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Jostedalsbreen/Norway

Introducing Jostedalsbreen

For years mighty Jostedalsbreen, mainland Europe's largest icecap, crept countercurrent, slowly advancing while most glaciers elsewhere in the world were retreating as a result, most scientists agree, of global warming. Now Jostedalsbreen herself has succumbed and is also withdrawing.

She's still a powerful player, though, eroding an estimated 400,000 tonnes of rock each year. With an area of 487 sq km and in places 600m thick, Jostedalsbreen rules over the highlands of Sogn og Fjordane county. The main icecap and several outliers are protected as the Jostedalsbreen National Park.

The best hiking map for the region is Statens Kartverk's Jostedalsbreen Turkart at 1:100,000. The free Jostedalsbreen Glacier Walks brochure, available at tourist offices and many other venues, gives a comprehensive list of glacier walks, their levels and guiding companies.

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