Glacier Hike

Walking on a 10000 year-old glacier in the Lyngen Alps

Every time we go to a new country, my husband and I each pick one ( or more, depending on price) favourite activity. Since Norway is so expensive, we decided on maximum two paying activities. I picked whale watching, a life-long dream of mine. My husband really wanted to go on a glacier hike. We planned our road trip around these activities. Arriving at te whale watching-place, apparently the sea was too stormy. Weather predictions said the storm wasn’t going to lay down for the next few days. Very disappointed (I might have cried a little bit) we went on with our road trip. When we arrived in Tromsø, we directly went to the tourism office to book our glacier hike. The lady gave us different options, but we decided to go with the longest and hardest tour. Since whale watching was off, all of our hopes were on this glacier hike…

The tour guide would pick us up at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromsø. There were only two more people joining us on this tour. When our guide, Tore Albrigtsen, got out of his van, smelling of fire and lacking a few fingertips, we knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary tour. During the ride into the Lyngen Alps, he told us his story. He and his girlfriend live in a house in the wilderness without running water. They have about 50 huskies (or more!) for their winter dog sledding tours, and they love these animals. He has participated in many slogsledding races, he’s been skiing across Greenland, Svalbard and Alaska. He climbed some of the world’s highest peaks and is half way through completing his Seven Summits.

It’s about a two-hour walk to the Steindalsbreen glacier, which is 10000 years old. Approaching the glacier, you see the sad reality of the slinking glacier. Signs indicate where the glacier was only a few years ago. This gives you an even deeper respect for nature and shows how fragile it is.

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During lunch next to the glacier we get safety instructions, a hot cup of coffee and biscuits which Tore brought with him. Now it’s time for the real deal: we put on our crampons, harness, ropes, helmets and the coolest thing ever, an ice axe. We make the obligatory crazy-axe-person picture, and start our hike.

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You immediately notice that the glacier is much bigger than it looks from far away. After a while, you see the first crevasses and the brightest blue you have ever seen in your life. We enter a crevasse, and it’s like a dream. Nothing in the world compares to this feeling! Tore gives a lot of information on glaciers and we enjoy all his stories. The longest he ever spent on a glacier, without coming off, is 26 days! He gives us a short intro to ice climbing when we face a wall of ice. We loved every second on this glacier, and after a few hours, unfortunately, we had to come off.

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This was a day and a guide we would never forget. One day, we will go back and do his week-long dogsledding tour in the frozen arctic wilderness.

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Interested in booking this tour? Go to his website https://www.activetromso.no/ or to the tourism office in Tromsø. This tour is rather expensive (1500 NOK = 154 euro), but well worth the price. Tore also offers (midnight sun) kayaking tours, mountain hikes, northern lights tours, husky training, etc… Warning: taking a tour might be addictive! This is not a sponsored review, we just loved it. Thank you Tore, for making this an unforgettable day!

 

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