VOSS, Norway—Chunks of ice float in milky blue waters. Clouds drift and hide imposing mountaintops. The closer you descend to the surface, the more the water roars—and the louder the “crack” of ice, as pieces fall from the arm of Europe’s largest glacier.

The landscape is vast, elemental, seemingly far beyond human scale. The whole world, it seems, lies sprawled out before you. Against this outsized backdrop, the plane carrying the man who chases glaciers seems almost like a toy.

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