Iceland: Land of Fire

Backcountry Journey’s guide Ben Blankenship recently led a workshop in Iceland. While there he spent some time photographing and filming the incredible Fagradalsfjall eruption. Ben created this jaw-dropping cinematic video of the eruption.

“For nine days, it lay in wait. For nine days, magma gathered under the newly formed volcanic crust, building in strength and pressure. And for nine days, I held my breath, anticipating the one thing I wanted to see more than anything else on this Icelandic trip. And on September 11, the dam broke. Fagradalsfjall erupted with a flood of lava, creating an enormous lake of fire and molten rock. New vents formed, spewing fountains of lava hundreds of meters into the air. It was a spectacle of nature so immense, so rare, that it is still hard for me to comprehend the power of what I witnessed. I arrived in Iceland several days in advance of leading a photo workshop here just so I could photograph Fagradalsfjall. But when I arrived, she was dormant. And it was on my last night in Reykjavik that it happened.

I secured a last-minute rental car and raced to the volcano in the middle of the night. After two hours hiking up the backside of the valley, it came into view. The sight of all that lava, the sounds of bubbling lava fountains and grinding rock, the smell of sulfur and brimstone, all combined to make this one of the most memorable nights of my life.” -Ben Blankenship

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