Norway E2.8 Folgefonna Glacier / by Tom Glendinning

This is the first glacier I have ever come close to. This National Park info sums it up; in short the glacier is central to the incredible landscape and ecosystem that we were exploring at this point.

The landscape in this part of Hardanger is so beautiful it bears comparison with the most outstanding places in Europe. Folgefonna is the third largest ice cap in Norway, all of 168 km2 . It probably reaches a maximum thickness of 300-400 m. If we take 150 m as an average, Folgefonna has about 30 km3 of ice. Its highest point (1662 m a.s.l.) is believed to be one of the wettest places in Norway, receiving an estimated annual precipitation of around 5500 mm. The natural environment surrounding Folgefonna is dominated by the proximity of a large ice cap. There are numerous rushing rivers, and many lakes and rivers have the characteristic opaque emeraldgreen colour of glacial meltwater. The park includes the next largest area lacking major infrastructure in the county of Hordaland.

The gulley the glacier melt torrents down carries with it a freezing wind falling from the glacier. Sinking down the bottom of the valley it is a stark and palpable layer flowing over the watery tumult. 

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

If that looks cold it's because it is... of course I got in!

No problem finding a shower in Norway's campsites

The pristine environment here is so inspiring and enriching - this is perhaps one of my favourite hikes I have ever taken and left me totally rejuvenated.