TOUGH TO TOP

Soundings - - FLOTSAM & JETSAM -

The light­house, Þrí­dran­gav­iti, is lo­cated off the West­man Is­lands of South­ern Ice­land and sits ap­prox­i­mately six miles from the shore. Pre­car­i­ously perched on top of a rock pil­lar sur­rounded by the rag­ing North At­lantic Ocean, it may be the most iso­lated light­house in the world.

Þrí­dran­gar (or Thridran­gar) means “three rock pil­lars.” The light­house was built in 1939, but the foot­path to the top of the pil­lar was built in 1938 by West­man Is­land moun­tain clim­bers. To get on top of the pil­lar, one climber had to stand on a sec­ond man’s shoul­ders while a third scaled the first two men. Un­til the ad­vent of helicopters, af­ter World War II, ma­te­ri­als and sup­plies for the light­house were de­liv­ered by boat and brought up the foot­path. Main­te­nance crews now travel to the light­house by air where they land on a tiny heli­pad in front of the light­house.

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