Tom on the Hvita i Borgarfirdi

River: Hvita i Borgarfirdi

Grid Reference: 64 deg 43′N; 20deg50′W.

Grade: III-IV depending on the portages

Length: 10km

Date run: 17.08.91

Weather conditions: Warm and dry

River level:

Significant portages: Quite a few.

Access arrangements

Get in by the bridge just before the road leaves the river.


Get out above Barnafoss??. There is a tourist car park next to this.


Tom looking at the horrors of Barnafoss

This section begins with 1/2 a km of easy grade III after which the river narrows and becomes very trench like. This consists of a lot of undercut drops and needs inspecting. We portaged on the right hand bank. This is followed by another flat section after which the river narrows again. There is a fast sloping bit with a large boulder at the bottom, lots of undercuts and a gap about an inch wider  than the average canoe. Again we portaged on the right bank. A few more simple bits followed by  another trench which needs inspecting. This is run on the left and is followed by a horrible S-bend. This is possibly a run but not at the level we ran the river at. Next is a large drop with a big stopper on the left, skirt round the right of this. A few more sloping drops, all of which are full of rocks require inspecting. One of these is very nasty with a big breaking wave which would push you into honible V-slot. At high water this can be run on the left. A few more bouncy rapids then a certian death. Otherwise known as Barnafoss this is a very popular tourist attraction and it is worth spending a lot of time pretending to inspect it and discussing your lines before getting off. It consists of a horrible undercut 2 metre drop followed very quickly by two immense stoppers and then all the river passes through a small hole in a wall which is very impressive from the bank.