What started out as a quick jaunt up Mt. Klakkur, quickly turned into an epic, exhausting adventure that I’ll never forget.
The main/most famous attraction in the Snæfellsnes Penninsula is Kirkjufell, that iconic cone-shaped mountain usually in the background of a waterfall shot. And while you can climb up Kirkjufell, it was recommended to do with a local guide, as it is very confusing and steep, with several chain assisted climb sections. And while that in itself does sound very exciting, I had slipped on enough rocks in the past week to know how slippery Iceland can get when the weather turns (which is really anytime, with little warning). I felt I had tempted fate enough with my snowy drive adventures. Coupled with the thought of making my parents fly out to Iceland to visit me in the hospital with two broken legs and what I can only assume would be every rib broken or bruised was enough to convince me to save it for a return trip to Iceland.
So I opted to conquer a different mountain, Mt. Klakkur. 5 miles it said, how hard could that be? Ah, right, hard. It could be hard. I got a late start on the trail, having a pretty packed day of other adventures, but I’m a glutton for jam-packed, can’t do anything else but sleep kinda days, so I did it anyway.
Finding the trail head was hard, and keeping on the path was even harder. At the time of my hike, there was no signage to the parking area, I tried to pinpoint it as best I could on the directions link below. The lot is a stone’s throw away from a small waterfall, and immediately upon leaving the parking area you’ll cross a minor stream and start walking towards the aforementioned waterfall.
Assuming that is all good follow the GPX file below, the beginning is very well maintained, but as soon as you take your first right off that trail things fade out pretty quickly. Keep your eyes posted for green stakes (get it, eyes posted) about three feet high sticking out of the shale, you want to aim towards those. Most of the time you can see at least one stake ahead, but sometimes I got a bit lost. You’ll have one warm up ascent, followed by some flat, and then get ready for the thigh killer.
Once you have finished climbing up (I was on all fours for a good portion of it), good luck finding the trail again! While my GPX track may look like a nice little loop on the mountain top, it was all by ear. Use good judgment as the rock slabs are very fragile and many will slide or break underfoot. The Icelandic landscape is very fragile, so when at all possible try not to crush the moss underfoot but sticking to the most solid areas.
As most places in Iceland, the top was very windy, so I didn’t stick along fr too long. Just long enough to have some chocolate, snap some pics and start the descent, the knee killer. There were a couple of portions that as a solo hiker made me bit nervous (in late April, there was still a bit of snow on some of the ascent), but again, play it safe and you’re in for quite an adventure!