Team Bergen is getting ready for Greenland, are you?

by ice2ice PhD Sunniva Rutledal

Over the course of three days (9-11 May), seven BCCR and Ice2Ice researchers participated in a glacier safety course on the Folgefonna glacier

Anais, Andreas, Alexios and Tobias. Photo credit: Tobias Zolles

If you drive about 1.5 hour east of Bergen, you reach Jondal, a small village in the Hardangerfjord with the scenic Folgefonna glacier in the background. Folgefonna glacier is the third largest glacier in Norway and was going to be our office for the next three days.

The course started down in warm and sunny Jondal where we practiced on different pulley systems and knots. Afterwards we hiked up to the glacier for a small taste of what was to come.

Practicing on pulley systems down in Jondal. Photo credit: Petra Langebroek

Most of the second day was spent on the glacier and we practiced walking in rope teams and on the pulley systems we had learned down in Jondal the day before. However, now we faced harsher weather conditions, perfect for testing our skills under pressure. On the top of a small hill we divided in teams and practiced on using the pulley systems to pull a team member up a steep slope, imitating a crevasse. In the evening, back in Jondal, we went through some techniques on rescuing injured people down from a glacier.


Alexios, Petra and Sunniva working on their pulley system. Photo credit: Tobias Zolles

The last day the sun was shining (let’s be honest, I think all of us got a sunburn) and up on the glacier we practiced on our navigational skills using maps and GPS. The afternoon was spent at the shooting range down in Jondal.

Petra, Margit and Sunniva on the top of the Folgefonna glacier.

Thank you to our guides Snorre and Lars Petter (Folgefonni Breførerlag) and to the Ice2Ice project for arranging the course.


By Ice2Ice PhD Sunniva Rutledal