Crossing Jostedalsbreen / The Jostedal Glacier

As an avid mountaineer and outdoors enthusiast, I am increasingly drawn to remote and uncharted territory.

I’ve spent several days scaling alpine peaks and embarking on multi-week mountain hikes. Still, my next adventure is something I have been looking forward to for a long time: a glacier-crossing skiing expedition across Norway’s Jostedal Glacier, or Jostedalsbreen in Norwegian. It’s a three-day adventure, roughly 60 km across, with around 3,000 meters in total altitude change.

Ascending the Jostedal Glacier

About Jostedalsbreen

The Jostedal Glacier is the largest in continental Europe, covering a staggering 487 square kilometres. It holds three times as much water as Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, and has ice up to 600 meters thick.

It’s hard not to be humbled by this icy giant’s sheer power and beauty, nestled within the picturesque landscapes of Western Norway.

Not only does the glacier captivate with its size, but it also boasts a rich history of exploration. The first recorded ski crossing from north to south was done way back in 1798 by Norwegian teacher Ola Sjurson Sva. Roughly a hundred years later, renowned Norwegian adventurer and mountaineer Kristian Bing followed in his tracks. Their remarkable feats paved the way for countless others to follow in their footsteps and experience the exhilarating challenge of traversing this icy expanse.

The Jostedal Glacier sadly isn’t immune to the effects of climate change. Over the past few decades, the glacier has been steadily melting, leading to concerns about its long-term survival. These changes have also impacted the various routes across the glacier. While some have become more accessible, others have grown increasingly treacherous, requiring expert knowledge and skill to navigate.

Track me

Like my MASSIV expedition last year, I’ll share my progress across the glacier live from my satellite radio here on florus.no for those interested. The interactive map is found here.

So, if you’re as fascinated by the beauty of the Jostedal Glacier as I am, stay tuned for the upcoming posts about this mini-expedition, including packing lists, route selection and daily progress reports.

The Facts

Duration: 3 full days, early start on day one.
Start date: Saturday, May 13th
Startpoint: Fåbergstølen, Jostedal
End date: Monday, May 15th
Endpoint: Flatbrehytta, Fjærland
Total distance: Roughly 60km

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Gunnar Florus Mountaineer