in north Iceland. It rises to 1,075 metres (3,527 ft) above sea level, 80 metres (260 ft) above the ridge.[3] It was probably originally named simply "Drangi" and acquired the prefix from the farm of Hraun, which lies below it on the Öxnadalur side.[4] The ridge is often erroneously referred to as Hraundrangar, the plural of Hraundrangi.[4]

The mountain rises to an unusually sharp point, less than half a square metre at the peak. It is a lava spire that remains with the rest of the ridge after much of the original mountain, Háafjall, fell in a large rockslide many centuries ago.[2][5]

The first successful ascent of Hraundrangi was on 5 August 1956, by Finnur Eyjólfsson and Sigurður Waage of the Icelandic Air Ground Rescue Team and United States Air Force Lieutenant Nicholas Clinch.[3][5] A legend that a treasure chest would be found on the peak proved untrue.[5]

The mountain features in "Ferðalok" ("Journey's End"), a poem written at the end of his life by Jónas Hallgrímsson, who was born at Hraun.[6] The last stanza of the poem alludes to a legend that the saga hero Grettir the Strong climbed it and left his knife and belt on the peak as proof;[3] Hraundrangi was supposedly also called Grettisnúpa" ("Grettir's Crag") by the people of Öxnadalur.[6]

The 10,000 Icelandic krónur banknote issued in October 2013 honours Jónas Hallgrímsson and has on the obverse a background image of Hraundrangi and the rest of the ridge formed out of neologisms coined by the poet.[7]


  1. ^ Andrew Evans, Iceland, Bradt Travel Guides, 2nd ed. Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides / Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot, 2011, ISBN 9781841623610, p. 330.
  2. ^ a b "Jónas Hallgrímsson: 'Öxnadalur'", at Dick Ringler, Texts and Commentaries, University of Wisconsin, 1996–98.
  3. ^ a b c "Europe, Iceland, Hraundrangi, in Öxnadal", American Alpine Club, retrieved 29 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Bjarni E. Guðleifsson, "Hraundrangi en ekki Hraundrangar", Dagur, 25 October 1995, p. 8 (in Icelandic).
  5. ^ a b c "Hver kleif Hraundranga í Öxnadal fyrstur og hvenær var það?", Vísindavefurinn, University of Iceland, retrieved 29 March 2014 (in Icelandic)
  6. ^ a b "Jónas Hallgrímsson: 'Journey's End'", at Dick Ringler, Texts and Commentaries, University of Wisconsin, 1996–98, archived on 21 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Nýr 10.000 kr. seðill", Central Bank of Iceland, 2013 (in Icelandic); archived on 2 November 2013.

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