SmugMug, the independent photo-sharing platform formed in 2002, released Climbing Ice: The Iceland Trifecta with photographer Tim Kemple — the latest installment in the multi-award-winning SmugMug Films series, which takes a behind-the-lens look at some of the world’s most interesting and unique photographers.
Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug said, “At SmugMug, photography is our passion and SmugMug Films is a celebration of the photographers who inspire and amaze us every day. Tim lives and breathes the passion for photography that guides our business, so it was only a matter of time before we approached him to take part in a film.”
The 16-minute film, produced by SmugMug, is the 13th movie of the series. Climbing Ice follows action-sport and adventure photographer, Tim Kemple, on his treacherous yet epic adventure to Iceland. Kemple explores the Vatnajökull glacier, which is so large it can be seen from space. Documenting his attempts to conquer and capture the Iceland Trifecta – a host of deadly icebergs, ice caves and ice crevasse – is documented in a beautiful yet exciting narrative.
SmugMug Films had a small but powerful two-man crew joined Kemple on the excursion. Also in the gang were two of Europe’s most experienced ice climbers, Klemen Premrl from Switzerland and Rahel Schelb from Slovenia. As a team, everyone pushed physical and mental boundaries to travel into the belly of Europe’s largest glacier.
“When we arrived in Iceland, we had no idea what we were going to find, and it was completely up to us to explore the land to determine where and what we would shoot each day,” said Kemple.
The chilly location provided not only spectacular visuals, but a number of challenges for the ice climbers, including Tyrolean Traverse, which involved using a fixed line to cross the mouth of a 150ft void, and a horizontal climb across the ceiling of an ice cave, which was a first for the whole team and a feat so difficult it’s not even attempted in the ice climbing world championships.
“It’s very unusual to climb the extremely dangerous and tough ice conditions that we encountered, but we had to attempt it because adventure is about embracing uncertainty…”
Kemple said, “The trip was a creative challenge for the whole team as it’s very unusual to climb the extremely dangerous and tough ice conditions that we encountered, but we had to attempt it because adventure is about embracing uncertainty and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.”
Climbing Ice made its world premiere at Banff Mountain Film Festival and has been selected to screen at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival held November 19-22, 2015.
Previous episodes of the SmugMug Film series include Earth From Above, which profiles NASA Astronaut and Photographer Don Pettit taking breath-taking pictures of earth from the International Space Station, and Arctic Swell, with adventure photographer Chris Burkard as he and professional surfers attempt to board the brutally cold and remote waters of the Arctic Circle.