Premrl

Ice climber Klemen Premrl has been to some of the most spectacular (and frigid) places on the globe. Recently, he and his climbing partner Tim Emmett scaled Helmcken Falls in British Columbia, eight hours north of Vancouver. To climb that stunning frozen waterfall, Premrl and Emmett maneuvered around dangerous overhangs and falling icicles the size of small cars in a bid to conquer one of the planet's most difficult ice climbing routes. Strap on your crampons and prepare for an ascent like no other.

This story is a part of our Frontiers series, where we bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge. Let us take you along for a trip to the oft-imagined but rarely accomplished.




Armed with a 200-meter tailor-made rope for the ultimate ice climb, Tim Emmett and I returned to Helmcken Falls in British Columbia ready for action. Our dream was to climb to the lip of the cave in one monster pitch.

Helmcken Falls has a vertical drop of 140 meters and overhangs by about 45 degrees. The scale of Helmcken Falls always blows you away, it’s much bigger than it looks. Climbing at Helmcken Falls is out of this world. It’s an incredible experience being surrounded by thousands of ice daggers and a raging waterfall. It’s a powerful place! 

The route starts up a 45-degree wall with thin ice placements. The first 40 meters of the route is the crux, with 16 bolts before you reach the upper headwall covered in ice madness! The upper 40-meter headwall is covered with thick ice, climbing over multiple ice roofs, hanging daggers and mushrooms. General outrageousness leads to the final crux, where everything becomes even steeper and the ice turns into snow. After 28 bolts and 80 meters of overhanging spray ice, we had established Interstellar Spice WI 12. We both think it's the hardest, steepest and coolest ice route we've done and sets a new level of difficulty for any route of this style. 


Death-defying adventure, stunning landscapes, and rarely-documented feats of physical endurance and skill. Exploring the expansive glaciers in Iceland for fresh ice climbing lines involved ice caves, icebergs, and these deep holes and canyons along the surface of the glaciers called 'moulins'. Read all about our adventure here.


Klemen Premrl always dreamed about climbing icebergs. Two of the most accomplished ice climbers in the world, Klemen and his partner and longtime friend Aljaz Anderle (both from Slovenia) along with a production crew from GoPro went to Greenland last summer to try and fulfill their childhood dream. While the iceberg summits they hoped to reach were generally much lower than their usual climbing objectives, the challenge was a substantial one. Nobody had ever climbed icebergs like these before, and since they’re floating in the middle of freezing cold glacier water with the majority of their mass submerged, they are extremely unpredictable. Prone to cracking, collapsing, and capsizing from the smallest disturbances, any time Klemen and Aljaz were on an iceberg their exposure was at a maximum. The consequences of mistakes, miscalculation, and bad luck were most likely going to be fatal. GoPro released the film of their expedition today, and it thoroughly blew our minds. The uncertainty of every swing of the ice axe is captured beautifully from a number of cool angles along with the uncertainty and moment-to-moment intensity of the razor thin edge they are constantly on while climbing the icebergs.

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