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Articles - Sun, 14 Aug 2022 06:53:16 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Ice Climbing in Iceland Ice Climbing in Iceland

Reaching the summit of Everest is on every climber’s to-do list, and if it’s not, it should be. That said, it’s not exactly the wild ride it used to be, and you’re more likely to see the likes of Damien and Willie Benegas cleaning up the litter left by hundreds of climbers than empty rock faces. To get away from all that, head to the glaciers of Iceland.

The Icelandic tourist scene is still developing, so while you’ll see some tours around, die-hard climbers will be able to get their fix of uninterrupted, uncrowded, unspoiled climbing amid awe-inspiring natural formations. And don’t let a potential lack of guides or hooks put you off. Or that rumor that there is no ice in Iceland. With a bit of preparation and bravado, even ice climbing beginners can have a memorable trip.

And on that note, let’s have a look at some of the top places apart from the obvious (the active volcano and highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur) to go for an extraordinary climb.

A good site for ice climbers to make their debut is the Sólheimajökull glacier. It’s a quick and easy journey from Reykjavik, home to most native ice climbers, to the car park closest to the glacier. But first, you’ll have to walk for about 15 minutes to get to the foot of the ice wall. True novices in the world of ice climbing should be aware that glacier hiking isn’t necessarily a walk in the park — be prepared for some uneasiness and ice crunches underfoot. To make the hike slightly less disconcerting, donning crampons for this part helps a lot. The beginner wall at the glacier lives up to its name: there are quite a few handholds that have been formed by other people’s axes and crampons icing over so while you’ll still have to work at getting your axes anchored in, your feet will have a bit of help.

Kaldakinn in Skjálfanda, which is in the northeast of the country, would undoubtedly be much more popular if it wasn’t so far away — you’re looking at a six-hour drive or internal flight from the capital. But is it worth it? That depends. Are you looking for up to 200 meters of clean ice? About 20 stretches of which have probably never been climbed before? For anyone looking to get a real adrenaline rush or to build on previous experience, Kaldakinn is well worth a visit.

And for seasoned ice climbers, those who have done all the “easy” climbs and are looking for a real challenge, Glymsgil is the place to head toward. It’s just an hour away from Reykjavik and therefore much more accessible. At the opening of the canyon, there are several easier climbs, but as you move further in, you’ll have to contend with a river that doesn’t freeze completely. Rappelling down is easy, but once you’re there, the only way to get out is by going up. The routes are long and it’s an arduous climb. Be prepared and make sure your equipment is in good shape because these routes aren’t frequently climbed, so do everything in your power to ensure you don’t get stranded. The Icelandic Alpine Club has more information about the routes at Glymsgil (in Icelandic), including the best ways to get there by car.

Iceland is, as of now, an untouched paradise for climbing, with only the locals getting into it. Our advice is to head there sooner rather than later before it becomes as commercial as other spots. After all, where’s the fun of conquering an ice face that has been done by thousands before you?

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:46:16 +0000
Best ice climbing in Norway Photo: Thomas Senf

Norway is Mecca for Ice Climbers from around the World. Tousands of icefalls and excellent conditions in winter. In this article you will find some propositions for unforgettable ice climbing holidays. In Norway you can find routes from single pitch up to 800-1000 m in length (sic!). If your an experienced ice climber then Norway is a trip of a lifetime :-).

Climbing ice on the coasts of Norway has its specialities: Due their proximity to the sea the icefalls in the western fjords are bent are twisted creations. Massive storms, drastic changes in temperature, and the resulting fast freeze thaw cycles combine with long spells of warmth and rain lead to insane ice creations.

Coming to Norway without solid planning and an eye to the weather means playing roulette with your travel budget: you run the risk of experiencing a period of rain and thaw and the objects of your journey simply vanish in the changing conditions.

Rjukan – Telemark Region

This is the best location in Norway to find stable ice climbing conditions (November – March) and icefalls at all skill level. Rjukan in deep valley with over 150 established ice climbs all concentrated in a very small area and is easy to reach just 2.5 hr drive from Oslo (airport). In city Rjukan you will find accommodation.

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New this year Rjukan has one of the nicest Ice Parks where they “farming” fresh ice just 5 minute walk from our beautiful lodge the Climbing. In general You will need a car to get around the area if you do not want to be limited to the routes close to the town centre. The vast majority of the routes are all within 20 km of 
the town.

Icefall Lipton WI7. Photo: Andrzej Makarczuk /

Classic single or multi-pitch routes range from easy WI 3 – WI 6 and all approaches are generally short and logistically easy. There is also an alpine skiing centre at Gaustablikk

Below nice movie "Rjukan Ice Paradise" by polish director Jan Wierzejski


Hemsedal – Buskerud Region

If you want to combine Ice Climbing and Skiing then Hemsedal is the best choice. Here you have plenty of classic routes and one of Norway’s better ski areas all in the same valley. Routes at all levels but not the plethora that can be found in other parts of Norway.

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Gudvangen in western Norway is home to several world-class routes. These lines provide around 1000 meter of continuous steep ice-climbing. Some of the lines are climbed, but the greatest line was still untouched before Robert Jasper introduced his climbing ethics to Norway

Eidfjord – Hordaland Region


Måbødalen - Eidfjor. Photo: Matthias Scherer (source)

Eidfjord is considered a must visit location for ice climbers who want to explore new routes or just experience huge steep icefalls. It is a beautiful small village within the fantastic Hardangar Fjord. Here you can climb ice routes above the fjord and have access to long classic routes.


Northern Norway – Lofoten, Lyngen Alps, or Bodø

This remote region offers an abundance of established challenges, as well as considerable potential for new routing. The dark winter days north of the Polar Circle allows for climbing all winter but this area is best in late February – March when the light comes back and gives long enough days to climb these routes without having to climb by headlamp. But prepare for long approach.

Wspinaczka lodowa w Norwegii

Climbing in Lyngen Alps. Photo. Hannes Mair (source)

Hidden Gems

If your looking for a real adventure and want to climb some first ascents in Norway then is good area for you.  This kind of trip requires special planning and probably help from local climbers.

Check also Scotland.

]]> (Damian Granowski) Articles Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:35:47 +0000
The Iceland Trifecta The Iceland Trifecta

Klemen Premrl and Rahel Schelb spent some time on climbing ice on Iceland. Death-defying adventure, stunning landscapes, and rarely-documented feats of physical endurance and skill. Watch photographer Tim Kemple and master climbers scale the frigid crags of Iceland. Check this :)


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]]> (Damian Granowski) Videos Mon, 16 Nov 2015 16:50:28 +0000
The Frost Giants The Frost Giants

Check this awesome video, about night ice climbing.

The Frost Giants of Norse mythology were huge, cold and practically indomitable. At night they taught the people of the North to fear, only to freeze again the next day. In January 2013, extreme sports photographer Thomas Senf headed off for Norway with a team of fearless Mammut ice climbers. The plan was to set the professional athletes against the nocturnal backdrop of the legendary world of the Frost Giants using flares and spotlights. The project produced unique photos, the likes of which the world has never seen before.


Find out more about the story on Mammut blog.

]]> (Damian Granowski) Videos Sat, 09 Nov 2013 09:29:01 +0000