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Yearly Archives: 2015 − News & Stories


Win­ter sea­son com­ing to an end; polar bear fami­lies in Bill­efjord

Inspi­te of thawing peri­ods in April, the win­ter sea­son has las­ted for qui­te a long time. Now it is com­ing to an end. In late April, the wea­ther had final­ly sta­bi­li­zed with tem­pe­ra­tures below zero and many sun­ny days, brin­ging good tou­ring wea­ther bey­ond 17 May, the Nor­we­gi­an natio­nal day.

The spring has brought new inha­bi­tants to inner Isfjord: two polar bear fami­lies have been regu­lar­ly seen in Bill­efjord and Tem­pel­fjord, inclu­ding one with 3 cubs, a gre­at rari­ty. This very plea­sant fact brought con­tro­ver­si­al dis­cus­sions regar­ding snow mobi­le traf­fic in the­se fre­quent­ly visi­ted fjords. The Sys­sel­man­nen (local aut­ho­ri­ties) asked the public several times to exe­cu­te good self con­trol and keep traf­fic to an unavo­ida­ble mini­mum. Nevertheless, small groups were obser­ved several times too clo­se or too long near the bears.

Expe­ri­ence for examp­le from Tem­pel­fjord in 2013 shows that polar bears, inclu­ding fami­lies with young off­spring, do not necessa­ri­ly suf­fer from fre­quent traf­fic. In that spring, a mother with 2 first year cubs spent several mon­ths in Tem­pel­fjord, which was fre­quent­ly visi­ted by lar­ge num­bers of groups. Respect­ful beha­viour con­tri­bu­t­ed to the well-being of the bear fami­ly, which was gene­ral­ly not visi­b­ly affec­ted by traf­fic, but see­med to enjoy a good and healt­hy peri­od, with regu­lar hun­ting suc­cess.

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, both cubs from 2013 are most likely dead by now. One died in Bill­efjord a short time after tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on for sci­en­ti­fic rea­sons. The­re is now evi­dence for the tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on being the cau­se of the death, but the assump­ti­on is not far away.

The second one of tho­se 2 cubs was most likely the one that was shot near Fred­heim in late March 2015 by tou­rists in their camp. The bear had inju­red one per­son in a tent and was then inju­red with several bul­lets from a revol­ver. It was later shot by the poli­ce.

The­se obser­va­tions indi­ca­te that a lar­ger num­ber of well-con­trol­led tou­rists, with respect­ful beha­viour, is less of a pro­blem than a smal­ler num­ber of visi­tors (inclu­ding sci­en­tists) with more unusu­al acti­vi­ties, invol­ving a hig­her risk. An inte­res­ting impres­si­on, as the public recep­ti­on of tou­rists is gene­ral­ly much worse than that of sci­en­tists.

Cur­r­ent­ly, the grea­test public con­cern is about the polar bear fami­ly with 3 cubs. Dis­cus­sions in social net­works make it clear that the­re is public con­cern and inte­rest, at least local­ly, and the­re is litt­le tole­ran­ce for beha­viour that might dis­turb or even end­an­ger the bears. On the other hand, the mother has alrea­dy been mar­ked by sci­en­tists, which invol­ves tran­qui­liz­a­ti­on of at least the mother. It is not known in public wether the sci­en­tists used snow mobi­les or heli­co­p­ters to get wit­hin shoo­ting ran­ge, but in any way this can safe­ly be assu­med to be a trau­ma­tic expe­ri­ence for the who­le fami­ly, wit­hin a peri­od that is belie­ved to be so sen­si­ti­ve for the sur­vi­val of the young bears that the Sys­sel­man­nen asks the public to mini­mi­ze traf­fic in the same area.

Now, the snow mobi­le sea­son is over any­way, which will make life for the polar bears a bit more quiet, as indi­vi­du­al do not have the oppor­tu­ni­ty any­mo­re to get too clo­se to the bears.

Polar bear fami­ly in Bill­efjord, April 2015

a3j_Billefjord_28April15_102

Hei­møya

It is part of the fun to dis­co­ver new pla­ces. If you haven’t been to a place, then it may be a good rea­son to go the­re one day. After an inte­res­ting after­noon – some­ti­mes the wind needs about a minu­te up here to turn 180 degrees, which is inte­res­ting for a ship under sail – we came to Hei­møya. A litt­le island, sepa­ra­ted from its litt­le neigh­bou­ring island by a litt­le chan­nel. The Nor­we­gi­ans have obvious­ly dis­co­ve­r­ed Hei­møya as a good place to build wee­kend houses, so the­re is qui­te a few of them the­re. Is that the rea­son for the name, or was it the other way around?

