Diary, Norway

Amazing Experience Kayaking on a Glacier

Norway has a plethora of adventures to offer. However, glaciers are the ones that really catch my attention. While researching activities, I found hikes on glaciers, which I booked immediately. But I also found a glacier kayaking adventure, which sounds so exciting. I debated for some time which one between hiking and kayaking should book until I booked both.

On the first day in Sogndal, we did the hike (read more about it here) and the next day was a recovery day (read more about it here). Now time for a new adventure!

Beginning of the Adventure

The meeting point with our guide was the same place and when we did the hike. So, once again, we had an early start. We woke up at around 7am and had a good breakfast and put our warm hiking gears on and off we went.

Unfortunately, like the previous day, the weather wasn’t nice. It was raining before we even left the cabin and fog also looming around. Under normal circumstance I love fog as makes for beautiful photos I think. But this time, I was hoping it would go away before we reach our meeting point.

On our previous glacier hike, our guide had told us that glaciers have their own climate and that it might be raining in the village down the road but sunny on the glacier. So with that though it mind I kept my hopes high.

The meeting point was once again at the Breheimsenteret museum’s parking not far away from our first adventure. However, this time after everyone had arrived, we had to drive further up the mountain. Rain hadn’t stopped before we arrived and rain and hope that the rain will stop was rapidly fading.

And indeed, when we arrived at our Styggevatn dam, it was still drizzling. So it was time to make peace with the fact that we will probably get wet. Now every adventure can be all sunshine and warmth and this is a one in a lifetime experience. So we got our equipment (kayaking gloves, skirts and paddles) and went down the dam where our kayaks were waiting for us. They were double kayaks so I sat in the front seat to film and my husband to the back seat and the steering duty.

The scenery was out of this world. As we pushed the kayak into the water, fog was setting heavily around blending with the snowy mountains and the light rain was creating an atmosphere taken from an exploration documentary.

We hiked for around an hour and 10 minutes, stopping in places to admire the surroundings and take some photos, while the glacier slowly came into view.

During that time, I started noticing that water was slowly passing through the waterproof kayaking gloves and my normal gloves and then down my sleeves. I wasn’t cold though, not yet…

It was when we finally reached the glacier that things got a little tricky. We got out of our kayaks to get ready to hike.

Our guides did brief us about how to use the crampons and ice pick and then for everybody to get the equipment on. During this time, it was raining, and we had no shelter. The rain go the better of my hiking trousers and it got soaking wet. To add to the misery, the sun was nowhere to be found and a freezing wind was coming down the glacier. We all started feeling very cold.

Things got a little better when we walk up the glacier and our body warmed up.

Our guide was new to the company, and she was very excited to show us everything she knew about the glacier. Once we reach and the top, we had some time to enjoy the amazing view over the lake we had just kayaked. There our guide also offered us a very needed cup of hot chocolate.

This is where I realise my trousers were completely wet down to my underwear. My arms were also wet from the water that had gone through my gloves while kayaking. I will admit that I felt quite miserable. I was looking forward to get back into the kayak and having my legs shielded from the wind and the rain.

After a good 45 minutes to one hour, we made our way down again. We took off our hiking equipment and got back to the kayaks. At this point, everyone was soaked to the bones. So much so water was now making its way down socks and inside my hiking boots. I mean, getting your feet wet while wearing hiking boots that is quite an achievement!

The fog was also getting even thicker. It was beautiful, but between the fog, the rain and the cold, I started feeling stressed. I asked one guide if he had those conditions before and although he said yes and not to worry, he also said we will need to kayak fast on our way back.

So we paddled away as hard as we could. We did the return journey in less than 1 hour as we paddle fast and hard. Back at the dam, we took the kayaks out of the water and run back into our warm car. Luckily, I had a brought with me a pair of extra trouser so immediately changed. We cracked the heating in the car and we were on our way to our cabin for a hot shower.

I probably made this experience sound miserable, and on one hand, it was. But it was also a once in a lifetime experience I would do all over again any time. We were quite unlucky with the weather and we didn’t have the gear for it. So learn from our mistake and bring some warm clothes and proper water proof and would have an amazing experience kayaking on a glacier.

Check the company here to book your own adventure: here

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