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The summer is almost over, It’s the first nights with frost, and the first snowfall has arrived in the high summits of Svartisen. This marks a distinction between autumn and winter. The northern lights have raged on the sky almost every night in the last weeks and the full moon is just around the corner.

I join Rune in Beyondlimits on a trip he has planned for a long time, namely to cross the western part of Svartisen in the fall. The time when the crevasses are greatest and the snowroads are weakest. It’s the time where no one else dares to travel on the glacier. There is always crevasses on a glacier and in a way it is an activity that involves a certain risk, but with proper precautions it can be reduced considerably. We pack tents, pulkas, rescue equipment and glacier equipment and set courses for Holmvass dammen for a crossing of Svartisen in the fall. It turned out to be a memorable trip! 🙂

Seeing the Northern Light is one thing. Seeing the Northern Lights dances over the sky over a glacier illuminated by the full moon is an absolutely indescribable experience. Such experiences and moments do something with me. All the hard work is forgotten, a tired body is recharged with energy. Nature is amazing like that, a little moment is enough 🙂

On the way up the valley south of the Holmvass dam. All the equipment must be carried up two kilometers before we reach the first snow.

Finally, the glacier is in sight and we see an end to all the carrying.

A little glance over the upper part of the «Holmvassdalen» before all the work on the glacier begins.

With crampons on, you can go everywhere.

There are big and complicated crevasses on the way up to H-1302 and we roped up long ago. It’s a chess game to find a passable road through the crevasses, we spend a long time. Rune reads the glacier well and finds a safe way through.

As we climb up we finally pass the 1000 m and we are in reach of snow. We change from crampons to ski for the last climb up to H-1302. It’s not completely safe, but we manage to control the biggest and worst crevasses.

It’s windless on the glacier and not a cloud is in sight. In the East, the full moon has come into place and the Northern Light alert indicates 100% probability. Everything is in place for a spectacular evening.

We arrive at today’s goal, H-1302, just as the sun sets. Just sit down and let the nature stand for the entertainment.

The sun sets down behind Helgelandsbukken and the sky is on fire. The coloring game in heaven is one of the nicest things I have ever seen, it can not be described with words. The lights completely baffles me.

Breitinden, Grytinden and Snøtinden are like beads on a string on the other side of the glacier, around 10km away. The Snøtinden is tomorrow’s goal 🙂

The full moon lights up the landscape and it is nice to look at the moonlight that is reflected in the blue and white glacier.

The Northern Lights doesn’t stop in minutes, it last all night and I don’t want to go in the tent for the night in this magical adventure. It is reasonably cold at the top of the summit. It’s a fantastic sight in the sky. The northern lights have always been surrounded by mystery and admiration. It is mentioned in the first Norse writings Edda and the King’s Mirror from the 1200’s. The Vikings believed that the Northern Light, or Bifrost as they called it, was the bridge that the gods could pass between the different worlds. The sky bridge between the gods and human world, which I think is simply not a bad theory.

It’s morning on Svartisen. The fog is in a thick layer beneath us, but the sun goes trough. It does not stop us, the glacier must be crossed.

The fog is close to the glacier. Rune navigates with a steep course past the crecasse areas and right on the Snøtinden.

In the beginning of the ascension towards the Snøtinden, we simply climb over the fog and meet the sun from clear sky. That’s a real bonus 🙂

Snøtinden is Svartisen’s highest point, and it’s right ahead, only barely 400 altitude meters to travel.

Steintinden, which is the highest mountain in the municipality of Rødøy, is well marked in the south.

It is great to stand on snøtinden, the highest mountain on Svartisen and look down on the fog sea. The whole Svartisen is below us and it is the highest mountain peaks that pop up. Just enjoy the view in a long run before we have to rip ourselves off to go back. Being excited to drive skiing down from the summit and into the dense fog again…

Sturla Nilssen-Waageng

Author Sturla Nilssen-Waageng

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