The Path to the Nigardsbreen Glacier
The boat ride on the glacier lake took only five minutes, and the boat took us to a small pier. We still have about a kilometer to go to the glacier along the lake shore.
Right at the pier, the first thing I did was climb up on a smooth rock that overlooks the lake and the surrounding mountains.
The slopes of the mountains on our side of the lake are relatively flat and covered with small shrubs, next to the slope flows a river with an intricate name Styggefonngrovi.
On the other side of the lake, the rocks are much steeper and completely bare, with white streamers running down them as well.
The bottom white-blue water of the Nigardsbreen lake with chains are small perfectly smooth stone islands.
Underfoot on the path are the same smooth rocks, covered with a thin layer of soil on which mosses and lichens have settled, low-growing trees and bushes-a typical tundra fauna. Places here are really harsh, in the warmest month of August, the average daily temperature is about 8 degrees Celsius. I do not know exactly what the temperature was during our visit to the glacier, but I did not feel cold and discomfort even when I was floating on the lake on a boat, perhaps because there was absolutely no wind in the mountain valley.
In general, the trail to the glacier is easy, and is accessible to people of any age and the lowest level of physical fitness.
Very soon we reached the western shore of the lake, which is a vast expanse with traces of water flows.
A wooden bridge spans the hollow.
Now the water is hidden under the rocks, but when the snow melts on the mountain slopes or after the rains, which are not rare even in summer, there is a rapid flow.
Wooden steps with railings continue on the smooth rock behind the hollow, not so much for the convenience of tourists, but for safety - about 20 years ago, one of the tourists fell off the cliff into a violent stream and was carried into the lake and drowned.
Then we go up all over the same perfectly smooth stone. It must be very slippery when it rains and a rope is stretched for safety.
But this suspension bridge crosses a rapid stream that flows directly from the glacier, which is visible by the color of the water. The sign says that the road is open only for participants of the blue ice tour. No one checks the passers-by here, but no one will let You go to the glacier "in the wild", without an instructor. Groups of individual tourists are formed in the information center on the Parking lot, the tour includes a boat ride on the lake.
On small bridges we cross several more rivers that flow out of the glacier. There is no path as such, there are only stones around, and the direction is indicated by bright columns-cones.
Climbing higher and higher.
Well, we got to the blue ice. It took me personally half an hour to get from the pier.
Now we have to get special equipment, familiarize yourself with the safety rules and we're going to conquer the Nigardsbreen glacier.