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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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The larger glaciers of Western Jostedalsbreen

Briksdalsbreen from W Briksdalsbreen from W, June 24, 1999. (76 kB)

Jostedalsbreen is Norway´s and continental Europe´s largest glacier; a complex system of ice domes sending down mighty ice streams into the valleys on all sides, often in tremendous icefalls. According to measurements the ice in some places is more than 600 m thick. In the northern part the glacier has more alpine character, with many peaks and ridges jutting up through the ice. There lies also the highest peak on Jostedalsbreen, Lodalskåpa (2083 m), "the Westland Queen".

Jostedalsbreen has a rather maritime climate, with large amounts of snow in winter. The latest decades there has fallen so much that many outlets, in particular short and steep ones, have advanced significantly.

With Western Jostedalsbreen I here mean the part of Jostedalsbreen that drains towards Jølster and Olden. Other smaller glaciers in this area are included here as well.

Table over the larger glaciers of Western Jostedalsbreen with basic data

#Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
Jostedalsbreen Glacier complex 533.48 60.4 60 1980 1920
1.Jostedalsbreen (Western part) Glacier complex 97.41 30.1 315 1945 1630
1a.of which Marabreen Ice cap 2.68 2.8 1190 1565 375
1b.of which Lundebreen Ice cap 9.61 4.5 1030 1655 625
1c.of which Blåvassbreen Ice cap 1.83 2.5 1160 1630 470
1d.of which Strupebreen Ice cap 3.09 3.1 1170 1655 485
1e.of which Kaldekaribreen Ice cap 7.27 3.8 935 1720 785
1f.of which Grensevardbreen Ice cap 2.10 2.2 1365 1765 400
1g.of which Storenykbreen Ice cap 2.40 1.9 1045 1685 640
1h.of which Geitafjellbreen Ice cap 2.47 2.0 1205 1790 585
1i.of which Hovdeskredbreen Ice cap 3.38 2.3 1330 1770 440
1j.of which Åmotsbreen Ice cap 0.69 2.0 1460 1730 270
1k.of which Jostebotnbreen Cirque glacier 1.00 1.5 1150 1730 580
1l.of which Melkevollbreen Ice cap 9.37 4.9 380 1870 1490
1m.of which Tjøtabreen Ice cap 7.23 3.8 975 1870 895
1n.of which Briksdalsbreen Ice cap 12.09 6.7 345 1915 1570
1o.of which Brenndalsbreen Ice cap 17.79 9.9 315 1945 1630
1p.of which Flatefjellbreen Ice cap 8.26 4.2 1200 1805 605
1q.of which Høgefjellbreen Ice cap 2.41 2.8 1420 1705 285
1r.of which Foraeggbreen Ice cap 1.46 1.7 1350 1705 355
1s.of which Sundsbreen Ice cap 2.28 3.1 1170 1840 670
2.Grovabreen Glacier complex 23.38 7.1 1020 1635 615
2a.of which Fagredalsbreen Ice cap 2.33 2.4 1030 1585 555
2b.of which Vidunderdalsbreen Ice cap 4.04 2.0 1080 1610 530
2c.of which Nordre Sygnesandsbreen Ice cap 2.88 2.4 1020 1635 615
