Tom on Dangleberry Drop

River: Hvita i Arnessyslu (upper section)

Grid Reference: 64 deg 32′ N; 20 deg 13′W.

Grade: IV with one V

Length: 13 km

Date run: 11.07.91

Weather conditions: Fine

River level: Medium

Significant portages: None

Access arrangements

Access on the bridge on the F37 at the south end of lake Hvitarvatn, 1-2 km north east of the mountain Blafell.


Get out on the right hand bank where the first track south west of Blafell comes close to the river.


Tom on Dangleberry Drop

After the bridge there is 2 km of flat water leading to the first rapid. This is no harder than grade III and can be run anywhere. The river then splits around a small island. Get out on the right when you can see the continious horizon line. This is the Dangleberry drop. It should be run on the left, don’t go down the centre or right. This is an impressive start to the first small gorge which is about 1 km long. There’s nothing harder than some big waves and boils which is followed by approximately three km’s of bouncy grade II which leads into another small rapid, best run on the right. A further km of grade II brings you to the start of the main canyon.

The first drop is grade IV which should be shot on the left to avoid some big stoppers on the right and centre. During the next easy flat section (300 m) the canyon walls get a lot higher and begin to close in. This is a very impressive place to be canoeing in. The first section consists of a longish wave train. A sharp right bend indicates the start of a very boily section which culminates with a 2m drop. A further bouncy section follows and then the canyon widens out. After a short flat section the walls close in for one last time but the river holds no suprises here.

Two km’s further downstream the river splits into two with the main flow going left of a small island. We went down the right. A small drop is followed by a very shallow slide. This can be shot anywhere but the left hand side, immediately followed by a narrow 1.5 metre high horse shoe drop. Although we had no problems it is worth inspecting this especially at high water levels.

Andy paddling in the Hvita Canyon

The next section will also need inspecting. A four metre angled drop. Get out on the left bank to inspect this. The main part of the drop is vertical and lands in a shallow pool. This has been shot twice. Once successfully and the second time successfully turning up the bow of a very solid boat. There is a safer bumpier route down the right.

The river then rejoins the main flow. The get out is reached after another 3km of grade II on a sweeping left corner which immediately follows a sharp right hand bend.