Móskardahnúkur peaks are connected to the Esja massif, located just northeast of Reykjavik. Quite in contrast to the level Esja plateau, Móskardahnúkur peaks are sharp and rugged, yet easily hiked.
Móskardahnúkur peaks consist of three peaks, 732m, 787m and 807m. Only the 807m peak should be called an independent mountain. The natural access point is from the south. You may reach the Esja massif from these peaks, through a narrow and dangerous ridge. This ridge is difficult because of loose rock.
Móskardahnúkur peaks also connects to the neighbour mountains Trana and Skálafell.
You will find Iceland maps on the web-sites listed below.
I am trying to obtain rough maps for use on this web page, but the sources I have checked so far demand annual royalty.
Móskardahnúkar has a primary factor of 112m towards the higher Esja massif. The saddle is near the peak 732m, on the high ridge. The saddle height - 695m is estimated from GPS, as reading the map contours on this narrow ridge is difficult.
This morning I drove Bjørn to the Keflavik airport before I drove back to the hotel and tried to figure out where to go on my last day on Iceland. On our trip to Þingvellir the day before, I had looked towards the Móskardahnúkur peaks, and found them to look interesting. The big question was how the weather would turn out, as the clouds and rain had come the day before. I noticed that the high ground on Esja was hidden in the fog, but decided to take my chances.
I headed towards Þingvellir and turned left onto a gravel road signed Hrafnhólum. I stopped by a horse farm and asked for information. The guy - a photographer who had traded the fashion world in New York for horses on Iceland, gave me good driving directions. We spent some time talking before I drove on. 3,4Km after leaving the highway, I turned right onto another gravel road, closed by a gate. I made pretty good sure I closed the gate well behind me. Just the thought of unleashing a dozen horses or so, seemed to be a really bad thing to do. I continued on this road for another 1,4Km until the road conditions were too bad for driving. I parked the car by some summer houses near the Skardsá river, and found myself as close to the mountains as I could possible come.
By 11:35AM, the clouds were breaking up on the high peaks, and the sun was shining through. My guidebook indicated a path directly up to the main peak, but I decided to try a round-trip and start off with the westernmost peak. Due to fog, it wasn't quite clear if this route would be doable, but after a while I could see that people had walked up here before. And the ridge did not offer any problems. On top of the ridge, I was between the Móskardahnúkur peaks and the Laufaskörd ridge, connecting Esja and the Móskardahnúkur peaks. I had seen on a map that this ridge was dangerous, and went over to take a look. Yes, the map was right. This was a bit spooky. Doable, but spooky. The trail runs around the peaks on the ridge, but it's easy to fall. Going across the peaks involves discovering really bad rock quality. This was the anyhow the wrong way, and I started my walk across the Móskardahnúkur peaks.
From the start of the ridge, the peaks - now cloud free - looked like a serious route, but the looks were quite deceiving. The route across these peaks was trivial and never too narrow for comfort. After having passed peak 732m and 787m, I reached peak 807m at 12:15PM. The weather was just great on this side of the Esja massif. I was sitting down, looking towards Trana (743m) and Skálafell (774m) that connected to the peak I was on. It would have been easy to made a longer hike out of this, but neither of the mountains attracted me much. I decided to head back down and start packing my bags. I walked down to the saddle between peaks 774m and 807m and followed a trail that was running in the direction of the trailhead. I lost the trail after a while, but it was easy enough to just continue off-trail. I was back down just after 13:00PM.
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