Hrafntinnusker – Highlands of Iceland

Hrafntinnusker is a mountain (1.128m high) or a large ridge in the Icelandic Highland.. It is a volcano that most geologists assume is not going to erupt anytime soon, though. The mountain takes its name from the black glass rocks “Hrafntinna”, obsidian, formed when a rhyolite flowing magma cools extremely fast in an eruption. The Obsidian is a fascinating geological phenomenon. Such rocks are scattered around the whole are at Hrafntinnusker. Obsidians are in effect volcanic glass formed as sharp rock which are produced when flowing lava cools with minimal crystal growth. The reason for its jaggedness is the fact it is so hard and brittle and breaks easily. Those are very beautiful and we think of them as a national treasure and it is forbidden to remove them at all

Although a mountain, the second half of its name is Skerry, but not a mountain, and this is believed to be in accordance with naming traditions in the eastern parts of the lowland around Syðri Fjallabak, in Skaftafell.

Hrafntinnusker is a unique place, even in the diverse landscape flora in Iceland. It is a mountain with a small glacier on top. A relatively large active geothermal area with much of the activity under the ice. The ground is constantly delivering smoke while you visit the place. It is located in a very remote part of Iceland. It has ice caves because of the heat under the glacier and it offers a grand view because of the height of the mountain. As fascinating as the ice caves are they are also very dangerous as no one really knows how and when parts fall from the ceiling or inside the caves. It is recommended that people do to enter the caves as vast and lethal parts can fall from the walls and ceiling of the caves.

Hrafntinnusker is where so many things in Iceland seem to come together in a visible way. On one hand you have unbelievable views Southward to where deep green valleys and enticing blue lakes and streams are visible in summertime. Turn North and snow and ice pack the rather more barren and grey landscape as far as one can see. The simple contrast makes for a memorable Kodak moment.

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