2d.of which Søre Sygnesandsbreen Ice cap 1.93 1.9 1135 1620 485
2e.of which Mevassbreen Ice cap 2.96 2.2 1100 1635 535
2f.of which Austre Sandbotnbreen Ice cap 2.97 3.2 1110 1635 525
2g.of which Vestre Sandbotnbreen Ice cap 3.16 3.5 1050 1620 570
2h.of which Høgefjellbreen Ice cap 3.11 2.2 1130 1570 440
3.Bjørgabreen Glacier complex 3.80 4.9 1055 1540 485
3a.of which Rambjørgabreen Ice cap 1.08 1.0 1200 1540 340
3b.of which Blåvassbreen Ice cap 0.99 1.7 1055 1515 460
3c.of which Litlebredalsbreen Ice cap 0.82 1.2 1190 1450 260
3d.of which Austre Høgerindbreen Ice cap 0.39 0.9 1350 1450 100
3e.of which Vestre Høgerindbreen Ice cap 0.52 1.2 1290 1440 150
4.Steinbotnbreen Glacier complex 1.75 2.3 1150 1535 385
4a.of which Haugastøylbreen Ice cap 1.30 0.9 1150 1530 380
4b.of which Steinbreen Ice cap 0.45 1.2 1285 1535 250
5.Myklebustbreen Glacier complex 53.00 13.5 890 1800 910
5a.of which Instebreen Ice cap 1.42 2.0 1170 1645 475
5b.of which Gytribreen Ice cap 3.74 2.4 1010 1740 730
5c.of which Yribreen Ice cap 3.71 2.1 1060 1740 680
5d.of which Høgalmebreen Ice cap 2.60 1.5 1155 1710 555
5e.of which Flatebreen Ice cap 1.62 2.6 1090 1675 585
5f.of which Haugabreen Valley glacier 10.25 7.6 890 1800 910
5g.of which Sollibreen Ice cap 3.68 4.1 1110 1800 690
5h.of which Veslenibbabreen Ice cap 1.63 2.5 1135 1790 655
5i.of which Strupebreen Ice cap 12.26 4.8 1120 1780 660
5j.of which Høgegrovbreen Ice cap 2.96 2.6 1360 1735 375
5k.of which Blåfjellbreen Ice cap 2.50 2.5 1275 1730 455
5l.of which Sanddalsbreen Ice cap 6.63 3.4 1075 1735 660
6.Ceciliebreen Glacier complex 8.58 7.0 990 1700 710
6a.of which Veslelogbreen Ice cap 1.05 1.6 990 1575 585
6b.of which Torvfjellsbreen Ice cap 1.19 1.4 1100 1575 475
6c.of which Fessebreen Ice cap 1.37 1.1 1205 1580 375
6d.of which Nordre Svartebottbreen Ice cap 1.53 1.4 1330 1685 355
6e.of which Søre Svartebottbreen Ice cap 0.62 1.1 1410 1700 290
6f.of which Eidebreen Cirque glacier 1.10 1.7 1135 1685 550
6g.of which Krokebreen Cirque glacier 1.72 2.0 1170 1700 530
7.Nesdalsbreen Glacier complex 6.60 4.3 1140 1850 710
7a.of which Gjerdebreen Ice cap 1.86 2.3 1430 1850 420
7b.of which Årnesbreen Cirque glacier 0.47 1.2 1390 1790 400
7c.of which Vesledalsbreen Ice cap 2.94 2.2 1140 1790 650
7d.of which Gjerdeakslabreen Ice cap 1.33 2.3 1205 1850 645
8.Ramnefjellbreen Glacier complex 9.51 5.7 560 1855 1295
8a.of which Meleinsbreen Ice cap 0.66 1.2 1280 1705 425
8b.of which Hovfjellbreen Ice cap 2.02 1.8 1380 1785 405
8c.of which Senlenskebreen Ice cap 3.49 3.3 560 1855 1295
8d.of which Helsetbreen Cirque glacier 0.56 1.2 1225 1770 545
8e.of which Ramnebreen Ice cap 2.78 2.8 1150 1855 705
Total 204.03


