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Gruvefjellet & Adventdalen

(13th-15th September 2014) – Early winter rather than golden autumn – also impressive in a way, when arctic nature is showing its forces with cold and strong winds. And when it is raining on top of it all, then it is the perfect day to visit the museums in Longyearbyen, you can always learn a lot in both of them. It is especially the Airshipmuseum that is always amazing. Incredible how much Stefano Poli and Ingunn Løyning have collected over the years, all their own initiative. You should have a rough overview of the expeditions of Andrée and Wellman, Amundsen and Nobile before visiting, otherwise the wealth of details may be confusing. But then it is a place where you can return countless times to learn and to be amazed.

Looking back and considering the rough weather, I am almost surprised myself how much we have done in these 4 days around Longyearbyen also. After the first, extensive tour over the snow-covered Platåberget on Thursday, we went up Gruvefjellet on Friday, enjoying views over the wide plateaux around Longyearbyen and down the valley, followed by a glacier walk across Larsbreen and a steepish descent down its moraine just before the whirling snow turned all views white and grey.

Meanwhile, the fossil collectors were quite successful on the neighbouring moraine of Longyearbreen.

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

Success also on Sunday in Endalen on the quest for the Dwarf birch. We haven’t seen this tree (yes, it counts as a tree, even if it does not look like it) on our trips before, as we travel mostly on ships and they don’t grow near the shore. We came just in time for some views over Adventdalen from the height of mine 7 before the snow drift settled in, and some hardy hikers even went into Bolterdalen in spite of wind and snow.

Now, the sky is blue again and it is time to board Antigua in the afternoon.

last modification: 2014-09-16 · copyright: Rolf Stange