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In a nutshell:
From the start at Seljalandsdalur you work your way up towards Botnsheiði. Then you return by skiing over the very tough hill Miðfellsháls. The first 12 km are quite difficult but the last 7 km are easy. A real challenge.
Start: 290 m.a.s.
Highest part: 607 m.a.s (Miðfellsháls).
Elevation: 317 m
Longest climb: 115 m elevation (up the Miðfellsháls, after approx. 17 km)
Total climb: 520 m
Feeding stations (distances between):
Start - Búrfell 1 5,2 km
Búrfell 1 - Heiðin 4,5 km
Heiðin - Búrfell 2 5,4 km
Búrfell 2- Finish 10,2 km
Please note that in the 25 km skate, only the feeding stations Búrfell 1 (after 5.2 km) and Búrfell 2 (after 15,1 km) are in use. In the 25 km classic, you can also use the feeding station at Heiðin (after 9,7 km from the start).
You start from the ski house at Seljalandsdalur like all the other distances. The first kilometer is an easy loop around the start area, but the next kilometer is mostly a steep and difficult climb up to Háabrún, one of the most picturesque points of the course. The view from there over the fjord Skutulsfjörður is stunning and ideal to take a photo or two if you´re not too much in a hurry.
Following the climb up to Háabrún you come to a relatively flat section that stretches for over a kilometer. It takes you under a ski lift and eventually to the crossroads where the 12,5 km skiers turn right but the 25 and 50 km skiers keep on going straight. Soon after you pass the crossroads you will be greeted by an uphill that takes you under another ski lift. Now you have skied some 4 quite strenuous kilometers with a total elevation of 155 m. After another kilometer you come to the first feeding station, Búrfell 1. Following the feeding station you will be treated to an easy section called Hnífar, before doing another 2 km long climb up to the next feeding station, Heiðin 1. This is the only point of the course that is accessible by car, although the road is only open for our staff and the rescue team.
You have now finished approximately 10 km and in front of you lies a rather gentle terrain in an area called Botnsheiði. After some 5,5 km you come to the final feeding station, Búrfell 2. Here you better consume all the energy you possibly can, as you are just about to start the most dreaded part of the course, the climb between the mountains Búrfell and Miðfell which reaches its climax when you work your way up the infamous hill Miðfellsháls. But no matter how difficult it may be to conquer this hill, once you reach the top you can look forward to 7 km of downhill and easy double poling all the way to the finish area. You should be cautious, though, as the downhill sections can be very fast and challenging, especially for those who are not used to cross country skiing.