1. Jostedalsbreen (Western part)

Jostedalsbreen (Western part) (97.41 km2) is the part of Jostedalsbreen which drains westward, towards Jølster and Olden. The area is of classic ice cap type, and there are a rather substantial number of smaller ice caps in the surroundings. During the peak of the Little Ice Age in the middle of the 18th century the outlets advanced a lot, destroying both farmland and meadows. The highest point on this part of Jostedalsbreen is Høgste Breakulen´s slope (1945 m).

This part of Jostedalsbreen contains the best known of all outlets, the famous Briksdalsbreen. The outlet glaciers in these parts are in general very steep and have large and high icefalls. Other significant outlets are Brenndalsbreen and Melkevollbreen, and Haugabreen in Myklebustbreen. The outlets towards Jølster and Stardalen are generally less known that those in Olden.

1a. Marabreen

Marabreen (2.68 km2) is a small ice cap in the southwesternmost part of Jostedalsbreen. It got its name after a horse (Mara = mare) which lost its life there. Once a man was going across the pass there with horse and everything, when a powerful blizzard started. The man survived only by killing his horse, pulling out the entrails, and crawling into the belly cavity.

1b. Lundebreen

Lundebreen from W Lundebreen from W, June 23, 1999. (48 kB)

Lundebreen (9.61 km2) is a fairly large outlet glacier in southwestern Jostedalsbreen. It slides out to a sheer drop towards the valley of lake Jølstravatnet in a 1.2 km wide and 400 m high icefall. At the bottom of the icefall it is split by a protruding rock ridge. During the Little Ice Age the ice poured 600 m further down in two narrow clefts and spread out on the valley floor, and as late as in the beginning of the 20th century the ice tongue was continuos all the way down. Now there is a small avalanche cone, and Lundebreen is also one of the few outlets of Jostedalsbreen, which doesn´t seem to have increased much the latest years. It is both steep and short, but its accumulation zone lies entirely in a southwesterly direction, so it is possible that the large amounts of snow in the beginning of the 1990:s for the most part blew past this outlet glacier. A 15 minute hike from the tunnel entrance gets you up to the avalanche cone below the icefall.

1c. Blåvassbreen

Blåvassbreen (1.83 km2) is a small outlet glacier in southwestern Jostedalsbreen, in the valley side above Bevringsdalen.

1d. Strupebreen

Strupebreen (3.09 km2), an ice cap in southern Jostedalsbreen, lies SW of Langedalen, above Stardalen.

1e. Kaldekaribreen

Kaldekaribreen (7.27 km2) is a pretty large outlet glacier in the southwestern part of Jostedalsbreen. It hangs in the precipice above Langedalen in innermost Stardalen, and has a pretty large 3 km wide and 700 m high icefall. A nunatak in the upper part of the icefall is called Kaldekari (1670 m); hence the name. During the Little Ice Age the ice floated all the way down into the valley, creating an ice tongue, the front of which stood some 1.4 km from the current position. Kaldekaribreen has reacted positively to the snow surplus during the early 1990:s, and its tongue has advanced significantly. By now it should have stabilized though. From Fonn in innermost Stardalen it should be a little more than a hour´s walk into Langedalen to just below the glacier tongue.

1f. Grensevardbreen

Grensevardbreen (2.10 km2) is a small ice cap at th edge of Jostedalsbreen, to the west of Grensevarden.

1g. Storenykbreen

Storenykbreen (2.40 km2), a small ice cap in southwestern Jostedalsbreen, lies due west of Bings Gryte, above Tverrdalen.

1h. Geitafjellbreen

Geitafjellbreen (2.47 km2) is a small ice cap at the western edge of Jostedalsbreen, above Tverrdalen.

1i. Hovdeskredbreen

Hovdeskredbreen (3.38 km2) is an ice cap in the western part of Jostedalsbreen, at the north side of Tverrdalen.

1j. Åmotsbreen

Åmotsbreen (0.69 km2) is a small ice cap at the edge of Jostedalsbreen.

1k. Jostebotnbreen

Jostebotnbreen (1.00 km2), a cirque glacier at the western edge of Jostedalsbreen, lies east of Haugadalen.

1l. Melkevollbreen

Melkevollbreen from N Melkevollbreen from N, June 24, 1999. (53 kB)

Melkevollbreen (9.37 km2), a significant outlet glacier from Jostedalsbreen, is the first large glacier you see when coming into the Olden valley from the north, and many tourists going to Briksdalsbreen mistake this one for it. A rather wide accumulation zone is concentrated down into a funnel-like cleft in two icefalls. The upper being 1.7 km wide and 700 m high and the lower one 300 m wide and 500 m high.

The elegant Melkevollbreen The elegant Melkevollbreen, June 24, 1999. (73 kB)

Melkevollbreen has an unusually elegant shape with its narrow tongue cascading down into the cleft, but probably has rather few visitors because of the competition from Briksdalsbreen nearby. During the 1990:s the glacier advanced substantially, but now it seems to have stabilized in a position 800 m ahead of and 350 m lower down than minimum. During the Little Ice Age it was of course larger still; it stood some 900 m ahead of today. Stereo image of the elegant Melkevollbreen.

The heavily crevassed tongue of Melkevollbreen The heavily crevassed tongue of Melkevollbreen, June 24, 1999. (96 kB)

On August 6, 1884 the Englishman William Cecil Slingsby together with the compatriot Ecroyd and the brothers Lars and Jens Rustøen from Olden explored Melkevollbreen. They made their way up through the icefall to the plateau above, from which they climbed several summits and nunataks. Several names in the surroundings remind you about this (Larsnibba, Slingsbyvarden, Middagsnibba). To reach Melkevollbreen from Briksdal you follow the path up towards Oldeskaret and then continues into the valley. The stream coming down to the north of Middagsnibba may be hard to cross.

