Benjamin Hardman is no stranger to Iceland. He moved to Iceland a few years ago from the other side of the planet, Perth, Australia. Benjamin has produced outstanding photography during his time in Iceland and his keen eye for the raw beauty of the Icelandic nature is captured in his mesmerizing photographs. Benjamin joined Icelandic Mountain Guides for a tour and he was generous enough to sit down with us and chat about his experience of the tour.
How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?
Benjamin: It was one day. We were 6 in the group and 2 guides. One guy went down at the start of the tour so we became 5 people. Then 4 went up to the top and I stayed behind on the plateau.
Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?
So we did Hvannadalshnjukur summit attempt.
How was it?
It was extremely overwhelming for me being new to mountaineering. I found it both hard but also a new experience, something I had never been through before – which made it so incredible. It was quite spiritual time exploring my mind – like we were hiking for so long – and I don’t think I had hiked for such a long time before – 9 hours to the top – and by the top part of the climb, I was so tired, I don’t think I have been in that state before. It was a spiritual experience learning about that. But yet, I wasn’t so sore afterward but I think it was my mind – the mental travel. I found it to be an incredibly emotional experience going up there. We got up to the 1800m mark and then there was a limited weather window left so it was like if we wanted to make it to the top, we had to absolutely smash it. So we decided that I was going to stay behind at the plateau and the others of the group tried to go to the top– but unfortunately, the weather came in and it was impossible for them to make it to the top. The fact that I was able to wait behind on the plateau opened up opportunities for photography that I wouldn’t have otherwise had so it worked out really well for me. I got some amazing images with my drone up there.