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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 Tysfjord

Frostisen from Kallaktjåkkå Frostisen from Kallaktjåkkå, August 10, 1986. (52 kB)

Tysfjord is one of the most inaccessible and barren areas in the entire Norway. The mountains, made of granite, are often very steep and bare, with huge naked slabs of rock. The area contains mostly ice caps, of which Frostisen and Kitjejekna are roughly the same size. The highest peak is Frostistinden (1724 m).

Table over the larger glaciers of Tysfjord with basic data

#Name Type Area (km2) Length (km) Lowest point (m) Highest point (m) Height difference (m)
1. Eiterelvbreen Cirque glacier 1.79 2.1 735 1635 900
2. Frostisen Glacier complex 27.61 8.7 780 1725 945
2a. of which Lappskardbreen Cirque glacier 1.45 1.8 955 1570 615
2b. of which Skjombreen Ice cap 12.80 7.8 780 1725 945
2c. of which Bukkevassbreen Ice cap 7.74 4.7 885 1550 665
2d. of which Isvassbreen Ice cap 4.29 4.1 900 1720 820
2e. of which Tjappesjekna Cirque glacier 1.33 1.7 890 1460 570
3. Meraftesbreen Glacier complex 4.14 4.1 895 1440 505
3a. of which Vesterskardbreen Cirque glacier 0.36 1.0 965 1300 335
3b. of which Snøvassbreen Ice cap 1.91 2.3 895 1400 505
3c. of which Middagsvassbreen Ice cap 1.87 1.4 1000 1440 440
4. Skårisen Ice cap 2.07 2.0 890 1435 545
5. Raonasjekna Glacier complex 3.65 3.5 805 1400 595
5a. of which Geittindbreen Valley glacier 1.89 2.4 805 1310 505
5b. of which Fonnvassbreen Ice cap 1.76 1.7 975 1400 425
6. Paukejekna Ice cap 2.83+ 2.2 1060 1240 180
7. Kitjejekna Glacier complex 28.44+ 8.9 780 1500 720
7a. of which Svartevassbreen Ice cap 1.13 1.6 1120 1325 205
7b. of which Bauribreen Cirque glacier 1.95 2.0 975 1375 400
7c. of which Skogvassbreen Ice cap 2.47 2.5 945 1280 335
7d. of which Nåitejekna Ice cap 12.04 5.6 780 1500 720
7e. of which Skuokejekna Ice cap 2.95+ 1.3 1000 1375 375
7f. of which Svartelvbreen Ice cap 7.90 4.4 840 1480 620
Total 70.53

Plus sign after area value means that the glacier is larger, and that part of it lies in Sweden. The number indicates the area on Norwegian territory.


1. Eiterelvbreen

Eiterelvbreen (1.79 km2) is a savagely steep cirque glacier set in the incredible north face of Frostisen, which calves in lake Tjappesjaure. According to the map it should boast a continuos vertical ice wall up to Frostistinden, but there is no such thing. On the other hand the upper part of the glacier is one whole 800 m wide and 600 m high icefall. The outermost terminal moraine lies some 700 m outside the current ice front, which stands in the small lake Tjappesjaure with a 400 m wide ice cliff.


2. Frostisen

Frostisen from Storsteinsfjell Frostisen from Storsteinsfjell, July 29, 1995. (113 kB)

Frostisen (27.61 km2) is a large ice cap to the west of Skjomfjorden. Its northern edge is marked by a high and steep mountain wall. Frostisen, whose Lappish name is Ruostajekna, is split into five parts, of which the largest are Skjombreen and Bukkevassbreen. The central part is almost horizontal.

2a. Lappskardbreen

Lappskardbreen (1.45 km2), a small cirque glacier, lies in the northeastern edge of Frostisen. It is pretty steep (and thus crevassed).

2b. Skjombreen

Skjombreen (12.80 km2) is the largest outlet of Frostisen, a mighty ice stream that flows eastward from a large flat accumulation area. Two steep and crevassed ice tongues lead from the plateau up to the ice-covered highest peak. In the east there are also some steeper zones before the snout ends in the upper part of the drop down towards Sørskjomen. The lowest part of the tongue is steep and forms a 1.0 km wide and 100 m high icefall. Like all other glaciers here Frostisen too was much larger earlier and the tongue reached down to some 400 m asl during the Little Ice Age - about 1.1 km farther out than now. There ice also avalanched down the cliffs now and then and formed an avalanche cone below.

In two places some distance before the snout the ice towers up before huge precipices. In those places, Storrapet and Litlerapet ice avalanches was regularly tumbling down as late as around 1900, forming regenerated glaciers below, which at least in the case of Storrapet reached all the way down into the fiord, in the same way as still is the case at Øksfjordjøkelen. The ice avalanches in Litlerapet were more rare and the avalanche cone there not as big.

The regenerated glacier at Storrapet was up to 800 m wide and 200 m high. The ice avalanches, which could happen at up to six times a day, where the ice fell down 700 m before it shattered against the cone and streamed down into the fiord, were a big tourist attraction. Ice avalanches in Storrapet can still happen, and if Frostisen has increased in thickness during the last few years like so many other glaciers, it is possible that ice avalanches may start to fall there regularly again. You can get to the tongue of Skjombreen in some 2 hours by taking a boat across the fiord to the farm of Frostisen and then hike up the slope. Alternatively you can get up to the snow plateau in some 4 hours by hiking up into Vesterskardet from Skjombotn and then go northwards.

2c. Bukkevassbreen

Bukkevassbreen (7.74 km2) is a rather large outlet of Frostisen, which slides down westward towards Isvatnet, which it earlier extended down into with an ice cliff. This glacier, like all the rest of the SW side of Frostisen drains towards Sweden.

2d. Isvassbreen

Isvassbreen (4.29 km2) is an outlet on the northwest side of Frostisen. It sends down a narrow and pretty steep tongue towards Isvatnet.

2e. Tjappesjekna

Tjappesjekna (1.33 km2) is a cirque glacier on the north side of Tjappestjåkka and Frostisen. It is quite steep and crevassed.


3. Meraftesbreen

Meraftesbreen (4.14 km2) is a mid-sized ice cap south of Frostisen, with three parts.

3a. Vesterskardbreen

Vesterskardbreen (0.36 km2) is a small cirque glacier at the north edge of Meraftesbreen.

3b. Snøvassbreen

Snøvassbreen (1.91 km2) is the part of Meraftesbreen which glides down towards NW. It lies in a shallow depression.

3c. Middagsvassbreen

Middagsvassbreen (1.87 km2) is the southern part of Meraftesbreen. It is pretty steep and crevassed.


4. Skårisen

Skårisen (2.07 km2), or Botnisen as it is called too, is an ice cap lying on the east side of Isfjellet in the western Tysfjord mountains.


5. Raonasjekna

Raonasjekna (3.65 km2) is a glacier complex west of Roanasdalen in the central Tysfjord mountains.

5a. Geittindbreen

Geittindbreen (1.89 km2), a valley glacier west of Geittinden, is one part of Raonasjekna.

5b. Fonnvassbreen

Fonnvassbreen (1.76 km2), the western part of Raonasjekna, is an ice cap.


6. Paukejekna

Paukejekna (2.83+ km2) is an ice cap on Pauketjåkka, across the border with Sweden. The tongue glides down to the Swedish side, and including the Swedish part the area is 3.20 km2.


7. Kitjejekna

Kitjejekna from Kallaktjåkkå Kitjejekna from Kallaktjåkkå, August 10, 1986. (51 kB)

Kitjejekna (28.44+ km2) is an extensive ice cap at the border with Sweden in the southern Tysfjord mountains. It is divided into six parts, of which Nåitejekna and Svartelvbreen are the largest. This glacier is despite its size very unknown, since it is situated in a very inaccessible area. (Counting the Swedish part the area is 28.81 km2.)

7a. Svartevassbreen

Svartevassbreen (1.13 km2) is a small patch of the west side of Kitjejekna.

7b. Bauribreen

Bauribreen (1.95 km2) is a cirque glacier in the northwestern part of Kitjejekna.

7c. Skogvassbreen

Skogvassbreen (2.47 km2), a small outlet of Kitjejekna, lies in its northern part.

7d. Nåitejekna

Nåitejekna (12.04 km2) is the largest outlet of Kitjejekna. Like most of the other parts of this ice cap it is flat and relatively free of crevasses, except in an area near the snout, where it is steeper. The glacier is very inaccessible but you can get to it in one day by getting a boat to Sørfjorden from Kjøpsvik, walk up the construction road, and then hike eastwards across the mountains to Nċitejaure.

7e. Skuokejekna

Skuokejekna (2.95+ km2) is an ice cap in the southeastern part of Kitjejekna. A patch of it extends across to Swedish territory, and counting that in the area is 3.32 km2.

7f. Svartelvbreen

Svartelvbreen (7.90 km2) is the 2nd largest outlet of Kitjejekna, a fairly narrow and heavily crevassed tongue fed by a wide accumulation area reaching all the way up to Bjørntoppen (1520 m).


Start page Top
Top of
document
Previous
The larger glaciers
of Storsteinsfjell
Up
The larger glaciers of
the Narvik mountains
Site map
Site
map
Email
Email the
author
Copyleft
Copyleft
information
På svenska
Detta dokument
på svenska
Last updated: March 17, 2001 Unless otherwise specified; text, tables, photographs, maps and other graphics © 1999-2001 Gunnar Ljungstrand
Images with size information (xx kB) leads to the corresponding image in 4 x better resolution.