1m. Tjøtabreen

Tjøtabreen from N Tjøtabreen from N, June 24, 1999. (61 kB)

Tjøtabreen (7.23 km2) is a fairly large outlet of Jostedalsbreen, at the south side of Briksdalen. It starts up at Ramnane (1844 m) and glides down with two icefalls, one upper 2.4 km wide and 300 m high, and a lower 1.4 km wide and 300 m high. The glacier tongue ends in the mountain side above the valley; it is too steep for it to be able to reach much further down. During the Little Ice Age Tjøtabreen stretched only a little further down the precipice, but lots of ice avalanched down on the then much larger Briksdalsbreen, which one Tjøtabreen then was a part of. The latest years Tjøtabreen too, like many other outlets, has advanced significantly - some 400 m.

There has been at least one large ice avalanche recently from Tjøtabreen down into Briksdalen, which has caused some concern because so many tourists visit the valley. However, the tourist path is situated on the other side of the valley. A path leading up to the high plateau of Jostedalsbreen winds up along a narrow ridge, Kattanakken, beside Tjøtabreen. The most awesome of all Jostedalsbreen crossings, the one from Austerdalsbreen, leads down here.

1n. Briksdalsbreen

The lower part of Briksdalsbreen from W The lower part of Briksdalsbreen from W, June 24, 1999. (83 kB)

Briksdalsbreen (12.09 km2) is the most famous outlet glacier of Jostedalsbreen, yes, the most famous glacier in entire Norway. Each year thousands of tourists visit it, many from cruise ships docking at Olden, at the innermost of Nordfjorden. From there buses take over up to Briksdal where the road ends. Many visitors choose to go up in a cart pulled by Norwegian fiord horses, but it is just as easy to walk. The wide path takes you up to the glacier tongue in some 45 minutes. Briksdal is rather thoroughly "touristified" and virtually everything costs money - the parking is expensive too.

Up among the crevasses of Briksdalsbreen Up among the crevasses of Briksdalsbreen, June 24, 1999. (88 kB)

The big thing to see, Briksdalsbreen, is a large outlet glacier on the west side of Jostedalsbreen, gliding down westwards from Kvitekoll (1915 m). Two large icefalls, the upper one 1.1 km wide and 500 m high, and the lower one 400 m wide and 500 m high, leads down into Briksdalen. The lower icefall is so steep that there often go small ice avalanches from the edges, particularly from the south side. There is a pretty large avalanche cone above the glacier tongue there. Stereo image of the crevasses of Briksdalsbreen.

Moulin on Briksdalsbreen Moulin on Briksdalsbreen, June 24, 1999. (92 kB)

Like other glaciers Briksdalsbreen retreated much during the 20th century, in particular during the 1930:s and 1940:s. Then a lake, Briksdalsvatnet, started to appear beneath the ice. Intense calving quickly uncovered the lake from ice, and in the beginning of the 1950:s the glacier tongue only went down into the lake a little, at the far side. After 1952 the retreat stopped and during the 1950:s and 1960:s the glacier tongue was more or less stable, with small advances and retreats. However, during the 1970:s and 1980:s the tongue began to advance, slowly but surely, and at the end of the 1980:s it had advanced some 150 m out into the lake. Then the glacier began to advance much more rapidly however, and in a few years the entire lake was engulfed. During the advance the glacier tongue pushed a "push moraine", a wall of lake sediment, ahead of itself. It is likely that this stopped more extensive calving, and in that way facilitated the advance. Stereo image of moulin on Briksdalsbreen.

The lower icefall of Briksdalsbreen The lower icefall of Briksdalsbreen, June 24, 1999. (117 kB)

The advance ended in 1997, and since then the tongue has retreated slightly. Now Briksdalsbreen stands some 500 m more advanced than its minimum position during the 20th century. During the Little Ice Age it was of course much larger; then the ice front stood roughly at Kleivafossen, some 1.3 km further down the valley than now. Then Tjøtabreen, on the south side of the valley, was a part of Briksdalsbreen too; large amounts of ice avalanched down on the glacier tongue in the valley from the steep glacier above. Briksdalsbreen reached its maximum around 1760, a little later than in Jostedalen. During the late 18th and the 19th century Briksdalsbreen retreated slowly but surely, interrupted by a few small advances. Around the turn of the 19th century the ice front stood roughly where the horse carts stop, some 500 m from the current position.

