Explore the frontier that connects Northern Norway to the Arctic Circle on this glacier hiking excursion in Svartisen.
The second largest glacier formation in Norway, Svartisen is an unpredictable beast that has caught many of the mountaineers off guard. Discover the placid white surface of its exterior and peer into deep crevasses to see hues of blue unlike any before. Try your luck at ice climbing - and even bring back hand-picked ice cubes for the late night cocktails!
Svartisen glacier is the second largest in Norway covering 375 km2 and is the largest ice-covered area of northern Norway. To reach Svartisen, a rental car is recommended as over-land transport is limited. Buses run from central Bodo and a shuttle ferry connects the area to Holandsvika - whilst this trip can be completed in a day, overnight accommodation in Svartisen offers the best all-round experience. Svartisen is at the latitude of the Arctic Circle. The West Svartisen ice cap has an area of about 220 km2, whilst the East Svartisen ice cap covers about 147 km2. The two ice caps of Svartisen, which are separated by a deep valley, Vesterdalen-Glomdalen, supply sixty outlet glaciers. Svartisen is located 160 km south of Bodø along the Coastal Highway, FV 17. If you start from Bodø please allow 3 h driving.
A full day glacier hiking excursion in Svartisen, this guided expedition is perfect for adventures who can't settle for just looking at the glacier, but feel compelled to touch it and walk on it as well. Suitable for total beginners and children as young as 10 years old, crampons and an ice ax enable you to experience the magical world of the glacial ice of Svartisen. Meeting your guide at the pier in Holandsvika, get an activity briefing and gear check before you start with a short bicycle ride approx. 3 km along a flat gravel road. Then 1.5 km steady, well-graded uphill walking for 1 h to reach the glacier. The route follows paths, some parts in a bit rugged terrain and slabs with no trails for which you will be lead using a guide rope around blue holes and crevasses. Later as the incline increases, try your hand at ice climbing on the 4.5 km circuit. All you need to join this tour is a sense of adventure, some suggested personal clothing, light hiking boots, and snacks. The expert guides will provide all your gear to safely explore the glacier of Svartisen.
This trip is graded as Moderate – intermediate grading. The degree of difficulty and the precise route is carefully chosen to fulfill the desires and physique of the group itself.
Total length: 4.5 km each way to reach the glacier (3 km bicycling, 1.5 km hiking). Not to forget the distance from Bodø, 160 km.
Elevation: the starting point is 2 metres above sea level. The maximum elevation on the glacier will be no more than 4 – 500m a.s.l.
Moderate fitness and agility are required. Children should be accompanied by an adult.