Crossing Svartisen glacier – Norway’s second largest

  • Some years ago we did a test trip across Svartisen, Norway’s second largest glacier. It was the weekend around 1st of May, where people go in long queues over the Jostedal glacier. On Svartisen we met no one! Not many have crossed this jewel of a glacier. Now is your chance to join this trip led by our local guide Rune Krogh. You can see more photos from 2013 trip here.

    There is something fascinating about glaciers, a kind of primitive raw force. But of the large glaciers that carved out fjords and valleys in this land, and created thousands of islands as a guard against the North Atlantic, there is only a handful left. And they decrease rapidly… Svartisen, which before was one glacier, is now divided into two, the east and west – ice…

  • Food and equipment

    We will provide all general equipment such as tents, navigation, sleds, pulling harness if needed, security essentials ...

    You must bring your skis, boots and poles, personal clothing as well as sleeping bag and mattress.

    We will supply a detailed equipment list as soon as your booking is confirmed.

    Meals: we include all meals once we leave "civilization" behind and until we are back in town.

    Breakfast is Borge's special enriched porridge recipe, lunch will be light snacks as we stop several times a day, and dinner composed of Real Turmat-Dry tech expedition food.

  • Day by day

    Day 1. The tour starts in the morning in Mo i Rana. You can take the morning train from Bodø, which may involve accommodation in Bodø the night before, or if you get to Mo i Rana the evening before, either by train from Bodø or Trondheim, and overnight there.

    From Mo i Rana, we take a car into Svartisvannet and walk up a side valley to reach the glacier. It is a beautiful valley. Some cottages at the start, and a snowmobile trail, but then just wilderness. We'll see how far we get the first day, but we need to climb many metres. Parts of the ascent are relatively steep, and the skins need to go on underneath our skis. Up on the "edge" we look straight down on Svartisvannet, it is rather steep down there. We will hardly reach the glacier today and the first camp is in this valley.

    Day 2. The transition to the glacier is "smooth" so high up, no cracks were spotted along the route when we were there in 2014, but we could see the crevassed areas further down to the west.

    We keep the height and ski along on a kind of ridge, with nunataks sticking up both to the right and left. Mount Svartiskongen can be seen in the distance, but first we need to descent from the east ice. It's May and most crevasses are snowed in. The use of rope will depend of conditions, which might change from year to year, in poor visibility we always rope up.

    Between the two glaciers it is a nice little valley. If conditions have been good and we get down in the valley we camp here.

    Day 3. This day also starts with a long ascent, but not as steep as it was going down from the east ice. We find the mountain ridge that blend into the glacier, and then we are on the West Ice. This is the finest part of the trip; the sea can be seen down to the west and in the east; mountains and plains far away towards Sweden.

    We started early and have the whole day and evening. The bright nights enable us to go as long as we want. Over the last hump and we have a great downhill skiing in wait, before we turn down towards the hydro-dam in the northwest end of Storglomvatn.

    We're going down the construction road from the dam, which at the top is not cleared of snow yet, and it can be a bit tricky the first kilometre. Maybe we take the backpack, since the sledge tends to capsize in the sloping terrain. Further down it becomes gentler, and after some two kilometres we reach the cleared road. Here we get picked up by car and driven to Glomfjord.

    Camp4 will therefore be in a hotel or barrack in Glomfjord. The airport shuttle leaves around 0700 the following day, enough time to catch an early flight to Oslo, or elsewhere.

    Should we be delayed on the glacier and must camp higher up instead; we should still have plenty of time to reach Glomfjord during the afternoon and get home during the evening.

  • Expedition details

    The dates for 2017

    We start on April, Friday 28th, meeting point in Mo I Rana train station, very easy to travel from Bodo

    After the crossing, and if there are no delays, we will arrive to Glomfjord on Sunday evening, but if we are late we can still sleep out in the field and be ready for civilization the morning after.

    The guide

    Rune Krogh was born and raised in northern Norway (1986). He lives near Svartisen with his family and 22 sled dogs. Education in welding technology and inspection led Rune to the offshore industry where he works with climbing and inspection on various platforms. Rune specializes in rescue techniques using ropes, and has guided several tours on Svartisen, and Svalbard. Rune has been at the North Pole, and in 2015 he crossed Norway from west to east with his one-year-old daughter. In addition to the passion for dogsledding, he explores and guide the deep cave systems, witch are plentiful in this part of northern Norway.

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    The route:

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    Price:

    10.500 Nok per person.

    At the time of booking we will send a 3.000 Nok deposit invoice. Once paid your place on the trip is guaranteed and you are on your way.

    3 months before the start of the trip we'll send final invoice with remaining balance

  • Training and preparing

    Many wonder how to prepare physically for a polar expedition. This will vary from trip to trip and also for each individual. We will therefore provide individual training programs and advice for each participant if needed.

