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Abstract

This paper outlines some significant visits made to north Norway by geologists and mountaineers from Britain and Ireland from the early to late nineteenth century. These visitors wrote up their travels and climbing experiences in a region in north Norway that was difficult to get to other than by sea: Øksfjordjøkelen and Lyngen. Early travellers revealed the sights of the fjord areas and thereby promoted the region for subsequent travellers. Leopold von Buch’s Travels though Norway and Lapland during the Years 1806, 1807, and 1808 probably prompted J. D. Forbes to visit and produce Norway and Its Glaciers and Archibald Geikie’s Geological Sketches at Home and Abroad as part of the contemporary discussions about the ‘glacial theory’. In the latter years of the nineteenth century the British climbers William Cecil Slingsby and George Hastings, with local climber Josef Caspari, explored the Lyngen Peninsula. Elizabeth Main (Mrs Aubrey Le Blond) also climbed in Lyngen. As well as providing written summaries of their exploits, the early explorers included photographs in their books. Some of these images are helpful in the reconstruction of the glacierized landscapes at the end of the Little Ice Age. It is suggested that present-day travellers might leave their observations available, in digital media, for future investigators.

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