We put on our boots with the grip pofile. Today we are out for a glacier - Nigardsbreen. The name of Nigardsbreen originates in the settlement of Nigard. This was destroyed in a fast glacier thrust in 1743.
The nature reserve Nigardsbreen exists since 1985 and has a size of 28,1 km². It borders the national park of Jostedalsbreen in the Jostedal of the community of Luster. You can find here historical and geological information telling much about the growth and decrease of the glacier.
Due to the glacier and sediments after the retreat of the glacier the area is under conservation. Therefor within the reserve it is not permitted to move stones, harm the vegetation, or to camp.
We pass rapid rivers and bridges inspiring little confidence. Also here the typical turquoise coloured water can be found, coloured by chalk deposits. We meet chalk any time and everywhere and it plays a signifcant role for our existence because also the global climate is considerably influenced by chalk and its circulation in nature.
By ferry we cross the Sognefjord, then via Sogndalsfjøra until we branch off in Gaupne. A short distance to Gjeder and we have reached our destination.
We pass a gate and I'm certain that the fee is automatically debited from my account. These things work perfectly here in Norway. All the time I neither exchanged money nor needed any cash anywhere.
It really is not far and we have no inkling that the exhausting part of the day is still waiting for us.
This warning sign at the start of the ascent worries us a little. However, we do not plan to scramble around on the glacier and should not be discouraged.
Aha, so these are the ropes mentioned on the sign, so we think after more or less stumbling along over rocks and debris.
You should better forgo this tour in rainy weather because you might be back downhill much faster than you wish for. Anyway, it's cool and dry.
On we go and after climbing is before climbing. Such a route could not be offered to anyone in Germany, I think, but the Norwegians are climbing mad.
Here are least we would slide softly into the icy water if meeting a slippery spot. Looking down to the water, I see a ship crammed with tourists, passing us on their way to the glacier.
Greenhorns, I thinks, wiping the sweat from my face. Hopefully the way back we will make by boat - well, surely.
A staircase! By now I'm much too exhausted for cheers. The stair is narrow but solid.
For a change we pass a small footbridge and leave it behind us without accident. Ahead of us I can see a young couple with a child on the back. I'm crossing fingers that they won't slip down any rock wich is not very recommendable with a child. They pass us quickly.
At the same time we are missing the fat woman with the walking sticks we overtook a few minutes ago. Perhaps she turned back - and has my understanding.
It cannot be far now and we pluck up. It's not such fun to creep over rocks on your belly. A Coke and a hammock would not be that bad to my opinion.
Instead of the hammock we get the famous ropes again. But it really is not far now. Only a coward would give up now! So lets creep on.
Indeed there it is. They say that the Nigardsbreen glacier is of all glaciers the one easiest accessible. I really do not want to know about the accesses to the other glaciers...
At last we are there after a few hundred metres over slippy debris.
Pure ice among rocks. The blue of the glacier is outstanding. We take a break, relaxing from the balance exercise of our route.
We decide to take a boat for the way back.
We are not the only glacier visitors who can do without walking back. The boat is so full that some persons have to stay behind.
Then we reach the centre again, to be exact the educational centre of Nigardsbreen, the Breheimsenter. From the distance it looks like a helmet. Here we can learn a lot about the glacier.
There is written information (in Norwegian, German, and English) about glacier, country, animals and population. From the terrace we get a great view at the Nigardsbreen.
We also get shocking information about the retreat of the glacier.
A few years ago the Nigardsbreen glacier looked like on the flyer photo shown, today however it clearly is much shorter.
Of course those are proofs, confirmations of the climate change which does not leave out Norway.
We set out southwards, back to the ferry. Somehow you never have to wait long for a ferry, also this one quickyl takes us back across the Sognefjords.