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

We still have a real sun­set and, accord­in­gly, a real evening with real evening light.

Nusfjord

Nusfjord is the first port of call for us, so the rest of the night is calm, apart from the slight­ly dis­har­mo­nic music of sin­ging fen­ders. A very plea­sant sur­pri­se for most on board to wake up on the­se lovely sur­roun­dings. Nusfjord is kind of a muse­um vil­la­ge, a time cap­su­le that moves the visi­tor back to the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, as you are wal­king into the old „Land­han­del“ or around the litt­le natu­ral har­bour with its tra­di­tio­nal ror­buer, simp­le woo­den buil­dings whe­re fishe­ry workers were accom­mo­da­ted perio­di­cal­ly in the old days. Kit­ti­wa­key are making the same noi­se today as they did 100 years ago. And the rain sho­wers make you as wet as they did 100 years ago, Gore Tex or not.

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

As a final high­light, Cap­tain Joa­chim is navi­ga­ting Anti­gua around the litt­le island of Bratt­hol­men, through a sce­nic natu­ral chan­nel. A minia­tu­re ver­si­on of Troll­fjord, kind of a warm-up exer­cise. Per­fect­ly enjoy­ed from the best place, up on the mast ☺

Bodø

Yeeha – today I am star­ting my nort­hern sai­ling sea­son! The 3 mast bar­ken­ti­ne Anti­gua is wai­t­ing in the har­bour of Bodø in north Nor­way. She has taken 2 weeks to sail up here from Ham­burg. I am covering the same distance a bit hig­her and fas­ter.

A day later, the inter­na­tio­nal group comes on board. Some lan­guage mathe­ma­tics: Ger­man + Dut­ch = Eng­lish.

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

A gent­le sou­thwes­ter­ly bree­ze is blowing, while we are lea­ving the har­bour of Bodø, stea­ming into Ves­t­fjord. 50 nau­ti­cal miles of open water bet­ween here and Rei­ne on Mos­ken­esøya, one of the sou­thern Lofo­ten islands. Soon, the sails are up. The sea is mode­ra­te, but enough for some on the first evening. Others enjoy sai­ling into the evening sun, while the famous Lofo­ten wall („Lofot­ve­g­gen“) is slow­ly appearing out of a cloud.

Rus­sia pro­tests against Nor­we­gi­an oil deve­lo­p­ment in the Bar­ents Sea

Rus­sia is using every oppor­tu­ni­ty to chal­len­ge the Nor­we­gi­an government in the Arc­tic. Alrea­dy in ear­ly March, the Rus­si­an ambassa­dor has filed a sharp diplo­ma­tic note to the Nor­we­gi­an minis­try of for­eign affairs to pro­test against the ope­ning of blocks for oil and gas in the Bar­ents Sea.

Accord­ing to the Rus­si­ans, the area in ques­ti­on should be gover­ned by the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty, which would give other coun­tries more rights to make use of poten­ti­al resour­ces. The fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment would, at least, not be a domestic Nor­we­gi­an issue any­mo­re.

The Rus­si­an rea­so­ning, howe­ver, lea­ves a mixed impres­si­on at best: it is argued that Spits­ber­gen has a shelf area on its own, to which the rele­vant area belongs. Hence, the area should be trea­ted as part of Spits­ber­gen, accord­ing to the Rus­si­an government, and not as part of the Nor­we­gi­an eco­no­mic zone.

It is com­mon­ly accep­ted, as is illus­tra­ted in the image in this arti­cle, that the­re is one con­ti­nuous shelf from main­land Nor­way up to Spits­ber­gen, and this shelf belongs to Nor­way. This is cer­tain­ly the per­spec­ti­ve of the Nor­we­gi­an government, which is cer­tain­ly shared by the Rus­si­an government when it comes to their own shelf are­as north of Rus­sia. The­re is no geo­lo­gi­cal or juri­di­cal rea­son to defi­ne a sepa­ra­te “Spits­ber­gen Shelf”.

