Iceland – Northbound Ice Climbing Expedition
by Albert Leichtfried
Marry me? - An extraordinary day
Because of the snow storming weather outside we were sitting inside a bar and ordered a bunch of coffees. Accidentally we saw a postcard showing the 118m free falling waterfall “Hengifoss”. At that point I was almost sure, that this huge fall would not be formed enough to climb. But we did not have anything planned and so we decided to at least take a glance. After 1,5 hours of walking in the dodgy weather we found a totally strange ice formation. And the climbing was as crazy as it looked. It was definitely the maddest waterfall I have ever climbed. I baptized the route Marry me? - graded solid WI 6+. I did not name the route like this for nothing – when I returned to the car I sent a SMS to my girlfriend Vroni. In the end we have a marriage to celebrate after ten years of close partnership.
Eastside paradise – The discovery of a new area
One day after Marry me? we drove to the next Fjord and hit the bull’s eye. We could not believe our eyes when we discovered the 20km long face with one ice-line beside the other. I studied the weather forecast again and found out that a strong thaw period was heading towards us. So we had to exploit the following day. Of course, we chose the three most impressive and beautiful lines and climbed the whole day in temperatures slightly above the freezing point. The result were the enjoyable routes Sundlaug WI 4/5, Albatros WI 5 (with 180m the second highest waterfall of Iceland) and Superbelly WI 5.
The next day the thaw period got stronger, we put our ice climbing gear to the side and meddled with the usual tourist of Iceland. We took a look at „Vatnajökull“ – the biggest European glacier, the impressive waterfall „Skogarfoss“ and enjoyed climbing on different buildings of Reykjavik. Fact is – to answer the most popular question of an Icelander - „How do you like Iceland?“ - we can only say - „We loved it!“