From Iceland — Hiking Mt. Kirkjufell Is Now Prohibited

Hiking Mt. Kirkjufell Is Now Prohibited

Published November 8, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The landowners of Kirkjufell, Háls and Búðá have decided to ban all walks on Kirkjufell from today until mid-June, reports Vísir. There have been three deaths on the mountain in four years.

In mid-October, there was a fatal accident at Kirkjufell by Grundarfjörður when a tourist fell down the mountain’s slopes. The conditions were not good, and in winter the slopes of the mountain get wet and slippery.

On Saturday, the landowners met with the mayor and planning representative of Grundarfjarðarbær, representatives from the emergency services and the Tourism Office to discuss the escalating number of tourists making their way to Kirkjufell and the number of serious accidents that have occurred while hiking up the mountain.

In the announcement from the landowners, it is said that the attendees agreed that the priority is to ensure the safety of travelers and emergency responders. It was therefore decided to ban all ascents to Kirkjufell.

“In conversations, especially with foreign tourists, we have noticed that people do not perceive the dangers and decide, despite warnings, to go to the mountain poorly equipped and in dangerous conditions. According to the information provided by the responders, most of the accidents have occurred in the fall and winter, when the conditions are the most difficult and little can be done to prevent people from tripping and falling down the steep slopes,” says the announcement.

The ban is valid from today until June 15 next year. Signs will soon be placed at the ascent to the mountain and the parking lot at Kirkjufellsfoss.

“At the same time, the time until next spring will be used to further work on future security issues and accessibility in the area. For that purpose, a consultation group will be established, made up of representatives of landowners, emergency responders, Grundarfjörður and other public bodies involved in tourist safety and nature conservation,” the announcement says.

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