fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
pfeil THE Spitsbergen guidebook pfeil
HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Kval­ross­lø­pet & Olon­kin­by­en

Kvalrossløpet & Olonkinbyen

Admit­ted­ly, I star­ted the day a bit later than usu­al. The pro­gram­me for today see­med set and rela­xed, with a visit to the sta­ti­on final­ly set for the after­noon. That’s what I thought, at least.

Then, things hap­pen­ed far too quick­ly for a slow mor­ning like this. As it tur­ned out, we had been offe­red the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do the „Kval­ross­lø­pet“, the tra­di­tio­nal run from Kval­ross­buk­ta to the sta­ti­on. Nine kilo­me­t­res, to be com­ple­ted in 60-80 minu­tes, depen­ding on sex and age, to beco­me a diplo­mi­zed wal­rus-run­ner. Pie­ce of cake! Who would care about the 70 kilo­me­t­res final­ly com­ple­ted a mere 12 hours ago ..?

Admit­ted­ly, the last days were not making the feet ligh­ter as the run was star­ted at 1200 hours. Exact­ly 50 % of us had signed up. As expec­ted, Harold quick­ly took the lead and did hard­ly touch the ground befo­re he rea­ched the goal at an impres­si­ve just under 45 minu­tes. Ever­y­bo­dy else fol­lo­wed in due time, well within the frame­work accor­ding to regu­la­ti­ons, so we could all later recei­ve our diplo­ma from the hands of the „høv­din­gen“ (chief), as the sta­ti­on com­man­der is infor­mal­ly cal­led. Not too bad, con­side­ring the many kilo­me­t­res of the pre­vious days as well as today’s gent­le wind, the slo­pes and the fog. And best of it, we were offi­ci­al­ly invi­ted to take a show­er after­wards!

The­re was still some time left until the offi­ci­al sta­ti­on visit at 4 p.m., so we made a litt­le walk to Kapp Traill south of the sta­ti­on. Litt­le tracks led bet­ween lava sculp­tu­red over­grown with lichens and mos­ses, a tru­ly haun­ted land­scape. Rocky pen­in­su­la were sti­cking out into the sea, and count­less Litt­le auks were laug­hing in the slo­pes high up in the fog. Quite some of the essence of Jan May­en was con­cen­tra­ted in this place.

At 1600 hours, we were wel­co­med by Roy, the fri­end­ly sta­ti­on com­man­der. A litt­le speech was fol­lo­wed by the usu­al pro­ce­du­re of a sta­ti­on visit. We made hap­pi­ly use of the chan­ce to spend some money on sou­ve­nirs and enjoy­ed the lar­ge and cosy salon, very Nor­we­gi­an, on this island which was so unco­sy other­wi­se. Ano­ther high­light was the very kind offer by Roy to per­so­nal­ly give us a ride back to Kval­ross­buk­ta – takk skal du ha!

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The rest of the day? Just had to be done. Squeeze stuff into bags. Pre­fer­a­b­ly water­tight, the rest didn’t mat­ter. Spend some time with hip waders in the surf to get ever­y­thing on board. Try to give all the wet stuff some air, or even let it dry during the days to come. Some good food. And then, Jan May­en slid past us. Some last warm evening light on red ash cliffs and bizar­re lava flowers, cover­ed with green mos­ses, and then the last cra­ters dis­ap­peard so quick­ly in the fog behind us that nobo­dy could be sure the island real­ly exists.



This and other publishing products of the Spitsbergen publishing house in the Spitsbergen-Shop.

last modification: 2014-07-17 · copyright: Rolf Stange