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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Southwards to Kapp Wien – 21st June 2016

Southwards to Kapp Wien – 21st June 2016

A station visit is almost mandatory when you are on Jan Mayen, but strictly by invitation only. We have got our invitation for today 1300 Norwegian time (1100 Icelandic time = our time). So breakfast on time and we head off with discipline as scheduled. We need two hours to walk along the road, 8 km long, to the station.

On the way, we are passing various important bits and pieces of the local infrastructure: Jan Mayen International Airport (just a simple runway), the weather station (1-2 km north of the actual station) and, of course, various specimens of the local forest of traffic signs, which are mostly reflecting the specific sense of humour on such a place rather than regulatory needs of dense traffic.

On the station, we are allowed to enjoy the hospitality with its various, typical aspects for some hours: pleasant stay in a rather zivilised venue, curious looks and photos in public areas as are made accessible to us and – the highlight – an intense shopping session in the souvenir shop. Our curious questions are also answered.

Gallery 1

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As it is time to take off again, the sun is shining and the day is still long. When, if not now, do I have the chance to explore the terrain south of the station? This part of Jan Mayen does have a lot to offer: starting in Borgdalen, which I came down quite recently but without seeing anything due to the dense fog, so I saw nothing of the sharp mountain ridge Schiertzegga.

Green, wide areas, almost like meadows, are stretching in lower Blinddalen, before some hefty ascents lead up to Flykollen above Kapp Wien. There, a German weather reconnoissance plane crashed into a steep slope in July 1942. All four crew members died. The wreck is still there, as one out of two WWII aircraft wrecks on Jan Mayen. The other one, at Danielsenkrateret near the northern lagoon, is quite easily accessible, in comparison at least.

You can’t say that this one is easy to get to. For a while already, I have been climbing up a steep slope, asking myself permanently how far I was actually willing to go. Behind a little ridge, the view is opening into a steep ravine, and there it is, the plane wreck, in several parts. A wing here, the main body there. The terrain is too steep for me, I don’t want to go down here, being on my own and without any rope or other safety. I have seen enough, after a couple of photos I turn back.

Instead, I rather enjoy the grand coastal scenery at Branderpynten for a while. Jagged coastal rock stacks and caves, bird cliffs and the associated dense, colourful vegetation. All this makes this part of Jan Mayen a particularly beautiful one. I would have to spend more time here …

Gallery 2

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As so often, the tour finishes with some long, tough kilometres on the road back to Kvalrossbukta, amounting to a total of 30 kilometres in the end for today. As I come back to the basecamp, I find the others gathered around a cosy camp fire. Spirits are excellent, everybody has stories about the day to tell.

Gallery 3

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last modification: 2016-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange