It’s the beginning of October, the frost is back, and the first snowfall has reached Svartisen glacier. The weather forecast is excellent, and tonight, it’s full moon and everything just seems to be perfect! The goal is to reach Snøtinden in the fall, and to do this, we need to carry the sledges, skis and all the gear up to Svartisen glacier, cross some rivers, put on crampons and climb further up to reach the snow. The crevasses here at this time of the year is nasty, the snow bridges are thin, and we need to navigate trough this to get there, it’s like playing chess while plotting the gps.

The start

A team of 5 people meet up at Storglomvatnet lake, we did a safety debrief, talking about the days ahead and sorted out the gear between the group. The start is ruff, because we are supposed to go on skis, but where we are, there are no snow!

The first thing we need to do is to pack the sledges right, because this sledge is going to be a backpack, from there we carry each sledge up the steep hill until we reached the first ice. Finally, now we could put on our crampons and pull this monster a bit! We hit new rocks, and had to carry even more, but now we team up and carry them between us. We crossed some rivers, and after several hours we reached the glacier.

The glacier

We repacked the pulkas, and started our journey to cross Svartisen glacier in the fall!

On blue shiny ice we navigated our way over some crevasses, and finally up on around 1000m we reached the first snow. YES! TIME TO PUT ON THE SKIS AGAIN! 😊

We have to be careful, on snow it’s hard to see the crevasses, and the fog quickly came in and we were in whiteout. Now I am happy, this is just what I love, navigating!

Time to set up camp

After a few hours we started the last climb up to 1302, this climb is steep, and in the fall, it’s crevasses everywhere here! Once we were up we made a solid camp with 2 Helsport Patagonia tents. The view up here is amazing, standing in winterland looking down into the blue fjords that stretch out into the Altantic ocean is just a breath taking moment. We melted some snow on the stoves and had a well deserved dinner while looking over to Snøtinden, which is going to be tomorrows goal!

The magic light of Svartisen

It’s a reason why we cross this thing in the fall, it’s actually very well planned! The sunset in the fall put the skies on fire, and while standing here in the winter almost 1300m above the ocean, it’s just a moment for lifetime. When the sunset is over, the full moon takes over, and up here in winterland it’s like bright daylight again! Today it’s full moon, and that’s not a coincidence! On top of this, the northern light is often to see dancing over the glacier. The lights of Svartisen in the fall will give you new energy, it’s like being in a another world and you forget about all your worries back home! Now it’s time to sleep! 😊

Snøtinden

I told the team we probably would wake up to without due to the fog, and that we did! We melted some snow, had our breakfast and went trough a safety debrief about the journey over. We put our climbing harness and skis on, and went for it. It didn’t take long before we hit the first nasty crevasses, we roped up and in 2 meter sight we navigated our way between the crevasses of the plateau of Svartisen. After a few hours and endless plotting on the gps we could feel that we started to climb again. From here we made a depot, and left all the unnecessary equipment and went for the top. We were still roped up, and we navigated over some crevasses that where covered in snow.

After some climbing we could see that the fog started to break up, we were now above the clouds! I could see the smile on the group, we all know the top is in reach!

I don’t want to hide it, standing up there above the clouds on Svartisen biggest summit makes me feel alive, and I couldn’t resist yelling iiiiihhhaaaaaaaaa! 😊

The way back

After some photos and high fives we agreed to make our way back again. We are running low on water and need to find our depot again! In pure snow powder we freerided down into the cloads again, followed our tracks and gps we quickly found back to the depot.

The way back was smooth, and the team where all happy and ready to get to the camp again! After melting some snow on the stoves we had a nice meal again, everyone is happy, and the sunset is closing in, and it’s time to repeat and refill our energy again with the magic light of Svartisen!

It’s time to break camp and head back

We woke up to a lovely morning, it’s sunny, and everyone made a trip up to the top of 1302 to have a moment for them self. After breakfast we broke camp and started our way back to cvilizations again. It went pretty smoothly, we skied down until we reached the blue ice. From there it was back on crampons down to the mountains. From there we carry the pulka back to the car. We were all happy, I think we all went home with new adventure plans! 😊

Rune Krogh

Author Rune Krogh

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