|Glaciers are a natural part of the mountains - they are living, moving creatures undergoing continual change and being near or on them requires experience, great
skill and accurate judgement. Besides passing through the Norwegian Instructor Award for glacier instruction and guiding, I have also amassed a great deal of
experience of glacier travel, knowledge of glaciology and the mechanisms that surround glaciers in the mountains. This page is dedicated to some of the
impressive glacial terrain there is to be found - particularly in Norway, where there are traditions for glacier travel for recreation dating back to the 1800's - a tradition
that is quite unique in the world. I am always happy to arrange tailor made glacier skills courses and bespoke glacier guiding throughout the year.
|Above, a tangle in the rope and below, a collection of ice axes.
|Above left, on a straight forward dry glacier, competent mountaineers can move around without being roped up.
Below, snow lying on the ice well into summer hides dangerous crevasses and the snow is likely to be particularly unstable at this time of year.
|Below, jumping a step in the ice and right, one of the many ways of constructing an efficient pulley system, here with a Tibloc.
|Left, a selection of glacier
travel equipment including
harness, helmet, crampons,
axe, gloves, quickdraws, ice
screws, prussik loops, pulley,
belay device and karabiners,
|Glaciologists have been studying the growth and retreat of glaciers throughout Norway for decades. Storbrean, which lies on the east side of Store
Smørstabbtind in Leirdalen, is one of those that has and is being studied most. The map below shows the results of studies and the dating of the moraines. The
lowest, or most advanced state, dates back to the 1780's. The various moraines in the glacier edge zone have been produced as the glacier has repeatedly
advanced and retreated. A walk up through this area is very interesting and provides quite an insight into glaciology and climate change.
|Above, preparing the ropes at the top of Brattebakken prior to moving onto Bohrbreen on an ascent of Lodalskåpa (2082m) - the highest peak in the area.
Below, moving roped in more challenging terrain with fragile snow bridges and route finding challenges.
|The DNT owned Demmevasshytta (above). The hut was originally built for workers constructing a tunnel through the rock to drain and lower the level of the nearby
Demmevatnet - a lake blocked by the glacier arm of Rembesdalskåla on the western side of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier plateau in the Hardangervidda. Flash
floods forced the local population to act as the water occasionally breeched the glacial dam. Later another tunnel was bored through the rock to lower the water
level further. Demmesvasshytta has been the home of Bregruppen and a base for development of glacier courses for decades. The hut is very much in use
today. Below left, in the complex icefall of Rembesdalskåla as we search for a potential ascent route to the plateau. Martine (below left) well equipped with a
chest harness being used in conjunction with a sit harness and otherwise festooned with the equipment necessary to solve any glacier challenge.
|Above, the receding glacial tongue of Bødalsbreen that cascades 900 vertical metres from the high and vast plateau of Jostedalsbreen. The glacier lies at the
head of Bødal about 2 kilometers beyond the summer pastures and huts at Bødalsseter (below left). The DNT hut her is the building closest to the camera.
Bødalen lies at the northern end of Jostedalsbreen. A seter is traditionally seasonal shelter in the high mountains for the shepherds that looked after the
livestock during the summer months. Now these huts have been passed down through the family generations and are mostly used for recreation. A stay at
Bødalsseter is a pleasant experience - far from the usual busy everyday life - her there is no mobile phone reception or electricity, only gas and candlelight.
|Below, the dammed Nedre Demmevatnet and the Rembesdalskåla icefall. Demmevasshytta is around to the right out of site on the rock, so a crossing of the ice
is necessary on an approach via this route.
|Above left, the weather can quickly change resulting in next to zero visibility making navigation and route finding skills very important. Above right, a journey over
Hardangerjøkulen can be divided into stages by stopping at Olavsvarden where there is a research station. Below, on the highest point of the jøkul at 1863m -
nothing around but ice as far as the eye can see in all directions which is similar in many ways to the ice sheet on Greenland.
|Above, the mountain lodge at Krossbu with the Smørstabbtindane mountains surrounding Smørstabbbreen rising above the 2000m mark behind. Krossbu is
one of the bases I use for glacier courses as both Leirbreen and Bøverbreen are only a 40 minute walk away and Krossbu can be reached by public transport.
Below, after finishing a session on crevasse rescue a group discusses the day and also take in the extensive view to the Hurrungane mountains.
|Below, Storbrean seen from the other side of Leirdalen. The peaks behind are (right to left) Store Smørstabbtinden, Kniven, Sokse and Store Bjørn
|Beautiful ice features that can be of staggering size. Below, volcanic ash and huge debris cones give an eerie feeling to glaciers on Iceland.
|Below, fascinating ice features at the tongue of a retreating glacier and one of the most dangerous features of a glacier - a moulin channelling melt water.
|Above, the icefall of Kvíárjökull on Iceland that descends over 2000m from the summit of Hvannadalshnúkur.
|Below, in good spirits awaiting rescue and right, descending the lower and
quite steep reaches of Bødalsbreen.