    In general we expect people to carry a 20 kg backpack for 8 hours for several days on a row. That’s a physical exercise that is easy to measure, but actual training can and will consist of various methods.

    Training and physical preparation for these trips typically consist of at least 3 training sessions a week for at least one hour each. Gradually this should be increased to 4 sessions a week, three months before departure, including one or two longer sessions lasting for more than two hours.

    A combination of cycling, jogging, workout in the gym, walking with backpack or pulling rubber tyres is what we recommend. Its not where you do it that matters, but that you do it. Remember that a cycling session in the gym or a hard work out on the walking machine can be equally as efficient as a session outdoors.

    Related article: The fine art of pulling rubber tyres

    There are two main issues with specific training. One is the physical shape needed to endure the trip you have signed up for and secondly to make your muscles, tendons and ligaments, basically the whole body, prepared for the load on the way. Not to forget the third reason, that physical training in general is very positive, something you will benefit from after the expedition as well. So, its only one thing to do when the goal is set, start training!

    Note: Be careful in the beginning, start at a level you feel comfortable with and increase gradually. If you start out too hard you might experience overtraining and injuries. Consult a doctor or physician if you experience injuries. Don’t forget to stretch out well after each session. Eating well and healthy will also help preparing your body for the upcoming adventure. The trips are not super hard, but you will enjoy it more when you have done your homework and taken training and preparation serious.

     

    TRAINING WEEKEND

    As part of the preparations, we organize a weekend of training in Verdal, Norway late in late January or early February. The aim is to go through the basic skills for winter survival in order to be as well prepared as possible. We go through all the equipment and routines. During this training weekend we also get to know each other a bit beforehand, as becoming a team is an important part of the whole concept. We also open for one-on-one talks with those who would like to get some personal advise.

    Joining the training weekend is free of charge.

    We will cover most of the basic equipment, some food, tents etc, except personal equipment like clothes ski boots etc. This is also a great time to go to the sport shop, since some of the equipment needed for trips like this can be hard to find outside Norway. We can assist you with this as well.

    You need to cover your flight tickets coming here, food and lodging before and after the training outdoors (if any, as the nights mainly will be spent in tents outdoors).

    The training is voluntarily but highly recommended. This will help you and us to evaluate your assumptions and to put focus on the key points for further exercise and practice

    More info on the training trip will be distributed when signing up for one of our trips.

    FINNMARK

    We also do a extended training trip: The Finnmarksvidda Crossing 

    Every February for 5 days and 4 nights around the time of full-moon.

    Finnmarksvidda is in Northern parts of Norway, above the Arctic Circle. This trip is a great way to train and learn the ropes of basic winter survival. It is a 5 day mini expedition that is relevant, cold and stunning as we very often have the Northern lights at night. Timed with the full February moon we normally have enough natural light for skiing as well.

    The Finnmark trip is one of our regular trips (refer to the complete overview for all trips) but if you already are booked on any of our other trips, you will receive a discount.

     

  • Rates, dates and booking

    The dates for 2017

    We start on Friday 28th April, Mo I Rana, end at Glomfjord on Sunday evening,, but if we are late we can still sleep out in the field and be ready for civilization the morning after.

    Price:

    10.500 Nok per person. With a special discount of 2.500 Nok if booking another of our "longer" trips, or a 10% discount whcih we always offer to our returning customers on any trip.

    At the time of booking we will send a 3.000 Nok deposit invoice. Once paid your place on the trip is guaranteed and you are on your way.

    3 months before the start of the trip we'll send final invoice with remaining balance

    Booking - How to proceed

    1. If this is something for you, - send us the booking for your desired trip and your place is reserved. This will be kept for you until you have paid the deposit invoice. Then your place is guaranteed until the remaining amount is due.
    2. You will then receive our expedition-booklet that gives you more information about the trip, insurances, safety, personal training tips towards the trip, as well as info on the training in Oslo (for more info, refer to the training and preparations menu)
    3. We will also supply you with the complete equipmentlist and work with you to ensure that you know what is needed and included from both your- and our side.
    4. Personal information-form. By signing up on a trip, we need you to fill in a form for our records regarding health issues, your recent outdoor experiences- and background, passport- and insurance info as well as next-of-kin details.
    5. The invoice for the remaining amount will be sent to you about 3 months prior to departure (for some destinations the due-dates might be more than 90 days prior to departure. After full payment have been settled, you are guaranteed to get your place for your desired trip. You still have the right to cancel at this point, but depending on how close we are to the departure, some of our basic costs will have to be deducted from the deposit. (For more details on this refer to our terms & conditions)
    Continue to booking | View terms and conditions
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Quick facts

Date: 28.04.2017
Duration: 4 days.
Price: 10.500 Nok
Sheduled for: 2017, 2018
Participants: 6 maximum, plus guide
Book this trip