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Mt Breidamerkurfjall

Region: Highland
Coordinates: 64.153056° N 16.4° W

Mt Breidamerkurfjall (774m) is an outcrop of the country’s highest mountain, Oraefajokull (2,119m), to the west of the wide glacier snout Breidamerkurjokull. To the west of the mountain, another much smaller, but much steeper glacier tongue, the Fjallsjokull, cascades down the slopes into a small lagoon, where it calves. Those two glacier tongues touched from the turn of the 17th century to the middle of the 20th. The well vegetated mountain slopes have been good grazings for the sheep up to this date.

Kari settles differences with Flosi

During the so-called Saga Age, the farm Fjall stood at its foot, probably originally built by the first settler, Thordur Illugi Eyvindarson. Nowadays there is no sign left of its ruins, but the topographical name Baejarsker refers to its location. Farm Breida stood some distance further east. It was a large estate for ages. According to the Njal’s Saga, Kari Solmundarson, who settled his differences with Flosi, the powerful farmer of farm Svinafell, and married his niece, Hildigunnur, spent the remaining years of his life at farm Breida. It was a church site to the year 1362 and after that it was annexed to another parish. The farm was permanently abandoned just before the turn of the 17th century.

Swept away by an avalanche

One of the farmers of the nearby farm Kvisker, Sigurdur Bjornsson, went looking for his sheep in the mountain slopes of Mt Breidamerkurfjall during the winter of 1936. He was swept away by an avalance and buried in a 28 m. deep depression underneath the edge of the glacier. He could hardly move in the compact snow and started singing hymns and continued for almost 24 hours, when the rescuers heard him and dug him out.

Breidarmerkurfjall is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.

Photo Credit: Leon Petrosyan

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