Briksdalsbreen´s tongue crushing birch forest Briksdalsbreen´s tongue crushing birch forest, June 24, 1999. (113 kB)

The first man climbing the icefall of Briksdalsbreen was the lawyer Kristian Bing from Bergen, together with Rasmus Åbrekke from Olden, July 5, 1895. After Briksdalsbreen readvancing and covering the lake it has become possible to have glacier tours for the tourists there - before the tongue was much too steep and dangerous. It even happens that they cut steps into the ice, as a staircase. Stereo image of Briksdalsbreen crushing forest.

1o. Brenndalsbreen

Brenndalsbreen from W Brenndalsbreen from W, June 24, 1999. (82 kB)

Brenndalsbreen (17.79 km2), sometimes also called Åbrekkebreen, is a large outlet of Jostedalsbreen, which stretches down into Brenndalen; the valley just to the north of Briksdalen. In many ways Brenndalsbreen has been neglected, partly because it cannot be seen very well from Oldedalen, and partly because of the competition from its much more famous southern neighbor, Briksdalsbreen. However, Brenndalsbreen is significantly larger, and in many ways even more spectacular. A vast accumulation area is concentrated down into a narrow valley across an exceptionally steep mountain precipice, where innumerable ice avalanches roar down. Below the 900 m wide and 600 m high discontinuos icefall a regenerated glacier is formed, southern Norway´s largest with its about 1 km2. No small avalanche cone this, but a 2.7 km long and heavily crevassed ice tongue.

Brenndalsbreen´s tongue from W Brenndalsbreen´s tongue from W, June 24, 1999. (109 kB)

A very high avalanche cone stretches up towards the ice cliff; if the ice flow should increase still some the glaciers would fuse together. The northern part of the upper glacier tongue is possibly feeded by the outlet Flatefjellbreen, which in that case should be counted as a part of Brenndalsbreen. The lowest part of the tongue glides across a mountain ledge down into the lower Brenndalen in a second icefall, 300 m wide and 200 m high. The last few years Brenndalsbreen too has begun advancing down the valley; so far some 200 m. Since this glacier is fairly long one would expect that it will advance some more before it stabilizes. Stereo image of Brenndalsbreen from W.

Ice blocks beneath the front of Brenndalsbreen Ice blocks beneath the front of Brenndalsbreen, June 24, 1999. (90 kB)

During the Little Ice Age Brenndalsbreen stretched all the way out to the valley edge towards Oldedalen, some 1.8 km from the current position. Around 1750 the farm Åbrekke was destroyed by a massive ice avalanche from the hanging ice tongue. The farm wasn´t hit by the avalanche proper, but the wind with more than double hurricane strength that accompanied it tore the buildings apart. Much of the land in the valley, farmland and meadows, was also covered by ice blocks. Nowadays the ice front is steep and prone to collapse too. Stereo image of ice blocks beneath the front of Brenndalsbreen.

1p. Flatefjellbreen

Flatefjellbreen (8.26 km2) is a fairly large and even outlet of Jostedalsbreen, which doesn´t stretch very far down though. This may partly be due to its southwesterly orientation; since there is no lee on it for the prevalent southwestern winds a lot of snow blows away to the other side of the ice plateau. Flatefjellbreen´s wide tongue ends at a sheer drop above lower Brenndalsbreen. If ice avalanches fall down the precipice to the lower glacier tongue Flatefjellbreen should be counted as a part of Brenndalsbreen. This is uncertain though.

1q. Høgefjellbreen

Høgefjellbreen (2.41 km2), a small ice cap at the western edge of Jostedalsbreen, lies west of Kjelkevarden (1717 m).

1r. Foraeggbreen

Foraeggbreen (1.46 km2) is a small ice cap at the western edge of Jostedalsbreen.

1s. Sundsbreen

Sundsbreen (2.28 km2) is a small steep outlet from Jostedalsbreen, in its western part. It hangs down at the west side of Gjerdeaksla (1845 m), high above Sunde between the two Olden lakes.