The con­ti­nen­tal shelf in the Bar­ents Sea (light blue) is com­mon­ly con­si­de­red one con­ti­nuous shelf. The arrow marks the posi­ti­on of Bear Island (Bjørnøya).

Kontinentalschelf Barentssee

Source: Alas­ka Dis­patch News: Rus­sia pro­tests oil deve­lo­p­ment in Sval­bard zone

Store Nor­ske bai­lout

The Nor­we­gi­an coal mining com­pa­ny in Spits­ber­gen, Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni (SNSK), has been in dif­fi­cul­ties for a while (see Decem­ber news: Coal mining not pro­fi­ta­ble: Store Nor­ske cuts 100 jobs). The low world mar­ket pri­ces for coal are the main rea­son. The SNSK has alrea­dy cut a lar­ge num­ber of jobs, which is rea­son for ner­vous­ness in a place as small as Lon­gye­ar­by­en, which may suf­fer stron­gly from a signi­fi­cant loss of jobs, both eco­no­mi­c­al­ly and social­ly.

Hence, a decisi­on by the Nor­we­gi­an government comes as a reli­ef for many in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: As minis­ter of eco­no­mic affairs Moni­ca Mæland announ­ced during a press con­fe­rence, SNSK will get a credit of 500 mil­li­on Nor­we­gi­an kro­ner (about 60 mil­li­on Euro). The com­pa­ny had asked for 450 mil­li­on NOK, less than it will actual­ly get now.

Mæland made it clear that the credit does not come without some con­di­ti­ons: it is not to be taken as a gua­ran­tee for the long-term exis­tence of coal mining in Spits­ber­gen. Future government poli­tics in Sval­bard, which set the frame­work for the deve­lo­p­ment, are to be defi­ned in a government poli­cy state­ment (“Sval­bard­mel­ding”), which comes every 5-10 years. The next Sval­bard­mel­ding is cur­r­ent­ly under pre­pa­ra­ti­on in the minis­try of jus­ti­ce. The cur­rent credit still needs appro­val from the Stor­ting (Nor­we­gi­an par­lia­ment). And the land pro­per­ty of the SNSK, which is an important local land owner, is to be trans­fer­red to the government. This shall streng­t­hen Nor­we­gi­an sov­er­eig­n­ty and is likely to be more of a sym­bo­lic cha­rac­ter, rather than having major prac­ti­cal con­se­quen­ces.

The credit for SNSK has led to com­mon reli­ef in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Coal mining in Spits­ber­gen: an indus­try with future or only with a lot of histo­ry?

coal mining, Spitsbergen

Source: NRK

Pyra­mi­den

This year’s win­ter sea­son will not be long any­mo­re, Lan­gøy­sund is alrea­dy sai­ling again, the good, old day trip boat that will take tou­rists to Bar­ents­burg and Pyra­mi­den from now on throughout the sum­mer. Well, Pyra­mi­den is not yet acces­si­ble by boat, the­re is is still ice in inner Bill­efjord – and that’s how it should be. Hope­ful­ly it lasts for ano­t­her while.

We have to make use of that. Once again enjoy­ing the view from upper Nor­dens­kiöld­breen across inner Bill­efjord to Pyra­mi­den … a long trip, if done in one day, but we can’t afford a night in Pyra­mi­den now, time-wise.

The ice in Tem­pel­fjord has bro­ken up at Fred­heim, the­re is only a nar­row rim of ice atta­ched to the shore whe­re it is actual­ly still pos­si­ble to pass, but we deci­de to opt for a steep slo­pe down from a moun­tain deeper in the fjord, whe­re the ice is safer. Noor­der­licht is still the­re in the ice and will pro­bab­ly stay the­re for ano­t­her cou­p­le of weekd, but for how long will it be pos­si­ble to visit her?

The trip through sce­nic Bün­sow Land is always a high­light, espe­cial­ly in wea­ther like today. And then we have got it, this view from Nor­dens­kiöld­breen, whe­re you stand 500 m abo­ve the fjord, under Urm­s­ton­fjel­let, to enjoy the view descri­bed abo­ve.

