Glacier Hiking in Norway

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI remember one summer when I was a child, I got sick with a high fever. We were at our summer-house in the village Bjoa, and I was sitting on my Dad’s lap. We were looking at the Folgefonna Glacier far away on the other side of the fjord. I was so warm and the glacier looked so tempting – I dreamt of going there.

At the end of last summer I travelled to the Juklavass Glacier, together with colleagues from work. Juklavass Glacier is the northern part of the Folgefonna Glacier which is Norway’s third largest glacier (212 km2). We started early a Saturday morning and drove from Haugesund to Jondal in Hardanger. It was a beautiful sunny morning. From the village Jondal, we drove 19 km up to the Fonna Glacier (summer) Ski Resort (1200 meter a.s.l.). The road up was narrow with many turns, but the view was spectacular. When we arrived at the Ski Resort, it was like the winter came sudden and all to early, with snow and just a few degrees Celsius. It was time to dress up with wool, wind proof jacket, gloves and mountain boots. The season for glacier hiking at Juklavass Glacier, starts in June and ends in September.  Folgefonni Breførarlag provided us with crampons, ice axes, harness, helmets and rope to connect the team members. After a short brief by the guides we were ready.

 

Moving on glaciers brings about the hazard of falling into a crevasse. Although most of the crevasses are visible in the summer, there can still be some hidden ones. All members in the team were therefore tied in to a rope at equal distances from each other, and the rope was kept relatively tight.

P1120318Fonna Glacier Ski Resort

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We started walking up up up from 1200 meters to about 1400 meters a.s.l. This was the hardest part of the trip. The view on the top was amazing – we were so lucky to have such beautiful weather.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJuklavatnet (Jukla lake)

 

After a couple of hours we stopped for lunch with a beautiful view of the glacier and the Rosendal alps.

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After the break we split into two groups and our group went looking for glacier caves. They were hard to find, but we found two that we could walk or crawl inside.

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P1120437Blue ice

Folgefonna glacier is 5000 years old, so it’s younger than the last Ice Age. The glacier ice looks blue because the dense ice of the glacier absorbs every other color of the spectrum except blue – so blue is what we see!

We then headed back to the Ski Resort. The trip lasted for 5-6 hours and we walked 5-6 km. The highest point of the route was about 1500 meters a.s.l.

 

After getting untied of the rope, we drove to Rosendal and checked in at Rosendal Fjord hotel. We all gathered for a three course dinner in the evening at the hotel. After a wonderful dinner we walked over to Snikkeriet, a local pub in Rosendal with live music and great atmosphere.

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Rosendal Fjord hotel is located right by the fjord with this amazing view.

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The view from our hotel room

Next day we wanted to go for a short walk to Hatteberg waterfall, next to the Barony in Rosendal. We missed the path to the waterfall and the short walk became a bit longer, but Rosendal is so beautiful and we found the waterfall at last.

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The Barony in Rosendal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHatteberg waterfall

 

This was a great weekend with great colleagues, new adventures and amazing weather (can’t take that for granted when living on the west coast of Norway). I would like to go back to Rosendal next summer, to hike the mountains – it is so beautiful!

Thank you for reading!

 

 

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