Diary, Norway

Hiking Nigardsbreen Glacier

Norway Honeymoon Day 8

When researching activities to do in Norway, the most popular ones are fjord cruises and hikes. Of course, you go to Norway for the fjords and the beautiful scenery. But something else popped up in my research; Glacier activities. From hiking, kayaking and rafting, the choices are there. If you add global warming and the glaciers melting away fast, it is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The activity that we chose was hiking Nigardsbreen glacier.

The meeting point with the guide was at the Nigardsbreen parking, which was a 1,5 hours drive from our cabin. We had to be there at 10am, so we needed to wake up early. We had a big breakfast, and we were on our way.

The weather was on our side, but since we were about to walk on ice; we put some warm clothes on, hiking boots (a must because of the crampons you need to wear), a merino t-shirt, fleece, a puffy jacket, and a waterproof jacket.

Important note: to reach Nigardsbreen parking, there is a fee to cross a barrier; so cash or a card is a must-have. Alternatively, there is the Breheimsenteret museum parking. However, it is a 40-minute walk to the meeting point, so you need to keep that in mind.

We arrived at the meeting point 10 minutes early, but everyone was already there. We quickly signed the required form and then the guides gave us our equipment (crampons and an ice pick) and, of course, our brief.

hiking Nigardsbreen glacier - view from the parking
Nigardsbreen glacier from the parking – Photo from the author

Side note: Our guide was a highly trained Norwegian mountaineer. But I was surprised to see that half of the guides were Nepalese mountaineers. Many of them go back to Nepal after the summer as guides in Everest expeditions. Definitely in good hands!

Briefing over, we then walk to a small dock to take a boat that will get us closer to the glacier. If you decide to visit the glacier without a guide, you can either pay to take the boat or hike around. The hike around though takes another 30 to 40 minutes to get to the start of the glacier.

Once again, I thought this would be an experience that not many choose to do. But it turns out that many had the idea to hike on Nigardsbreen Glacier. There were an impressive number of groups hiking up and down the ice or just walking to the start of the glacier to look at this amazing nature.

Once on the other side, we still had to walk a good 20 minutes to reach the ice. There the guides gave us harnesses, and they tied us to each other and off to climb the ice!

start of the Nigardsbreen glacier
Getting closer to the Nigardsbreen glacier – Photo from the author

Time for a confection… Walking on ice with crampons is actually way more difficult than I thought. So much so that after I while I wonder why I booked the long hike (5 hours in total, 3 on ice) instead of the short one (1.5 hours on ice). I am in my early 30s, have a small figure, and am not necessarily the fittest person, but I still go for runs and hikes when I can. I was out of breath after 20 minutes… Worth every aching moment!

On our last push to reach the weather station (which was our final destination) I was very close to asking for a break. But I didn’t and here is the reward for pushing through the muscle pain and lung burning.

At the weather station, we stopped to enjoy the moment and have lunch to get back some energy for the way back.

That day we were fortunate as the melting of the ice had formed ice caves. So the guides took us through a slight detour on our way back to see those caves and take some amazing photos inside those icy blue caves. Not sure how long those caves stayed there and how many visitors had the chance to see that, but it was quite an incredible sight!

Hiking Nigardsbreen Glacier was harder than I thought, but the reward was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone that can do this.

Extra Videos

If you missed my previous post on my Nordic holiday, check it here:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

2 thoughts on “Hiking Nigardsbreen Glacier”

Leave a Reply