If you have been to Pyra­mi­den last year, then you will know the local gui­de Sascha. He is back again this year, a plea­sant mee­ting. And same for an equal­ly plea­sant, but much more sur­pri­sing mee­ting with a friend from the sai­ling boat Anti­gua. Ismail is here now with ano­t­her boat, the Bør, which is along­side at the ice edge, not too far from Pyra­mi­den so they could walk here. So snow mobi­le expe­di­tio­nists and sailors meet in one and the same place.

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

The­re are even more remar­kab­le mee­tings on this beau­ti­ful day. As we have a rest on the ice on our way back to Nor­dens­kiöld­breen, a polar bear fami­ly is wal­king not too far from us. The arc­tic can­not be more beau­ti­ful than this. They walk past us, and as they have left, we start again and con­ti­nue our long trip back to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. This was the last win­ter trip for us for this year. It won’t be long any­mo­re and then we will con­ti­nue under sail.

East coast

25th-26th April 2015 – I can repeat the text of the last blog ent­ry here with just some minor adap­ti­ons without fee­ling bad about it. Some­ti­mes it is so easy. Life does not have to be com­pli­ca­ted up here, it does not have to be dif­fe­rent every day. The arc­tic is beau­ti­ful. Enjoy­ing it is the main point. That’s it.

Of cour­se it is nevertheless nice to dis­co­ver new pla­ces. Such as Mos­kus­da­len on the eas­tern side of Sas­senda­len. Many dri­ve past Mos­kus­da­len on the way to the east coast, few bother to have a look. But it is a beau­ti­ful place. Not big and spec­ta­cu­lar. Small, silent, beau­ti­ful. It has even got an old hut, ano­t­her secon­da­ry hut built by the famous Hil­mar Nøis, pro­bab­ly in the 1920s or 1930s.

And now, as pro­mi­sed, the slight­ly adap­ted repe­ti­ti­on of the last blog’s text ☺

The sce­nic beau­ty of Sas­senda­len and Mohn­buk­ta can­not be prai­sed too often. The bet­ter if you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy this arc­tic para­di­se not just for a few hours, but for some days. You don’t have to do a lot, the polar cine­ma is play­ing an end­less film of sheer beau­ty. Just watch natu­re through the win­dow of a cou­sy cabin for a while. You will con­stant­ly dis­co­ver new details and be ama­zed by the chan­ging light and atmo­s­phe­re. Gre­at mid­ni­ght sun­sets.

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

Rus­si­an Vice pre­mier Rogo­zin in Spits­ber­gen

The sud­den sur­fa­cing of the power­ful Rus­si­an poli­ti­ci­an Dmi­try Rogo­zin, vice pre­mier and lea­der of the Rus­si­an government’s new Arc­tic Com­mis­si­on, stir­red Nor­we­gi­an offi­cials up. Rogo­zin is on an EU sanc­tion list and not wel­co­me in Nor­way, as was sub­se­quent­ly made clear by the Nor­we­gi­an government.

Rogo­zin pro­vo­ked the Nor­we­gi­an government by men­tio­ning that the Nor­we­gi­an sov­er­eig­n­ty is limi­ted in Sval­bard (the Spits­ber­gen Trea­ty makes undis­pu­ta­b­ly clear that Nor­way has full sov­er­eig­n­ty over the Spits­ber­gen archi­pe­la­go, but it does inde­ed put some limits to the exe­cu­ti­on of the sov­er­eig­n­ty). Accord­ing to Rogo­zin, nobo­dy could be kept from visi­t­ing Sval­bard.

It is not known how Rogo­zin, who made his arri­val known via twit­ter, arri­ved at the air­port at Lon­gye­ar­by­en, but it is safe to assu­me that he did not tra­vel trough main­land Nor­way. Rogo­zin soon con­ti­nued to the Rus­si­an drift ice sta­ti­on Bar­neo near the north pole, whe­re he made fur­ther pro­vo­ca­ti­ve comments in an inter­view to Rus­si­an sta­te TV: “Last year, we had the his­to­ri­cal reuni­fi­ca­ti­on of Sevas­to­pol and the Cri­mea. This year, we pre­sent a new view and new power­ful stress on the deve­lo­p­ment of the Arc­tic. Basi­cal­ly, its is all about the same …” and he con­ti­nued: Rus­sia is now “star­ting to get more con­scious about ter­ri­to­ry, its inte­rests and bor­ders”. Rus­sia is known as natio­na­list and expan­sio­nist.

