Hnífsdalur is a small village in the municipality of Ísafjarðarbær, located between Bolungarvík and Ísafjörður. The literal meaning of the name is "Knife's Valley". Some guess that the thin or sharp line of the mountain range resembles that of a knife. No mention is made of the place in the Book of Settlement.

In 1910 an avalanche killed 20 people in Hnífsdalur,[1] the deadliest in Iceland in the 20th century.


  1. Harpa Grímsdóttir (2009). Bruce Jamieson (ed.). "Avalanche hazard mapping and risk assessment in Iceland" (PDF). International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) 2008, Whistler, Canada, 21st - 27th September 2008. Cold regions science and technology. Amsterdam: Elsevier. p. 774. OCLC 554279951.

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