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A Glacier walk on the Austerdalsbreen Glacier

AusterdalsbreenWe met up in Sogndal in September 2004. All of us were students there in the 80s, and the time had come for a reunion. Some of the 'old gang' were ready for a glacier walk over the Austerdalsbreen Glacier, an offshoot of the larger Jostedalsbreen Glacier. We took a bus to Tungestølen at Veitastrond, where we met the guides from Jostedalen Glacier Guiding Club. After a short 'pit stop' at Hafslo, where the rucksacks were filled up with necessary supplies, we continued towards Veitastrond.

The Austerdalen Valley
We met the others at Tungestølen and we were given crampons and rope before walking up the Austerdalen valley. The rain poured down and most of us were early soaked from head to toe. This didn't seem to affect the moral of the 'old students', as everbody was enjoying the walk. The walk up the Austerdalen Valley to the Austerdalsbreen Glacier is a easy walk, taking about an hour and a half to the edge of the glacier.
Fjord Tours - Glacier Hiking on Nigardsbreen
- The finest ice scenery in Europe
A fantastic sight met us when we walked over the hill and saw the Austerdalsbreen Glacier covering the whole valley in all its glory. Shortly afterwards we could see the glacial icefalls Loke, Odin and Tor. These three glacial icefalls join in the valley to form the Austerdalsbreen Glacier, all of which have their origins on the Jostedalsbreen Glacier. The Austerdalbreen Glacier with Loke, Odin and Tor have the reputation of combining to form the 'finest ice scenery in Europe'. This was the phrase uttered by the famous climbing pioneer William Cecil Slingsby the first time he visited the Austerdalsbreen Glacier and saw the spectacular glacier icefalls.
Walking on the glacier
There was just enought time for a slice of bread at the edge of the glacier before we roped up. We divided into two teams and started to walk up the glacier. This is one of the least technically demading glaciers to walk on, and we strolled easily upwards on a wonderful voyage of discovery. Walking on a glacier is fascinating. Middle moraines, crevasses, rivers which disappear deep down into the glacier, amazing colour variations in the ice.....even the sun made an appearance a couple of times.
Back towards the Tungestølen Mountain Lodge
We walked up the glacier towards the icefalls, but as we were running out of time we had to return before reaching them. After two hours on the glacier we were back at the edge where we untied from the ropes and began the walk back towards Tungestølen and the bus. At the start of the walk, we had been given a mission by a local farmer, to find his lost sheep who didn't want to come home. Only a half hour walk from Tungestølen we found the disobedient sheep and asked our happy bus driver, also a local, to pass the message on to the farmer.
After a long, wet and at times cold trip, all of us felt the need to stop at the 'shack' in Veitastrond where we stocked up on cold beer before heading towards the Lægreids Pub in Sogndal. We all agreed that it had been a great trip, and now we looked forward to meet the other students for a great weekend in Sogndal.
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