Exploring the Inside of a Glacier

Entrance to the ice cave in the glacier

Entrance to the ice cave in the glacier

Norway is famous for its fjords which cover the island we’re staying on. As you likely know these fjords are carved out by glaciers over vast amounts of time. These glaciers are constantly shifting, particularly as they thaw and freeze, which cracks the ice and formsĀ gaps as it moves. These gaps can create some pretty spectacular caverns and today we got to explore one of them!

In the photo above you can see the entrance to the cave, which is carved out of the glacier. Armed with helmets and headlamps we descended into the depths below. A few things are immediately striking about the cave — first, it is much warmer than the outside air. The ice keeps the temperature consistent and obviously keeps out all the wind. I was surprised to find out it is a popular camping destination for locals because it also provides quiet and darkness to balance the unending sunlight. Second, the crack is covered at the top by snow bridges which mean the seemingly solid outer shell of the glacier is actually covering up numerous cracks below. We’ve been walking over these types of cracks and caves all the time and had no idea!

As we descended further and further into the cave we saw some pretty spectacular formations and curves within the ice. The ice is fascinating because some of it is clear and you can see many feet into the wall of the cave, while other ice is clouded up with air bubbles blocking any view at all. The ice also forms some spectacular ribbed walls based on how the water drips and re-freezes throughout the year. (YouTube video to come of the experience once I’m back)

It was incredible tour and well worth the small mountain we had to climb to reach the entrance. See the photo below for our group as we arrived in the cave.

Stopping for drinks and snacks at the entrance to the ice cave

Stopping for drinks and snacks at the entrance to the ice cave

 

1 Comment

  1. Sheila - April 13, 2013

    Very excited for you all. Get lots of pictures. Please be careful.

    Your cousin,
    Sheila

    In my prayers

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