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Daily Archives: 18. July 2016 − News & Stories


Mos­sel­hal­vøya – 18th/19th July, 2016

A tent night just under the 80th par­al­lel, sounds like a dream, doesn’t it 🙂 and that was exact­ly our plan, at least for a part of the group. While lan­ding, the thought of spen­ding the night in a camp was a slight­ly mixed one, as we had a stiff bree­ze and the occa­sio­nal litt­le rain com­ing from low clouds strai­ght into our faces.

At least the­se clouds were qui­te impres­si­ve, real storm clouds. Several steams for­ced most of us to chan­ge to some kind of sui­ta­ble foot­we­ar for the occa­si­on. A strong wind kept blowing out of Mos­sel­da­len, and I sen­sed it wouldn’t be a good place to put up a camp, so we used the first and last nice oppor­tu­ni­ty befo­re we got that far.

After a while, the tents were stan­ding, rea­son­ab­ly well shel­te­red from the wind, a litt­le stream with crys­tal clear water just a few metres away. Lovely place! After a simp­le but good din­ner, the wind fell asleep and so did we, apart from the polar bear watch who stay­ed out­side, wal­king around and kee­ping a watch­ful eye open for any traf­fic, while enjoy­ing some beau­ti­ful light and the occa­sio­nal bird or rein­de­er.

Next day, the wea­ther was slow­ly impro­ving. Mos­sel­da­len tur­ned out to be a very arc­tic rou­te with scree slo­pes and a river plain with several chan­nels. Very sce­nic and impres­si­ve.

The next exci­te­ment was the ques­ti­on if the­re was a good way over to Sorgfjord. Accord­ing to the map, which isn’t exact­ly very detail­ed, this should be the case, but in rea­li­ty ..? Steep rocky slo­pes to both sides of the val­ley, a nice gla­cier, Tåbreen, on the sou­thern side, but that was not our way.

Behind the final bend, howe­ver, as expec­ted and hoped for, a nice snow field and then a slo­pe that we could nego­tia­te rather easi­ly. Gre­at views over upper Mos­sel­da­len and Tåbreen, then some low hills and snow fiel­ds and soon a litt­le val­ley lea­ding down to Sorgfjord.

An easy snow field, fee­ding a tor­ren­ti­al meltwa­ter river com­ing out of a snow cave at the lower end, a walk through the lower val­ley and then it was just a few final kilo­me­tres across the low-lying tun­dra to reach the shore, whe­re good old Anti­gua was at anchor, wai­t­ing for us. Calm atmo­s­phe­re an board, ever­y­bo­dy had com­ple­ted their various lan­dings and we just in time for din­ner 🙂

Gal­le­ry Mos­sel­hal­vøya – 18th/19th July, 2016

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

It is still impos­si­ble to say if this is the rou­te used by various mem­bers of the Schrö­der-Stranz-expe­di­ti­on in 1912 and 1913, as they tra­vel­led bet­ween Sorgfjord, whe­re their ship was trap­ped in ice, and Wij­defjord, try­ing to get through to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. It may as well have been a bit fur­ther north, which is also pos­si­ble, as I could try a cou­p­le of years ago.

I guess it will never be pos­si­ble to iden­ti­fy their exact rou­te, just as their lea­der and 3 more com­ra­des got lost on Nord­aus­t­land, most likely fore­ver.

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