Norway’s for­eign minis­ter Bør­ge Bren­de did not lea­ve any doubts that “peop­le on the sanc­tions list, peop­le that have been cen­tral in breaching inter­na­tio­nal law in Ukrai­ne, are not wel­co­me to the main­land or to Sval­bard”.

It is, howe­ver, unli­kely that this will make of an impres­si­on on the Rus­si­an vice pre­mier.

Rus­si­an vice pre­mier Dmi­triy Rogo­zin at the Rus­si­an drift ice sta­ti­on Bar­neo near the north pole (twit­ter pho­to)..

Rogozin

Source: Bar­ents­ob­ser­ver

Vin­dod­den

20th-22nd April 2015 – Vin­dod­den – The sce­nic beau­ty of Sas­sen­fjord and Tem­pel­fjord – both are one con­ti­nuous fjord sys­tem – can­not be prai­sed too often. The bet­ter if you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy this arc­tic para­di­se not just for a few hours, but for some days. You don’t have to do a lot, the polar cine­ma is play­ing an end­less film of sheer beau­ty. Just watch natu­re through the win­dow of a cou­sy cabin for a while. You will con­stant­ly dis­co­ver new details and be ama­zed by the chan­ging light and atmo­s­phe­re. Some­ti­mes a fox will visit the hut. Gre­at mid­ni­ght sun­sets, the last ones of the spring. In a few days, the­re won’t be any sun­sets any­mo­re until late August.

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

Arc­tic voya­ges 2015: Jan May­en, Spits­ber­gen

Two tickets have beco­me avail­ab­le again on the expe­di­ti­on to Jan May­en 2015 (15th-27th June) due to a can­cel­la­ti­on. Demand is high, the Jan May­en expe­di­ti­on in 2016 is alrea­dy ful­ly boo­ked.

In June 2015 we are sai­ling to Jan May­en

Jan Mayen: Beerenberg

The­re is also still the oppor­tu­ni­ty to join us on the voya­ge in Spits­ber­gen (15th-25th Sep­tem­ber) 2015 with SV Anti­gua, with focus­ses on gla­cier hikes and pho­to­gra­phy, next to the “more usu­al” lan­dings and walk, which we will cer­tain­ly also do. This voya­ge will be Ger­man spea­king.

… and in Sep­tem­ber 2015 with SV Anti­gua to Spitsbergen’s gla­ciers.

Spitzbergen September 2015 mit SV Antigua: Gletscher

Ant­arc­tic pan­ora­ma: Cape Ada­re

The­re is a new pan­ora­ma tour (vir­tu­al tour) from Ant­arc­ti­ca, name­ly from Cape Ada­re in the Ross Sea. Cape Ada­re is one of the most famous, but rare­ly visi­ted pla­ces in Ant­arc­ti­ca: in 1895, it was the site of the first well-docu­men­ted lan­ding on the con­ti­nent, and in 1899 it was the site of the very first win­te­ring on the con­ti­nent, by an expe­di­ti­on led by Kars­ten Borch­g­re­vink. The­se sto­ries are short­ly sum­ma­ri­zed in the new pan­ora­ma tour, and so is the visit of the nort­hern par­ty under Camp­bell during Robert F. Scott’s final expe­di­ti­on with Ter­ra Nova.

The pan­ora­ma tour docu­ments the his­to­ric huts at Cape Ada­re and gives impres­si­ons of the ama­zing sce­ne­ry of the place at the nort­hern­most end of Vic­to­ria Land, being part of the famous Tran­s­ant­arc­tic Moun­tains. Cape Ada­re is also home to the lar­gest colo­ny of Adé­lie pen­gu­ins in Ant­arc­ti­ca, which means in the world.

In ear­ly Febru­a­ry, I was lucky to spend a rare good wea­ther day at Cape Ada­re. On this occa­si­on, I shot the pan­ora­mas which are now assem­bled to this new pan­ora­ma / vir­tu­al tour (click here to get to the tour). Enjoy a vir­tu­al trip to Cape Ada­re!

Vir­tu­al tour of Cape Ada­re, site of the first lan­ding and win­te­ring in Ant­arc­ti­ca and home to the lar­gest colo­ny of Adé­lie pen­gu­ins.

