Adventurer of the Week: Kasia Takes on Iceland's Highest Peak
When it comes to adventuring, it seems as though Kasia has done it all: she has hit all the major and less-major spots in Iceland, but there was one more target left to conquer. So, she called in the specialists (read: us) to help her reach Iceland highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur at 2110m (6,923 ft.). Needless to say, we got her there, and down again. This is her story.
What motivated you to visit Iceland?
That’s funny, but I watched movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” where there were some amazing shots from Iceland. I just said to myself “I'll go there one day”, to see it on my own eyes. I started my Icelandic adventure with internship at NYLO - The Living Art Museum with Erasmus + program. I always wanted to stay in Iceland long enough to feel the atmosphere, get know people and visit all of this amazing places. So I have found this internship; it is perfect combination of beautiful country and really cool art.
Iceland in general is really beautiful even though there are no trees. I love lava fields.
How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?
I planned to stay 2 and half months, but I stayed in Reykjavik for almost a year! I moved there alone but I met lot of friends. Mostly I was starting my travel/hikes/hitchhiking alone but then I was meeting such nice, kind and just amazing people from around the world that I can say, I never was alone.
Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?
I chose Iceland's Highest Summit Tour - so hiking to the summit of Hvannadalshnúkur. I love mountains and nature. The choice was so obvious for me. I wanted to climb highest mountain/volcano/glacier in this country. That sounded so cool, specially that in Poland there are no glaciers.
What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?
This trekking on Hvannadalshnjúkur was just amazing. Beautiful weather (was so sunny so we could stay on the top like 20 minutes), group with whom I was climbing this mountain was just perfect and our guide, Marta, was so easy-going and made this trek even better. That was also my first walk on glacier, and that was exciting experience. Iceland in general is really beautiful even though there are no trees.I love lava fields.
What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?
I remember my first thought when my plane landed "here is nothing!”, but then I realized there is sooo much! I was hitchhiking many times around Iceland (Westfjords too). I visited Vestmannaeyjar and was hiking from Landmannalaugar and from Skogar to Thorsmork. Everything is so amazing; I expected that but I was super impressed.
I was surprised how the door locks work, and I didn't know about the wind. I knew it’s going to be windy but really didn't expect it's gonna be so strong! Other thing which surprised me when I actually left Iceland, is how good the quality of air! I realised that when I started to breathe with air in other European countries.I didn’t expect so good people who trust to each other. In my opinion, this is what makes Iceland unique.
I have never thought before that Northern Lights can be so intense - unexpectedly beautiful. I was surprised about these super jeeps or "super buses" - their wheels are the same height as me! :) And lastly that the Icelanders drink a lot of coffee! :)
What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?
Stay open and adventurous! It is way better to get out of the car and hike, even a bit, in these lava labyrinths. Talk to sheep which are everywhere during summer, and maybe spend the longest day of year on the end of road in West Fjords, and see how sun just bounces off the horizon. Or wear abnormal-thick jacket and lay down on moss/snow and just relax and watch northern lights. N.B sometimes there is free coffee at Bonus!
What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure?
I would like to start my career as mountain guide in Iceland! And that’s not a joke, I like this country and it’s nature so much that I’d like to stay there longer. My other little plan is just travel to Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Kasia’s adventure to Iceland's highest peak is only one of the many features that make for an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.
Have you been on a tour with us in Iceland and would like to be featured as an “Adventurer of the Week”? Feel free to email us at [email protected].
About the Author
Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.
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