Dani Arnold Portrait

Who is Dani Arnold?

Swiss climber Dani Arnold is known for his breathtaking solo ascents on major north faces. But when he’s not setting speed records, he travels the globe in search of climbable ice. One country in particular has really impressed him: Iceland. In February 2022, Dani Arnold traveled together with Martin Echser and Davide Guzzardi to the land of the ancient Norse giants, the Jötnar. The film team around Lukas Kusstatscher and Thomas Monsorno captured the unique moments.

Date: January 30 – February 13, 2022

Dani Arnold – Jötnar – FULL MOVIE

in words and images

This is me, Dani Arnold, mountaineer from Switzerland.

And now I’m there in Iceland together with Martin, Thomas, Lukas and Davide, and we are looking for some perfect ice. At the beginning it looked pretty bad. but then…

Our first ascent: The imposing Glymur Waterfall near Reykjavik

Usually it goes like this: we start at the bottom, climb up somewhere, and try to come up again. And here, inside this gorge, it was a bit different, because we abseiled down from the top, and it was quite important that we could somehow climb up again, because from the bottom out there would be absolutely no way to escape.

Eisklettern am Glymur Wasserfall, Dani Arnold und Martin Echser

When the weather changes. Iceland weather warning

The next day we set off for the north coast and we just weren’t sure if it would work from the weather point of view. The road conditions were getting worse and there were even severe weather warnings from the authorities.

We thought, it will be fine, we’ll just try!

Sturmwarnung auf Island

Not only were our climbing skills tested there, in Iceland, but also shoveling out cars became the main task, and we got better every time.

Dani Arnold am Eisklettern in Bolaklettur, Island

Ice climbing on the beach in Kaldakinn.

Where mountain sports meets the Norwegian sea

And there it was, our ice wall by the sea. We are exactly on the north coast of Iceland. Ice climbing is always a bit similar, but here, looking down between my feet and then out to sea, just felt different somehow. Climbing directly above the sea is just gigantic! Those waves, and especially the sound …. is SO imposing!

Off to the northeast!

As the weather got better

In the meantime we have arrived in the northeast of Iceland, and for the first time we have seen the landscape a bit more. We have seen the fjords, the fishing boats, which drove out to sea. And indeed, after more than a week, the sun came forward for the first time.

Basalt towers as far as the eye can see in Stuðlagil Canyon.

Drytooling for experts

It was not so easy to get into this gorge. We decided to rope down the whole team. It’s a bit scary to cross this stream because there is running water everywhere. Breaking in is certainly not a good idea!

These shapes, they are created by two tectonic plates that meet exactly in this canyon. And for me, it’s really a dream come true to climb them. I’ve always wanted to climb on these basalt columns, because I can’t imagine any line, any structure somehow more beautiful and perfect than right there!

Drytoolen auf Basalttürme, Dani Arnold
Eisklettern am Studlagyl Skogafoss, Island

It doesn’t get much steeper than this!

Ice climbing in the glacier gate

very early in the morning we set out on the glacier, our goal was to climb in a glacier gate.

In ice climbing it is like this: when the water runs down somewhere, it freezes, and mostly it is always vertical, it can’t be much steeper, because the water follows gravity, downwards! That is the interesting thing about glacier ice, there is not the flowing water that freezes, but it washes out.

Eisklettern im Gletschertor, Island

Formations are created, you can climb overhanging, and what is also special: the whole thing is much, much steeper!

We had a good time together!

An adventure comes to an end.

We have seen so many beautiful places, experienced so much. Sometimes we were almost alone, on the road for days. What I really take with me is: We had a good time! … We tried things, sometimes it went wrong, sometimes it worked out, but somehow, we had a good time. And that is generally something of the most important thing for everybody!

Dani Arnold und Martin Echser erreichen eine Eiskletterlocation in Island


Climbers: Dani Arnold, Martin Echser

Video: Lukas Kusstatscher, Watchsome

Photo: Thomas Monsorno, High Tides Communication

Field Producer: Davide Guzzardi, Exped Tribe


A big thank you to our sponsors:

Kuku Campers / Exped / Maya Maya / Gregory Packs

Special thanks also to Matteo Meucci of the Icelandic alpine club Isalp.is

Eisklettern Island

Adventure and travel are just your thing? Here you will find our range of expedition and active trips.

Climbing Week Finale Ligure – Climbing trip Italy, Coaching

Climbing Week Finale Ligure – Climbing trip Italy, Coaching

Trip type: sports and multi pitch climbing holiday Duration: 7 days Country/Region: Italy, Genoa Price: 1'499.00 CHF p.P. Participants: 4-8 Dates: 07.04-13.04.202329.04.-06.05.2023 24.09-30.09.2023 22.10.-28.10.2023 or on requestThe coast of Liguria, a treat for...

Bolivia Trips Overview – Explore Bolivia with Exped Tribe!

Bolivia Trips Overview – Explore Bolivia with Exped Tribe!

Trips to Bolivia Overview Bolivia is a country that needs no great introduction for explorers and lovers of dramatic landscapes. Bolivia is less frequently visited than neighboring Peru and Chile, but is not second to either country in terms of beauty and travel...

Hiking & Wild Camping Overview – Hiking Tours

Hiking & Wild Camping Overview – Hiking Tours

Hiking & Wild Camping - Guided Tours in Switzerland Wild camping is the purest form of sleeping in nature: it allows for unique views, wildlife sightings and an overwhelming sense of smallness in majestic landscapes. Above all, it teaches respect for our fragile...

Iceland adventure photography trip – 8 days, photo workshop

Iceland adventure photography trip – 8 days, photo workshop

Trip type: Photographic workshop, 4x4 Trip Duration: 8 Days Country/Region: Iceland, Highlands Price: 3'200.00 CHF p.P. Participants: 4-8 Dates: 01.09.2023or on requestThis trip is for photographers who are interested in the wild side of adventure photography. It is...

Ice Climbing LVL 2 – For Advanced

Ice Climbing LVL 2 – For Advanced

Duration: 1 Day Country/Region: Switzerland - Uri, Bern, Schwyz or Glarus Price: 229 CHF p.P. Participants: 4-8February 2023: 26.02. March 2023: on requestIce climbing may be the most fascinating aspect of mountaineering. With precise stance on...