Kap Adare Panorama-Tour

The arc­tic blog con­ti­nued

The arc­tic blog is now con­ti­nued! Sin­ce mid March, I am back in Spits­ber­gen and fre­quent­ly out on tour. Came­ra, an open eye and eager­ness to see and expe­ri­ence arc­tic sce­ne­ry, wild­life and histo­ry are always with me, and this results in pho­to gal­le­ries and litt­le sto­ries from tra­vels out in the arc­tic wil­der­ness, publis­hed in my arc­tic blog, which will be con­ti­nued for most of the year. A trip to Tem­pel­fjord makes the begin­ning, fol­lo­wed by the event of the year in Spits­ber­gen, the solar eclip­se. Enjoy some vir­tu­al high lati­tu­de tra­ve­ling!

Click here for the over­view of the blog.

The arc­tic blog is con­ti­nued: pho­tos and sto­ries from tra­vels in Spits­ber­gen, Jan May­en and Green­land.

arctic blog

Almost doub­ling of snow mobi­le acci­dents

Emer­gen­cy ser­vices and hos­pi­tal have got a record-high num­ber of mis­si­ons and pati­ents from snow mobi­le acci­dents this year. Until late March, the hos­pi­tal had 38 pati­ents in tre­at­ment with inju­ries rela­ted to acci­dents from snow mobi­le dri­ving. In 2014, the equi­va­lent num­ber was 21. Inju­ries often inclu­de frac­tures.

The data base is not suf­fi­ci­ent to ana­ly­ze rea­sons, but this season’s ins­ta­ble wea­ther may have con­tri­bu­t­ed with bad visi­bi­li­ty at times and icy sur­faces.

The pro­por­ti­ons of locals and tou­rists is also not known. Several serious acci­dents inclu­ded local dri­vers, such as the young man who died in an avalan­che in Janu­a­ry and the exten­si­ve search and res­cue mis­si­on on the east coast. In late March, a young man from Lon­gye­ar­by­en fell into a 6 m deep snow who­le with his snow mobi­le and recei­ved hea­vy head inju­ries. He is still in hos­pi­tal in Trom­sø, not in a life-threa­tening con­di­ti­on any­mo­re but he his being kept in an arti­fi­cial coma.

The num­bers of par­ti­ci­pants on orga­ni­zed tours have not reached the levels of the record years of 2007 and 2008 again, but the num­bers of indi­vi­du­al snow mobi­le ren­tals have incre­a­sed, indi­ca­ting a lar­ger num­ber of tou­rists indi­vi­du­al­ly in the field. Tho­se who are out on indi­vi­du­al trips with limi­ted expe­ri­en­ced and without local know­ledge have to remem­ber that they are tra­ve­ling with a strong vehi­cle that can quick­ly reach high speed in ter­rain that has all the poten­ti­al traps and dan­ge­rous that the win­ter arc­tic may have. Uneven ter­rain, wind­ho­les in the snow etc. can be dif­fi­cult to see in bad wea­ther or poor light con­di­ti­ons, which may quick­ly result in dan­ge­rous acci­dents.

Enjoya­ble evening on tour with snow mobi­les. But the wea­ther is not always as nice as here.

Snow mobile, sunset

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten (14, 2015)

Lars­breen

Lars­breen is clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, kind of a city park in a wider sen­se, a popu­lar area for ski­ing. As soon as you start to climb up, not far from Nyby­en, you have the arc­tic silence all around you, as Lars­breen is a snow mobi­le free area.

As most gla­ciers, Lars­breen is also chan­ging. The ascent is dif­fe­rent than it used to be. We clim­bed up through the cen­tral meltwa­ter chan­nel, some­thing that pro­vi­ded a very inte­res­ting land­s­cape expe­ri­ence. A litt­le can­yon cut into the gla­cier, with various morai­ne depo­sits nice­ly visi­ble in the gla­cier ice. A cross sec­tion wit­hin an acti­ve gla­cier, how often do you get that?

Hig­her up, the gla­cier is get­ting wider, and next to it, the­re is Troll­stei­nen, offe­ring a lovely view over cen­tral Nor­dens­kiöld Land. With a nice­ly deve­lo­ped Halo as a crown, kind of a rain­bow, but based on ice crys­tals rather than water dro­p­lets.

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

Good down­hill ski­ing, fol­lo­wed final­ly by a visit to Coal Miners’s Grill, the new fee­ding place in Nyby­en. What else could you ask for from a good day in the Arc­tic ☺

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