2. Grovabreen

Grovabreen (Nordre Sygnesandsbreen) from NE Grovabreen (Nordre Sygnesandsbreen) from NE, June 23, 1999. (60 kB)

Grovabreen (23.38 km2) is a large ice cap south of Jølstravatnet. The glacier is rather circular, with an inward bend on the south side. Like many other glaciers in the area Grovabreen has increased somewhat the latest years, even if it of course was much larger during the Little Ice Age. The highest point on Grovabreen is an ice dome at some 1635 m asl.

2a. Fagredalsbreen

Fagredalsbreen (2.33 km2) is a small outlet glacier in the northwestern part of Grovabreen. The glacier tongue extends down into a small valley south of Salsegga.

2b. Vidunderdalsbreen

Vidunderdalsbreen (4.04 km2) is an ice cap at the north side of Grovabreen. Far down it splits up into several tongues, the westernmost of which extends down into lake Vidunderdalsvatnet.

2c. Nordre Sygnesandsbreen

Nordre Sygnesandsbreen (2.88 km2) is an outlet towards Sygnesandsdalen from Grovabreen. In its lower part it forms a 1.3 km wide and 500 m high icefall. The glacier has advanced some 200 m during the latest years.

2d. Søre Sygnesandsbreen

Søre Sygnesandsbreen (1.93 km2) is an ice cap in southeastern Grovabreen, above the uppermost part of Sygnesandsdalen. The lower parts are fairly steep and crevassed.

2e. Mevassbreen

Mevassbreen (2.96 km2), an ice cap in the southeastern part of Grovabreen, sends down an ice tongue into a small lake.

2f. Austre Sandbotnbreen

Austre Sandbotnbreen (2.97 km2) is an outlet glacier towards the SW from the highest snow dome on Grovabreen. Today it stretches down with a few steeper zones to the edge towards Sandbotndalen, but it was earlier continuos with Vestre Sandbotnbreen some small distance to the west.

2g. Vestre Sandbotnbreen

Vestre Sandbotnbreen (3.16 km2) is an outlet glacier which glides southward from the central part of Grovabreen. Now it ends in a 800 m wide and 400 m high icefall down the mountain side towards Sandbotndalen. Earlier during the 20th century the glacier was continuos with its eastern neighbor, Austre Sandbotnbreen. Earlier still, during the Little Ice Age, the glacier tongue filled up the entire Sandbotndalen and flowed over the edge towards Grøningstølsdalen, with the ice front 2.1 km from the current position. Still, Vestre Sandbotnbreen has advanced perhaps some 200 m during the latest years.

2h. Høgefjellbreen

Høgefjellbreen (3.11 km2) is an ice cap in the southwestern part of Grovabreen, above the west side of Sandbotndalen.


3. Bjørgabreen

Bjørgabreen (3.80 km2) is a complex of small ice caps on Bjørga (1551 m) north of the easternmost part of Jølstravatnet. This area was continuos with Jostedalsbreen during the Little Ice Age.

3a. Rambjørgabreen

Rambjørgabreen (1.08 km2) is a sloping ice cap in Bjørgabreen, to the north of Bjørga.

3b. Blåvassbreen

Blåvassbreen (0.99 km2), an ice cap in the eastern part of Bjørgabreen, glides down towards Blåvatnet in Bevringsdalen.

3c. Litlebredalsbreen

Litlebredalsbreen (0.82 km2) is an ice cap at the eastern edge of Bjørgabreen, to the NW of the small Litlebredalen.

3d. Austre Høgerindbreen

Austre Høgerindbreen (0.39 km2) is an ice cap in the southern part of Bjørgabreen, avove the 1200 m high precipice of Høgerindnipa.

3e. Vestre Høgerindbreen

Vestre Høgerindbreen (0.52 km2) is an ice cap west of Høgerindnipa, at the western edge of Bjørgabreen.


4. Steinbotnbreen

Steinbotnbreen (1.75 km2) is a small glacier complex just south of the very large Myklebustbreen, of which it earlier was a part.

4a. Haugastøylbreen

Haugastøylbreen (1.30 km2) is a sloping ice cap in Steinbotnbreen, up on the mountain slope west of Haugadalen.

4b. Steinbreen

Steinbreen (0.45 km2) is a small ice cap at the western edge of Steinbotnbreen.


