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Home* News and Stories → Man fell 25 met­res into gla­cier crev­as­se on Nor­dens­ki­öld­fjel­let

Man fell 25 met­res into gla­cier crev­as­se on Nor­dens­ki­öld­fjel­let

On Sun­day, a ski­er fell 25 met­res down into a crev­as­se in a gla­cier on Nor­dens­ki­öld­fjel­let near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. With a lot of luck and swift reac­tion by the local SAR forces, the man could be res­cued essen­ti­al­ly wit­hout inju­ries.

The moun­tain Nor­dens­ki­öld­fjel­let, 1050 met­res high, is the sou­thern, hig­her part of Pla­tå­ber­get and a popu­lar desti­na­ti­on for spor­ti­ve outings from Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The crev­as­ses in the hig­her, stee­per part of the gla­cier are not unknown. Com­mon rou­tes lead eit­her over parts of the gla­cier gene­ral­ly assu­med to be safe (in a distance of the crev­as­se in ques­ti­on) or over rocky rid­ges at eit­her side to the gla­cier. The lat­ter opti­on is dif­fi­cult or imprac­ti­ca­ble in win­ter, when the rocks, which include some stee­per steps, are fro­zen over with ice.

The ski­er was in a group of altog­e­ther 9 per­sons who were on the way down from the sum­mit. On the way, the 9 had split up into 2 groups. Once the man, who is in the mid twen­ties, had fal­len into the crev­as­ses, his com­ra­des did not dare to move any­whe­re, but alar­med the Sys­sel­man­nen. Res­cue forces of Sys­sel­man­nen and Red Cross whe­re soon on the sce­ne with 2 heli­c­op­ters and after about 2 hours in total the man was in safe­ty again, lucki­ly wit­hout any inju­ries despi­te a fal­ling distance of 25 met­res. It can be assu­med that the crev­as­se was not ver­ti­cal, which would not be uncom­mon for a crev­as­se near the steep cont­act bet­ween ice and rocks at the hig­her end of a gla­cier.

The posi­ti­on of the crev­as­se is given as N78 10.95 E15 26.55 by the Sys­sel­man­nen, which is in accordance with the crev­as­se mark­ed in the pho­to below. The pho­to was taken on July 19, 2009 and shows the gla­cier with less snow cover than curr­ent­ly. At the time of the acci­dent on last Sun­day, the crev­as­se was cover­ed with snow and accor­din­gly invi­si­ble at the sur­face.

Gla­cier at Nor­dens­ki­öld­fjel­let (archi­ve image, July 2009). The crev­as­ses near the upper end are part­ly visi­ble. On Sun­day, a ski­er fell 25 met­res deep into a crev­as­se in this area.

Crevasse at Nordenskiöldfjellet bei Longyearbyen

Source: Felt­logg Sys­sel­man­nen

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the title “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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