Frozen Waterfalls in North Iceland Attract Ice Climbers Skip to content

Frozen Waterfalls in North Iceland Attract Ice Climbers

Ice climbers from around the world have tried climbing the unique frozen waterfalls—that extend from mountain tops to the shore—on the land of Björg, the northernmost farm in the Kaldakinn region in Sudur-Thingeyjarsýsla county in northeast Iceland.

The land is fenced off by cliffs on one side and Skjálfandafljót glacial river on the other. In frosty weather, gigantic frozen waterfalls form in the mountains overlooking the farm, sometimes all the way from the mountain tops and down to the stretch of rock by the seaside. The size of the waterfalls depends on the level of precipitation, Morgunbladid reports.

Ice climbing is usually practiced in the mountains and it is therefore considered a novelty to climb a frozen waterfall down by the shore with the surf roaring in one’s ears. The conditions at Björg are regarded as unique.

Hlödver Pétur Hlödversson, farmer at Björg, said ice climbers don’t have to walk far from the farm to locate the frozen waterfalls.

“There is almost a continuous stretch of rock from here and down to the ocean. It starts at a distance of about 200 meters away from the farm,” Hlödversson described. “The frozen waterfalls reach a height of 120 to 180 meters. Stekkjastaur [named after one of the Yule Lads] is the most famous one.”

According to the farmer, well-known ice climbers from central Europe and the UK have come to Björg along with photographers, publishing articles about their experience in widely-read magazines.

“I haven’t promoted it at all, but people have left satisfied,” Hlödversson stated. He is now considering advertising Kaldakinn as an ice climber’s paradise in the UK.

Until now, Brits have mostly traveled to Norway for ice climbing but Iceland is currently a better destination because it lies closer to Britain and is probably also less expensive at the moment because of the weakening of the Icelandic króna, Hlödversson said.

Björg is primarily a sheep farm and dairy, although the farm has also taken advantage of its natural resources such as eider down and trout fishing and since 1945 forestation has also been practiced at Björg.

Now ice climbing could become another source of income for the farm.

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