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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Prins Karls For­land – 20. Juli 2015

Prins Karls For­land – 20. Juli 2015

Small ships and boats nor­mal­ly stay bet­ween Spits­ber­gen and Prins Karls For­land, kee­ping to the bet­ter shel­te­red waters of For­landsund rather than the expo­sed west coast of Prins Karls For­land, whe­re the sea can be rougher. So tho­se who can stay insi­de, and tho­se who stay out­side usual­ly do so becau­se they don’t have any other choice. That is the big­ger ships with too much draft for the shal­low part in the nort­hern For­landsund.

Con­si­de­ring the good wea­ther and calm seas that we had, we deci­ded, howe­ver, to head for the west coast of Prins Karls For­land any­way, taking the rare oppor­tu­ni­ty of a clo­ser inspec­tion of the outer side of the island. First of all, it was time to catch some sleep when the anchor went down near Ait­kenod­den last night, befo­re we went ashore the­re today. Untouched natu­re, almost nobo­dy is going the­re. Most ships don’t have time to stop at a place like this, and if you have time, you will usual­ly stay in For­landsund. Bet­ter shel­ter. But today it was sim­ply an oppor­tu­ni­ty too good to be mis­sed. Advan­ced Spits­ber­gen. Stay­ing away from the trod­den path.

The­re is an old trap­per hut at Ait­kenod­den, near a lake cal­led Nesun­gen. The hut was built in 1909, now it is just a ruin, but in sce­nic sur­roun­dings, a wide coas­tal plain with small bays and rocky out­crops along the shore­li­ne.

Pho­to Ves­t­flya – 20th Juli 2015

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After a bit of sight­see­ing near the hut, we ven­tu­red across the flat tun­dra away from the coast. Dry moss and lichen tun­dra ever­y­whe­re, and flat rid­ges of expo­sed shist. A rein­de­er mother and her calf kept a care­ful distance while working their way in a cir­cle around us. After a rest, we clim­bed up Per­sis­kam­men which reaches an ele­va­ti­on of 334 metres abo­ve the sea. High enough for gre­at views over the tun­dra and the coas­tal land­s­cape, both very rich in detail and struc­tu­re des­pi­te of being flat. We took a long rest at a cairn mar­king the hig­hest point, rela­xing in the sun which was shi­ning from the blue arc­tic sky with an ama­zing strength, befo­re descen­ding to the eas­tern side of the island. Mean­while, Pål had lifted anchor and gone around the sou­thern point of Prins Karls For­land to meet us here in Sand­buk­ta, so we all met the­re again after a lovely long hike, inclu­ding the rare oppor­tu­nities to climb the iso­la­ted sou­thern moun­tain on Prins Karls For­land and cros­sing the island at the same time.

Pho­to Per­sis­kam­men – 20th Juli 2015

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After a quick jump into the water to get fresh again, we con­ti­nued nor­thwards. We saw about 10 wal­rus­ses lazi­ly lying in the sun while pas­sing Poole­pyn­ten and enjoy­ed sun­ny views of the moun­tains and gla­ciers to both sides of For­landsund while hea­ding towards Kongsfjord.

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 (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2016-09-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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