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Highland Region of Iceland – Ben & Hannes

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THE OUTDOORS BECKONS

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PACK: Archeon 25, White Label
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ben Hardman & Hannes Becker
LOCATION: Maelifell, Iceland

The Maelifell Volcano is located on the edge of Myrdalsjökull glacier. It is 1,771 feet tall and is an extinct stratovolcano. The last eruption that happened to Maelifell was over 10,000 years ago. It is made of basaltic and picritic Maelifell rocks. This Volcano is located between the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate.

Heading Extreme North

Osprey White Label is born out of sustainable thinking for modern, outdoor life. Acclaimed photographers Ben Hardman and Hannes Becker took the Archeon 25L pack on a breathtaking shoot in the wilds of Iceland to capture what makes life in the extreme North so distinct.

The most sparsely populated country in Europe, Iceland’s dramatic volcanic landscape and unique environment provides a source of otherworldly inspiration.

PACK: Archeon 25, White Label
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ben Hardman & Hannes Becker
LOCATION: Maelifell, Iceland

Ben Hardman & Hannes Becker

Equipped with Archeon 25, Transporter Zip and Transporter Duffel

Australian born Ben now lives permanently in Iceland, capturing the obscure and barren landscapes as well as guiding expeditions through the country. Member of the German Roamers, Hannes, is passionate about creating memories and stories with his adventure photography.

PACK: Transporter Zip
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ben Hardman & Hannes Becker
LOCATION: Maelifell, Iceland

Transporter Zip, Maelifell, Iceland

What inspires you about the Nordics and Iceland in particular?

Ben: “I’m an outdoors lover at heart. My camera is always by my side but my focus is always on finding and experiencing interesting locations and natural events in the North. I became fascinated with Iceland around 2013 after overhearing a conversation about the northern lights and then doing some google searches about the country. Being raised in Australia with a very warm climate, I’ve never been so inspired as my first time travelling to Iceland in winter; it was an entirely new world. Six trips later I realised that my heart was in Iceland and that I wanted to move my life over here”.

Hannes: “The remoteness and roughness inspires me personally the most and I always feel drawn to it. Nowhere else you can actually approach the elements. You start to feel the greatness of the surroundings and you appreciate your own vulnerability. It simply makes me feel alive and nature is inevitably ruling. I’ve always enjoyed shooting somewhere away from the crowds. I like wild untouched landscapes.”

Archeon 25, White Label, Maelifell, Iceland
Archeon 25, White Label, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland

What’s been your most challenging expedition to date?

Ben: “This year I did an alpine climbing route up the south face of Hrútsfjallstindar, one of Iceland’s highest peaks. It was the most complex and risky trip I’ve done, but extremely rewarding as it provided some of the most mind blowing views I’ve ever seen of Iceland. Stay tuned for the short film we made about the climb!”

Hannes: “I’m a fan of long distance hiking and camping trips when you are out in the wild and on your own for a few days. Usually camping in deep freeze temperatures is the most challenging thing. There’s nothing you can really do about it, except you bring good gear. I have been hiking in the Andes, Peru, for a week on 5000m. The struggle was real, I usually tend to get altitude sickness. You have to accept it and push yourself. But the views made up for it”.

Transporter Zip, Maelifell, Iceland

Have you seen climate change in this part of the world first hand?

Ben: “I have seen and heard some pretty shocking things related to the climate over the last 5 years of travelling in the Arctic. I’ve seen frozen lakes break up for the first time ever in midwinter, and heard countless stories of outlet glaciers rapidly retreating to the point of not being visible anymore. Stories of farmers that could step off the glacier onto a mountain and let their sheep out for the summer, and now standing at that same exact area being at the base of a several hundred meter high cliffs, where the glacier has disappeared and the mountain not accessible anymore.”

Hannes: “In Greenland and Northern Norway I have been talking to many locals, they actually experience climate change first hand. If you listen to their stories, you quickly know the glaciers have been retreating massively in the last years. They also noticed there were fewer polar bears and overall warmer temperatures”.

Transporter Duffel, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland
Archeon 25, White Label, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland

What does sustainability & nature mean to you?

Ben: “Being in nature and in challenging natural environments means trusting yourself and considering all sides of your plans and ideas. Being outdoors and offline as much as possible reduces exposure to the extremely noisy world we live in and takes you back to the necessities of life. That for me is also sustainability.”

Hannes: “I want to use my photos as a key link to spread awareness about certain topics like climate change and sustainability. And hopefully inspire others to rethink the daily routines or habits. I bought a van to reduce my air travels, be even more independent and be closer to the outdoors.”

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    Transporter Zip
    Unisex 30L durable lifestyle daypack with bucket-zip opening and laptop sleeve

WHITE LABEL

Osprey White Label is born out of sustainable thinking for modern, outdoor life. The pairing of clean lines and a cleaner enviro-footprint delivers a series of packs that are as much an extension of our lifestyle as they are a means for carrying our daily core elements.

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