Plans to Open "Via Ferrata" on Esja this Summer Skip to content

Plans to Open “Via Ferrata” on Esja this Summer

By Erik Pomrenke

esja mountain reykjavik
Photo: Golli.

In an interview on Dagmál, Icelandic mountaineer Haraldur Örn announced plans to open a “via ferrata” on Esja this summer.

A new path on Esja

A via ferrata, or “iron way” in Italian, is a protected climbing route that combines cables, rails, bridges, chains, steps, and other fixed features to offer a similar experience to rock climbing and mountaineering, without the need for specialised equipment or training. Originating in Italy during the First World War to facilitate troop movement, these climbing paths are now common throughout the Alps.

Haraldur, often known as Haraldur pole-farer, is notable for having climbed the Seven Summits, in addition to have walked to both the North and South poles. He stated on Dagmál that he has recently been hard at work acquiring the permits to open such a path on Esja, the mountain which overlooks the Reykjavík area.

Entirely different experience

The new path will begin by Fálkaklettur, which is about 1 km west from the Esja parking lot where most hikers begin their trip to Steinn, the most popular terminus for Esja day hikers. Haraldur stated that a great emphasis is being placed on safety, so that the general public can enjoy themselves without worrying.

He added that it will be an entirely different experience from going up to Steinn, and that a forty-metre long suspended bridge will be part of the trail.

Haraldur also stated that the project is currently in its final stages, and that if all goes according to plan, the path will open this summer.


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