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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Hau­gen­stran­da – 20th June 2016

Hau­gen­stran­da – 20th June 2016

The return to base­camp last night was gre­at, ever­y­bo­dy had sto­ries to tell around a big cas­se­ro­le of Ice­lan­dic lamb stew. Anne­li and Mar­tin have reached the peak of Bee­ren­berg tog­e­ther with moun­tain gui­de Magnus. Well done, congra­tu­la­ti­ons!

Bey­ond this, ever­y­bo­dy has explo­red the north exten­si­ve­ly with most of the sites of inte­rest over the­re. And as I came now stumb­ling back into the mess tent as the last mohi­can, ever­y­bo­dy wan­ted to know what I had seen and expe­ri­en­ced in the south.

After the many kilo­me­tres of the last days, my lower half deman­ded a cal­mer day. Initi­al­ly I took the luxu­ry of just being lazy for a cou­p­le of hours, befo­re I put a litt­le day­pack tog­e­ther for a good beach walk. Wal­king along Hau­gen­stran­da to its end had been on my wish­list for a long time. It is stret­ching for 3 kilo­me­tres nor­the­ast from Kval­ros­sen, initi­al­ly being very wide, get­ting nar­rower fur­ther north. It is cove­r­ed with immense amounts of drift­wood, some­thing that is always inte­res­ting.

Slow­ly I walk bet­ween the various bits and pie­ces, won­de­ring whe­re they may have come from. As in Spits­ber­gen, most of the logs are cut, only a few have roots. Also the Jan May­en drift­wood has most­ly made the long drift from Sibe­ria across the Arc­tic Oce­an. Only in a few cases, lar­ger holes of bore­worms indi­ca­te an ori­gin in more tem­pe­ra­te waters.

Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, the unavo­ida­ble plastic trash is to be found also here in volu­mes. Lar­ge­ly items from the fishing indus­try, but a lot of weird stuff as well, from hygie­ne arti­cles over shoes to objects that I can not iden­ti­fy. A shame that tou­rists are not allo­wed any­mo­re to make lan­dings in pla­ces like this. They like to clean a beach, as ever­y­bo­dy knows who has been fol­lowing this blog for a while. As it is, the plastics just remain here on the arc­tic beaches. Well done, Oslo.

At the end of the beach, the­re is a lone­so­me gra­ve on a litt­le ele­va­ti­on. The metal pla­te on the woo­den cross says Sive­rt Eide 1909. Sive­rt was mem­ber of the second group of Nor­we­gi­an trap­pers who had come to Jan May­en to over­win­ter and hunt polar foxes. They had main­ly used the Aus­tri­an sta­ti­on in Maria Musch­buk­ta, but addi­tio­nal­ly built a hut here at Hau­gen­stran­da. Sive­rt died here at Hau­gen­stran­da of scur­vy in Febru­a­ry 1909. The storms have not left anything of the hut, just some rus­ty remains of the sto­ve and some woo­den planks tell the care­ful obser­ver whe­re a wall once may have been.

Gal­le­ry 1 – Hau­gen­stran­da – 20th June 2016

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

The way back leads me over a ridge of low hills cal­led Låg­heia, which is sepa­ra­ting the coasts to eit­her side of Mid Jan. Just a few metres of ele­va­ti­on chan­ge the per­spec­ti­ve great­ly and allow sce­nic views over Hau­gen­stran­da, while saxif­ra­ges and moss cam­pi­on delight the eye with colour patches on the ground. Aggres­si­ve glau­cous gulls attack the wan­de­rer fier­ce­ly. More than the birds, a light rain­sho­wer makes him set cour­se back to Kval­ross­buk­ta. Neu­may­er­kra­ter, a vol­ca­nic cra­ter that might have been a nice extra walk in this area, is shrou­ded in deep, grey clouds this time.

Various soil and vege­ta­ti­on struc­tures tell a clear sto­ry about the fero­cious winds Jan May­en is so renow­ned for. Today, the­re is just a light, steady bree­ze blowing over the vol­ca­nic hills.

Gal­le­ry 2 – Hau­gen­stran­da – 20th June 2016

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

The wind, light and con­stant as it was up on the ridge, is fal­ling down in strong gusts into Kval­ross­buk­ta, quick­ly cal­ming down again just to take a rest to gather strength for the next attack. During the night, we all have to get out of our slee­ping bags to secu­re the mess tent with more stones and drift­wood befo­re it starts to take of for a flight over Jan May­en.

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: 2016-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange