Kinglines in Iceland

A special force of attraction for ice climbers can be found at the arctic areas. This unique quietness and serenity of the people living there is not only the reason that Albert Leichtfried and Benedikt Purner travel already for the eight time to the very north of Europe. Yes, it is also the endless possibilities, when conditions fit. Yes, it is also the special thrill what a journey to these sea level regions brings, because quite often the warm Gulf Stream brings to much warm air to bring all ice climbing action to zero.

On the start of the trip it already seemed that all the effort was for nothing. A very strong and warm storm from southwest brought more than 10 degrees plus and all ice formation began to melt down, which had been formed since December. But luckily enough, the storm disappeared after one day and most of the ice was still there. Immediately the wind turned to north and Iceland was freezing again. With a smile on their faces Benni and Albert started to hunt for ice. They know, when conditions are right, Iceland has many ice climbing jewels left. This time their focus has been on the north of the island to look for new lines on the remotest places. This turned out to be a good plan, because they could climb a first ascent nearly every day.

Peter Björg at the remote farm in Kaldakinn is already a friend to the iceclimbers. With a warm welcome the Björg family hosts ice climbers from around the world, who want to visit one of the most spectacular places of the world for ice climbing. Directly from the farm one ice line after the other can be found on the 5 kilometres long cliff. This time Benni and Albert found a special line in Kaldakinn. . „Vaggfóður“ M6/WI6 is the icelandic word  for wall paper. The name is programm in „Vaggfóður“, a vertical wall paper made of ice. Already one day before, they climbed higher up in Öxnadalur, where they could score two first ascents with „Hoarniglsheidi“ M7/WI6 and „Exicting trousers“ M6.

An exciting adventure is to climb ice direct from the sea. At the seacliff of Kaldakinn you have to be carefull when approaching the routes direct on the beach. This is only possible when tide is low, for a few hours. Albert and Benni could do the last unclimbed route of the seacliff - „Tower of Ágúll“ WI5 is a very nice line on the very right end of the beach.

There are amazing places on earth and there are amazing routes as well. To find both in combination is the most luck a climber can have. Such a route Benni and Albert found in the gorge of Ásbyrgi. This mythic place is called capitol of the elves. The legend says that this gorge with the shape of a horseshoe has made the magic horse Sleipnir, the horse of Odin. The scientists have a more common explanation for the gorge after a big flood caused by a volcanic fire at Vatnajökull area. Walking to this amazing gorge someone can feel that this place is special and has a special atmosphere. In that special atmosphere they found on the very overhanging part of the gorge an amazing line of icicles. To combine this iceicle to a climbable route it was the next miracle that some lave bubbles have formed some tiny hooks on this blank face. Benni and Albert had to give all there climbing skill into the effort to free climb “Shelter of the gods” M10  on the next day.

On that place it should be said that bolting is not allowed in the national park of Ásbyrgi and any bolting activities have to have a permission of the national park ranger!

Intense days had come to an end with the first ascent of „With a little help from my friends“ WI5 at the seacliff of Nipa, witch is only accessable by boat. Albert and Benni found the perfect day with a calm sea for this extraordinary adventure and an amazing and intense ice climbing trip come to its end.

Routes 2018:






Exciting trousers






WI6, M7





WI6, M6




Tower of Ágúll





Shelter of the gods





With a little help from my friends







© 2020 Mag. Albert Leichtfried - Meteorologe - Bergführer - Extremkletterer
Ochsengarten 21b | 6433 Oetz - AUSTRIA | +43 / 660 / 8152222 |

Fritschi Diamir