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Hiking the Bødalsbreen Glacier

dsc_0070If you stay at Sande Camping there is plenty to do for you. Next to fishing and sailing trips you can go for a glacier hike up the Bødalsbreen. This glacier is considered the biggest on mainland Europe and chances are high that it is the most beautiful as well. When you are about to book such an adventure remind yourself that you will need the right equipment for that. Besides sunglasses and warm clothes the right shoes should be worn. In case you do not have shoes you consider appropriate for such a trip you can borrow some at the camping. It is included in the price as well as the ice axe, crampons, gloves and a helmet.

The trip will take 5 – 6 hours of which around 3 on the glacier and starts with a brief introduction during which the first information concerning organizational issues will be given. The first 15-20 minutes will be driven in private cars upon a road which is owned by farmers doing their business up there. You will need additional 40 NOK (in coins) to pay the fee for using this road. As you might join in a tour, which is attended by others as well there will be multiple cars going up the road. Make sure that you are the last car going up, since you will pass some spectacular waterfalls you most likely do not want to miss out taking pictures of. On your way down you will have another possibility to take some shots, but given that weather can change rapidly in those regions it is better to not postpone such moments. At the end of the road at the place where you can get rid of your cars just to joyfully jump into your hiking-boots there is another waterfall waiting for you to take stunning pictures of.

dsc_0123At the parking space the entrance to the Jodalsbreen Nationalpark is located. The guide will stop there and take you during a briefing along some issues concerning the location and the nature itself. Having heard that, you will walk the first five minutes further up to the base camp where all the equipment for walking on ice is stored. At the base camp another briefing will follow during which the functioning of the equipment will be illuminated. Once you have adjusted your crampons to your shoe size and are equipped with all the stuff you need you will start hiking further up towards the foot of the glacier. During the approximately 60 minutes walk you will have a couple of stops for taking pictures and learning more about the nature on the glaciers. It will be hard for you to wait for taking pictures but as the path is a little bit rocky it might be better to do so. The view around you is more than breath taking. Most likely you will get a little bit envy of the Norwegians living there and enjoying this spectacle every day. ´

The foot of the glacier will welcome you with a stony surrounding which is not easy to walk as many of those big and small blocks around there are laying on each other. Some are loose, while others are slippery so take your time and rather invest five minutes more in going to where actually the ice begins, than twist your ankles or something – you might need it. Before you get on the deep-blue iced landscape you are asked to take your crampons and helmets on and get another instruction of how to walk and behave on the glacier. Then, finally, walking on the ice is an experience itself. Bizarre, granted, but a lot of fun though! After another hour on the ice you will rest for half an hour having lunch and a chit-chat with the guide. So remember to bring some food and enough water with you. Going down is easier and not that exhausting and if you were the last one in the rope when going up, you will be the first one going down, which is actually pretty cool because you will not have any people walking in front of you ruining your picture! After you are off the ice everything goes pretty fast. Except the walk back to the base camp as your feet might feel like rubber. At the camp you hand in all the equipment again and the guide will leave you with some last instructions before you have time for yourself walking around and capturing the fantastic view with your camera.

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