5. Myklebustbreen

Myklebustbreen and Snønipa from 
Skåla Myklebustbreen and Snønipa from Skåla, June 25, 1999. (53 kB)

Myklebustbreen (53.00 km2) is a very large ice cap; the largest in the entire area, except for the ten times larger Jostedalsbreen of course. It is more or less rectangular in shape and lies west of Oldedalen. The highest peak on it is a nunatak called Snønipa (1827 m) in its southern part. The eastern rim towards Oldedalen is steep and consists of a large number of small glacier tongues, while there are larger outlets on the other sides. Even if Myklebustbreen lies close by Jostedalsbreen it doesn´t seem as if these two were continuos during the Little Ice Age.

5a. Instebreen

Instebreen (1.42 km2) is a small outlet in northernmost Myklebustbreen, gliding down into a small short valley high above Gytri at Oldevatnet.

5b. Gytribreen

Gytribreen from E Gytribreen from E, June 24, 1999. (50 kB)

Gytribreen (3.74 km2) is an outlet on the east side of Myklebustbreen. It has a 1.5 km wide and 400 m high icefall, partly disconnected.

5c. Yribreen

Yribreen (3.71 km2), an outlet of the eastern part of Myklebustbreen, is a two-split steep tongue above Yri in the southern part of Oldevatnet. Both parts have 400-500 m high icefalls.

5d. Høgalmebreen

Høgalmebreen (2.60 km2) is an irregular ice cap in southeastern Myklebustbreen. This glacier too is steep and crevassed.

5e. Flatebreen

Flatebreen (1.62 km2), an ice cap in southeasternmost Myklebustbreen, is like its name suggests rather even and flat.

5f. Haugabreen

Haugabreen (10.25 km2) is the best known and second largest of the outlet glaciers of Myklebustbreen. It is a long valley glacier flowing in a southerly direction down into Haugadalen. The ice stream has an even and not particularly steep slope, but on the western side several steep contributory glaciers hang down from Snønipa (1827 m). Haugabreen has been retreating steadily during the entire 20th century, but it seems to have stabilized now. Probably it will soon start advancing again. During the Little Ice Age Haugabreen reached significantly farther down and filled upp the entire upper Haugadalen. The ice front stood at maximum roughly where the road towards Haugastøylen ends, 2.3 km from current position.

5g. Sollibreen

Sollibreen (3.68 km2) is an outlet of Myklebustbreen towards southwest. It starts up at Snønipa (1827 m) and glides southward to a rock edge, where it flows down in a 300 m wide and 300 m high icefall. Down in Sollibotnen a rather flat glacier tongue is then formed.

5h. Veslenibbabreen

Veslenibbabreen (1.63 km2) is a small outlet at the western edge of Myklebustbreen, high above Myklebustdalen.

5i. Strupebreen

Strupebreen (12.26 km2) is the largest of the outlet glaciers of Myklebustbreen, but isn´t particularly prominent or well known. It consists of a 6 km wide depression between Snønipa (1827 m) in the south and the northern ice dome (1736 m). Mostly the ice has a rather gentle slope, with some steeper areas, and it has a short glacier tongue above Strupen in northern Myklebustdalen. Today the ice front stands high up in the valley, but during the Little Ice Age it stretched some 1.5 km lower down towards Myklebustdalen. Strupebreen has as far as I know not started to advance yet, something which may be explained with it being fairly long.

5j. Høgegrovbreen

Høgegrovbreen (2.96 km2) is an ice cap in northwestern Myklebustbreen, above Høgegrovnibba.

5k. Blåfjellbreen

Blåfjellbreen (2.50 km2), a small ice cap in northwestern Myklebustbreen, hangs down above Blåfjellet.

5l. Sanddalsbreen

Sanddalsbreen (6.63 km2) is an ice cap in northern Myklebustbreen. It starts up at the northern ice dome (1736 m) and glides down on broad front towards the mountain side above Sanddalen, where a 1.9 km wide and 400 m high icefall is formed. Sanddalsbreen has advanced significantly during the latest years; up to 300 m.


6. Ceciliebreen

Ceciliebreen (8.58 km2) is a loosely connected ice cap complex on the mountains around Ceciliekruna (1717 m). Before the general glacier increase in the end of the 20th century there were only separate small ice caps here, but now they have fused together. Further back in time, during the Little Ice Age, this glacier was continuos with the much larger Myklebustbreen in the south though.

