Road Trip: Nigardsbreen Glacier

nigardsbreen_2016_002From the town of Gaupne we drove 30 km north along a beautiful light blue glacial river.  We stopped several times to take pictures of the river, rapids, and some bridges next to the road.  We stopped at the Breheimsenteret Glacier center, a building shaped like a viking helmet that overlooks the Jostedalsbreen Nasjonalpark.  The visitor center had a nice gift shop and cafe.  There was also a small exhibit, but we didn’t go to see it since we were on our way to see the glacier ourselves.

nigardsbreen_2016_006A small road took us from the visitor center to a parking lot at the edge of the glacial lake, Nigardsbrevatnet.  Along the way we stopped by the edge of the lake and found a small floating iceberg that Jesse rescued from the water for me to photograph.  He relaunched it afterwards, with views of the large glacier behind it.

nigardsbreen_2016_007From the parking lot, we took a short hike along the lake to the glacier.  The trail had some built stairs and cables to hold on to in places, but we found ourselves off a trail a time or 2, and some of the stone was worn quite smooth and was slippery.  But it was a beautiful hike with the lake next to us and large mountains around us with waterfalls.

nigardsbreen_2016_014As we approached the glacier there were warning signs cautioning about the calving of the glacier as ice can fall and injury people, but also that ice could fall into the raging stream that flows under the glacier causing a surge of water that could sweep people away.  There was a rope line designating the safe zone, though many people approached the glacier further for pictures or just to try to touch the ice.

nigardsbreen_2016_016We sat at the base of the glacier for a while and watch several groups with their guide hiking on the glacier.  They weaved back and forth staying on the high parts of the ice, with deep crevices around them.  Someday that would be fun to experience, but I  would never want to go without a guide.

nigardsbreen_2016_025We walked back down along the stream and Jesse found Jack some ice for him to chew on.  He seemed to enjoy it 🙂  We also found the bridge that those who hike the glacier use to access the glacier.  The bridge must be quite stable since each of those hikers carry quite a bit of gear, but we were a little leery about walking out on the bouncy, swinging bridge.  It did offer a really nice view of the steam and it’s source.

 

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