Nigardsbreen Glacier


The Nigardsbreen Glacier was one of our best experiences. We arrived here after spending the night in Sognefjord. It was our first night in Norway, so we were still getting used to the rhythm of life in the fjord area - including the concept of multiple ferries.

That morning we woke up knowing we would have to hitch a ferry to get to our next destination. But alas, we missed our ferry and ended up waiting about 40min for the next. This is probably the best place to note that if you are heading to the fjord region play close attention to your route, if there is a ferry along the way, and if the timetables based on season. It will help! 

Luckily, we push our Toyota Avensis to the limits and made it to Nigardsbreen right on time. I remember seeing the glacier from afar for the first time (which by the way, was my first glacier sighting) and my stomach dropped. The majesty of something so massive and so beautiful stunned me. I had no idea how much better it would get.

Once we grabbed our gear, it was a boat ride and a pretty rugged hike to the glacier. We crossed makeshift bridges over rushing water, swampy lands, and finally – rock and ice.

The closer you get, the more you shutter in complete awe of its size - and once you start to climb, it's pretty magical.

With ice picks in hand, crampons on and harness tightly fastened, we made our way up. It was cold, it was unsteady (so much ice rubble), and it was blue. SO blue. The deepest, brightest blue I have ever seen.

The trek was completely different than I imagined. It wasn't a sheet of ice to navigate - it was a web of crevasses with walls the size of a large building, tunnels that you could barely fit your body through, and caverns of rushing crystal clear water. One slip, and you could fall down a huge gap - did I mention we were harnessed together?

Our guide was an older lady who I imagine to be the guardian of the glacier. She has torn Norrona pants, ragged gear and the sweetest spirit. She was a strong, adventurous and such a soft soul. I admired her.

We finally got further up the glacier and the gathering of ice portrayed what I can only describe as a castle of ice. Jagged ice peaks going higher and higher in gradation. It looked like it went on foever. If I was braver, we would have trekked further, but we stopped at the animals bones, had a snack, shivered and made our way down.

As we left, we heard a story of how a huge chunk of ice had fell the day before and the sound was of thunder. They said it's happening more often than ever, even though the glacier does grow over time. It’s scary to think that generations to come may not be able to experience something like this. It is truly a wonder.