Glacier Hike Adventure in Norway
We reached Nigardsbreen Glacier by noon time, 30 minutes ahead of our maiden trek through a glacier. Nigardsbreen Glacier is part of the Jostedal National Park and is one of the most accesible glacier in Norway. When we entered the park, we were welcomed by this view!
The meeting point of the hike is near the Breheiman Visitor Center, we passed by the visitor center and saw a sign going to Nigardsbreen. We drove about 3.5KM on a toll road (credit card was accepted at the toll gate).
After we parked the car, we went ahead and met our guides, provided our reservation, and signed some paperwork. They provided us with sturdy mountaineering shoes, crampons, and ice axe. The group was led by a team of experienced climbers – a Norwegian and two Nepalese (who were also Everest Summiteers multiple times). At two points, we were given instructions for safety measures and how to use the equipments that they have provided us.
A glimpse of the glacier while we were waiting for our hike to start.
For the first part of the trek, we hiked thru some big rocks for about an hour. This photo was taken while standing on one of the rocks.
Continuing into the trek, we crossed a rickety walking bridge across a rushing stream of ice cold glacier water.
From the bridge, we walked for another 30 minutes then we reached a point and regrouped ourselves with harness and rope.
View of the glacier while waiting for others to roped up.
Once we had our harness and rope, the guides instructed us about the importance of maintaining a proper distance between one another and to be mindful of one another, helping each other as necessary. Then we started the second part of the trek which lasted for another one hour, passing thru snow covered rocks which were very slippery!
We reached another point where we put the crampons into our shoes. In these photos, the guides are giving us instructions on how to step properly with the crampons and how to use the ice axe to support our balance..
Now, it’s time to start the most exciting part of the hike – summiting the glacier! It was very challenging! Some parts of the glacier are very steep and some parts require huge steps which was really hard to do (maybe due to heavy crampons or maybe due to fear!). As we ascend, the wind became stronger and the hike became harder.
We had a few breaks during the hike. In this photo, we stopped for a while to catch our breath and drink water.
As we navigated our path through steep ice-capped rocks, we reached a plateau, which was pretty much the summit of the shorter version of our hike. We took pictures and even went into a natural ice tunnel.
Photo ops at the top of the glacier
View from the top.
Look at the shape of this ice tunnel formation – it looks like a heart!
The hike reminded me of a chewing-gum or a refrigerator advertisement that discusses the freezer capabilities – blue edges resembling menthol or frozen ice cubes – pretty surreal. One may consider the climb somewhat difficult, but returning back was tougher. As we moved down through the loose ice or melting snow, we slipped multiple times, landing on precarious angles on our bottoms – the harness was really helpful as the group stayed tight and together.
Here’s the information about the hike:
Where to book: Book online at Jostedalen Breforarlag (click the link) or if there are spaces left at the Glacier Visitor Centre latest 1 hour before start or directly of the guide (cash only in NOK)
Meeting Point: Nigardsbreen parking lot. Ample parking space is available. GPS Coordinates – 61°40’18.971″ / E 7°14’07.240″ OR N 61°40.316′ / E 7°14.120′
Hike selection: Short Blue Ice Hike
Time: 3.5 to 4 hours, on the ice 1.5 hour (ours lasted for 6 hours since there were no boats available to bring us to the base)
Dates: May 15 to September 30
Time: 12.15 PM and 1 PM (July 1 to August 25)
Price: NOK 580 incl. boat transport, glacier equipment and and the exhibition at Breheimsenteret
Age Limit: Min. 12 yrs old
What to wear and bring: Warm, wind- and waterproof clothing, sunglasses, cap, lunch package or protein bars, water and solid shoes (trekking boots or sport shoes). The clothing must cover the whole body (no shorts or skirts without leggings).