Well, that was close ? Climbing an iceberg evidently comes with its own unique set of challenges and risks…
In this video, Swiss-South African explorer and climber Mike Horn and Fred Roux prepare to start ice climbing their way up an iceberg off the coast of Svalbard, Norway in the Arctic Ocean, when things go topsy-turvy.
The iceberg rolls, and the two men take a terrifying and unanticipated polar plunge. Thankfully, they both survive.
Mike Horn has summited Gasherbrum 1 (8,035 m), Gasherbrum 2 (8,068 m), Broad Peak (8,047 m), and Makalu (8,463 m), climbing all of them without supplemental oxygen. While he can hold his own with a pair of ice tools in his hands, Horn made his name as a general explorer. He circumnavigated the globe, roughly along the Equator, in an 18-month journey in which he eschewed motorized vehicles of any sort. With Børge Ousland, Horn was also the first to reach the North Pole in winter without dogsleds or motorized vehicles.
Horn and Roux are not the first to think of climbing an iceberg, though their foray may have come the closest to ending in disaster. Here’s an example of successfully climbing an iceberg.
More than anything, the video of Horn and Roux reminds us of the clip below from the “Dodo’s Delight,” when Captain Reverend Bob Shepton goes to work lightening an iceberg to move it off the boat’s anchor. “Like Moses through the Red Sea, he cut through the iceberg—with an axe,” says Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll in the clip.
Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!