Norwegian Ice

When award-winning photographer Ray Demski started dreaming about shooting ice climbing during the aurora borealis, he found out 2014 was predicted to be a near-peak in an 11-year solar cycle, offering potentially the strongest aurora possibilities for years to come.Learn more

Photos by Ray Demski


He did, though, need a subject for his shoot; so he asked his good friend Alex Luger to join as the climber for the project. Alex and Ray have a great history of collaborating on shoots, and they both felt confident about working together on this one. Alex then recruited his climbing partner Hanno Schluge and the team was complete.

They decided on Lyngen, Norway inside the Arctic Circle, as it was expected to have the required combination of good ice and high chances for aurora. With a small, strong team they set out at the end of January on what was to be a nearly two-week trip. After several tough nights waiting for the aurora, a combination of the long, steep approach, temperatures down to -35 C. plus intense wind chill, and the daily challenges of camp life, the crew were left exhausted.

Although their first location was good, nearly halfway through their trip they still had seen only faint aurora activity, so they made the tough decision to switch locations.

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