On February 13, 2012, Patrick Ormond, Kitty Calhoun, Jay Smith and I traveled to Iceland to climb. We went with the ambition of climbing unclimbed ice lines. When we arrived on the island it was above freezing and raining in Reykjavik. The conditions were not favorable or promising for finding ice. We met with the Icelandic Alpine Club our first night in town to gather beta and ideas of where to go to find ice. After looking at maps and weather forecasts, our team decided to travel to the remote western fjords where the temperatures were the coldest on the island. When we arrived in the western fjords we gathered more beta from another local climber. We spent one day scoping perspective cliffs, and found a quite a few promising climbs. Everything we found, except one wall, was unclimbed. We had 7 adventurous days of climbing. Every climb that we did during the trip, except one, was a first ascent.
The trip was very successful. Collectively, the team climbed 12 first ascents of multi pitch ice routes, on remote cliffs, many of which had not been visited by climbers. We found multiple first ascents, all of which were WI5 or harder. It was a true test of our skills. We climbed in a very unique setting. The walls we found were right on a fjord, so the views of the landscape were amazing. We were climbing ice in the mountains, and had views of water below us and sea gulls flying overhead. On one climb I was greeted at the belay by a few sea gulls, a welcome committee that I had never experienced before on an ice climb.
This trip was amazing. I have wanted to go to Iceland to climb for about 12 years. So for me this was a dream trip. I had a chance to travel with my husband, my climbing partner and her husband. It was an adventurous trip in that we would scope a line one day, and climb it the next. We all felt challenged by the routes we climbed. It was gratifying to complete the goals that we had set for ourselves. We found enough ice to make us feel we need to return to finish what we have started.