6a. Veslelogbreen

Veslelogbreen (1.05 km2) lies westernmost in Ceciliebreen, and is a small ice cap that sends down a narrow tongue in a north-facing cirque.

6b. Torvfjellsbreen

Torvfjellsbreen (1.19 km2) is a small ice cap in western Ceciliebreen, and it has a small tongue towards north too.

6c. Fessebreen

Fessebreen (1.37 km2), a rather steep little ice cap, lies in northern Ceciliebreen.

6d. Nordre Svartebottbreen

Nordre Svartebottbreen (1.53 km2) is a small ice cap in Ceciliebreen on a wide mountain shelf above Svartebotnen.

6e. Søre Svartebottbreen

Søre Svartebottbreen (0.62 km2) is a small ice cap in Ceciliebreen above the southern part of Svartebotnen.

6f. Eidebreen

Eidebreen (1.10 km2) is a fairly steep cirque glacier in Ceciliebreen, at the north side of Ceciliekruna (1717 m).

6g. Krokebreen

Krokebreen (1.72 km2) is a cirque glacier in Ceciliebreen south of Ceciliekruna.


7. Nesdalsbreen

Nesdalsbreen (6.60 km2) is a small glacier complex to the north of Gjerdeaksla (1848 m). Earlier it was continuos with the enormous Jostedalsbreen.

7a. Gjerdebreen

Gjerdebreen (1.86 km2) is a small ice cap in Nesdalsbreen, on the west side of Gjerdeaksla.

7b. Årnesbreen

Årnesbreen (0.47 km2) is a small cirque glacier in Nesdalsbreen, at the south side of the small Årnesdalen.

7c. Vesledalsbreen

Vesledalsbreen (2.94 km2) is an ice cap in Nesdalsbreen at the east side of Strandanibba. It has a 700 m wide and 500 m high icefall towards Vesledalen, and has advanced a lot the latest years.

7d. Gjerdeakslabreen

Gjerdeakslabreen (1.33 km2) is a small outlet glacier in the southern part of Nesdalsbreen. From Gjerdeaksla (1848 m) a glacier tongue stretches down on the mountain side above Nesdalen.


8. Ramnefjellbreen

Ramnefjellbreen from Skåla Ramnefjellbreen from Skåla, June 25, 1999. (66 kB)

Ramnefjellbreen (9.51 km2) is an ice cap on Ramnefjellet to the west of Lovatnet. During the Little Ice Age this glacier was continuos with the very large Jostedalsbreen via Nesdalsbreen. The highest point is an ice dome at 1856 m asl.

8a. Meleinsbreen

Meleinsbreen (0.66 km2) is a small ice cap in Ramnefjellbreen, up on Meleinsnibba (1706 m).

8b. Hovfjellbreen

Hovfjellbreen (2.02 km2) is an ice cap at the west side of Ramnefjellbreen, above Hovfjellet.

8c. Senlenskebreen

Helsetbreen and Senlenskebreen from NE Helsetbreen and Senlenskebreen from NE, June 24, 1999. (65 kB)

Senlenskebreen (3.49 km2) is the largest ice stream in Ramnefjellbreen. It starts up at the ice dome (1856 m) and moves northward towards the sheer precipice above Lovatnet. There the tongue splits in two, a small one to the west and a larger one in the east. The eastern tongue has a 700 m wide and 300 m high icefall before the mountain side gets too steep. Then the ice avalanches down another 500 m and forms a small regenerated glacier below the precipice. There go a few ice avalanches from the western tongue as well and there is a small avalanche cone there too.

8d. Helsetbreen

Helsetbreen (0.56 km2) is a steep and lobate cirque glacier at the edge of Ramnefjellbreen, high above Lovatnet.

8e. Ramnebreen

Ramnebreen (2.78 km2) is a short and steep outlet from eastern Ramnefjellbreen. Its heavily crevassed tongue ends high above Nesdal. There has been two catastrophic rockfall accidents from the mountain side, just east of the glacier, in modern time. In 1905 large amounts of rock came loose and fell down into Lovatnet. This created a huge tsunami wave that washed away the farms along the lake shore. In total 61 people perished, and the material damage was extensive.

In 1936 there was an even larger rock avalanche from the same mountain. This time too the damage was severe and 74 people was killed. You can get an appreciation of the extent of the damage when you know that the wave in 1936 at the lake´s outlet reached a height of some 13 m.


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Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
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