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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Lon­gye­ar­breen – 20th Novem­ber 2016

Lon­gye­ar­breen – 20th Novem­ber 2016

I may have men­tio­ned it befo­re: the polar night is not exact­ly the time for fre­quent long field trips. You can easi­ly enjoy the nice light and atmo­sphe­re within Lon­gye­ar­by­en. And if the­re is a nor­t­hern light the­re are good places direct­ly next to town. If you want some exer­cise, then the sports­hall or run­ning shoes are good opti­ons. At least as long as the­re is not enough snow for ski or snow shoes.

And when you do ven­ture on a hike in the dark­ness, then the ter­rain does curr­ent­ly not make it easy. Lar­ge parts of the sur­face in the val­leys are iced over and very slip­pery. Which is hard to see in dark­ness. So you have to walk slow­ly and careful­ly.

All this makes it even more inte­res­t­ing to ima­gi­ne how it was when Alfred Rit­scher came on foot down from Wij­defjord to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, which was cal­led Lon­gyear City back then. In Decem­ber 1912, Rit­scher made an unbe­lie­va­ble hike under the grea­test dif­fi­cul­ties and dan­gers you can ima­gi­ne. He did not have a detail­ed map, he did not know the ter­rain, he did not have a head­lamp which he could switch on when­ever nee­ded …

Gal­lery – Lon­gye­ar­breen – 20th Novem­ber 2016

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

Well, we did not want to go that far. We were hap­py with a walk up to Lon­gye­ar­breen. That is a short and (rela­tively) easy walk when you have light and nor­mal con­di­ti­ons, I have done it with fri­ends tog­e­ther with their litt­le child­ren. But in the polar night, it is inte­res­t­ing. And beau­tiful!

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