/ Iceland trad

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Edvenables - on 19 Jun 2014
I'm planning a trip for this August, and was thinking about Iceland.

I know that rock climbing is new in Iceland and is being developed, and would really like to put up some new trad routes.

Does anyone have any maps or information about cliffs and climbing there? I know there is some near reykjavic.

Also advice on the climate in Iceland in August would be useful, are there midgies/mosquitoes/ticks?

Thanks
Solaris - on 19 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

> I know that rock climbing is new in Iceland and is being developed, and would really like to put up some new trad routes.

As with anywhere, those with local knowledge have a head start. And going on the info available on the internet, there is precious little rock climbing of any kind in Iceland, though new areas are being found and developed. The rock is either too young, or of the wrong kind. There is some gabbro however...

> Does anyone have any maps or information about cliffs and climbing there? I know there is some near reykjavik.

There's a reasonable amount of info available via Google, much of which has been linked to on threads on UKC, so it'd be worth searching this website.

> Also advice on the climate in Iceland in August would be useful, are there midgies/mosquitoes/ticks?

Last August, in the interior, the temperature rarely got above about 12. On the east coast, Egilsstašir had a record breaking 26, iirc. Plan for Scottish spring, including the possibility of snow in the Highlands, and you should be OK.

Iceland is mercifully free of nasty bugs and insects. Small black flies can be a bit of a pest but they don't bite.
sheelba - on 19 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

I certainly never came across anything worth climbing when I was there. Did some sketchy scrambling on loose friable very young rock though. Went into an mountaineering shop in Reykjavic and all it sold and one forlorn set of about five nuts that were gathering dust.

This seems pretty definitive although I would have thought you would have already come across it

http://www.edinburghjmcs.org.uk/pdfs/iceland.pdf

no doubt there is stuff to climb somewhere in Iceland but the far north and islands of Scotland have a similar climate and it seems like there is still plenty to go at
Peter B Pearson - on 19 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

As Solaris says,the rock's too young or of the wrong kind.I do know that there is some good climbing up north somewhere west of Akureiri and a little outcrop on the south coast - I don't know exactly where,but its right next to a little airstrip if that helps.If mixed ice,snow and rock is your thing,then go to the Skaftafjell Nat.Park.the Iceland Alpine Club is here every summer so you could get some beta or take a guided tour up Iceland's highest at 2112m.Doug Scott did a fantastic mixed route on nearby Hrutdalstind many years ago.
pec on 19 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

Stardalur is the "best" trad venue (its in the link someone posted above). I did a few routes there and it was rather like Crag Lough in Northumberland i.e. a columnar jointed Dolerite sill, lots of vertical parallel sided cracks and square flat holds. It was basically quite stable but with quite a few loose blocks. In this country it would be regarded as a loose crag but the locals thought it was sound which tells you what the other crags must be like. It was ok if you were there anyway but not worth going to Iceland for. However Iceland is well worth going to, just not for the rock climbing.
The climate is what you'd expect from Scotland at that time of year but on average a couple of degrees cooler. It WILL rain at some point and it won't get HOT but mostly it was quite pleasant whilst I was there.
The only place I experienced midges in 3 weeks of travelling round the entire island was at a lake called Myvatn (which means Midge Lake) and it is notorious for them. Fortunately they don't bite but the density of them in the air was hideous so we only stayed for 1 night (the guidebook described it as "free protein with every breath"). You don't have to go far to get away from them though. As far as I know there are no mosquitoes.
I didn't come accross any ticks but then I've I've never come accross them here so I don't know if there are any.

The other piece of advice I'd offer is don't camp anywhere near Reykjavic at a weekend (that includes Skaftafell National Park which is a long way from Reykjavic). After being couped up in the dark all winter they like to let their hair down when the sun reappears so they head off into the countryside at weekends and drink very weak Icelandic beer so they don't get pissed until just after you've gone to sleep and thought it was going to be a quiet night, at which point they go mental and you won't get a wink of sleep.
Camp wild at weekends if you're in the danger zone, its fine in Iceland as long as you're not in somebody's front garden etc. We wondered why lots of people were pitching their tents about a mile away from a campsite until the first time we got kept awake all night and then we saw them coming to use the facilities in the morning.
Solaris - on 20 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

PS re climate: Iceland can be very windy. (Comparison of its latitude vis-a-vis the Arctic circle with the same latitude in relation to the Antarctic circle is quite eye opening, though the weather systems are very different.) So, a strong tent is advised!

It's not just partying Icelanders that can keep you awake, and it's possible to be a very long way from anywhere - by European standards - in Iceland. Have fun, and take long tent pegs.
Ste Brom - on 20 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

Bits and bobs of solid stuff around east of seydisfjordur that I'd seen people have a go at, a few years ago.
prospect away!
adamholden - on 20 Jun 2014
In reply to Edvenables:

I have just come back from a trip which involved a lot of walking in Iceland. Our trip involved driving the entire perimeter of Iceland clockwise on route one stopping off in various locations.
The climate was pretty much what we are experiencing inScotland re: sun, overcast, showers, bit chilly at night etc. We didnt experience any arduous weather (except a short rain shower). The north of the island near Myvatn was swamped with midges but we experianced no biting but a head net was a god send as it was relentless at ground level and at around 700 metres. We are all climbers and whilst we didnt actually do any we did discuss it continually and the north presented little option and seemed very fragile from what we saw. However the south from approximately the 4 o'clock> 6 o'clock postion did have some older rock which appeared solid. we stayed at Skogar which is east of Rek by approximately 150km.
Sorry to not be able to provide a definative answer but I hope this may narrow down your search. Enjoy anyway as the country is awesome!

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