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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2017

Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2017

Every time when in Pyra­mi­den, I am impres­sed by the moun­tain on the other side of the val­ley. It bears the slight­ly stran­ge name Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen, deri­ved from a term used in Nor­se mytho­lo­gy. Old viking stuff, has got some­thing to do with a tree. The­re are no trees here the­se days.

Any­way, Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen is impres­si­ve. A migh­ty moun­tain, ver­ti­cal rock cliffs with huge pro­tru­ding shoul­ders in a good 500 m alti­tu­des, towe­ring high abo­ve big scree slo­pes. Beau­ti­ful colours and an inte­res­ting geo­lo­gi­cal struc­tu­re. Devo­ni­an Old Red forms the bulk of the moun­tain, being sepa­ra­ted from the Car­bo­ni­fe­rous car­bo­na­te lay­ers on the top by the Sval­bar­di­an uncon­for­mi­ty. Upper­most upper Devo­ni­an. I am sure you know what I am tal­king about.

But that was not actual­ly the point today. The point was not to have „only“ the view from Pyra­mi­den to Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen, as always, but the oppo­si­te per­spec­ti­ve, from Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen to Pyra­mi­den. Hoping to dis­co­ver a good rou­te for future trips, I ven­tu­red out on my own. In case the rou­te would not be fea­si­ble, some­thing I was not sure about befo­re I actual­ly went, being on my own would make it easier to turn around if necessa­ry. The group was hiking up mount Pyra­mi­den with Alex and Dani­el, so ever­ything was in best order the­re.

The way across Mimerda­len was easy and enjoya­ble, thanks to an old Rus­si­an earth road and even a bridge. But ascen­ding the moun­tain was a dif­fe­rent thing! The­re was actual­ly no ascent visi­ble from sea level, so I put all my hopes on a cor­ner which I could not see from down below. Rocks, rocks, rocks and a litt­le bit of easy clim­bing in the end – ever­ything fine as long as the frost-shat­te­red rock would stay whe­re it was – and I was up on top. Yeah!

The view? Ama­zing. And I enjoy­ed the who­le thing, hiking along the who­le edge of Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen. From the nor­the­as­tern cor­ner, you have got a stun­ning view over Bill­efjord, from Petu­nia­buk­ta in the north through Nor­dens­kiöld­breen in the east to Sas­sen­fjor­den in the south. Just ama­zing!

Gal­le­ry – Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen – 06th Sep­tem­ber 2017

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

The hike along the edge of the pla­teau did take some time. Two litt­le gla­ciers had car­ved their respec­ti­ve cir­ques into the slo­pes, which both requi­red some detours. But the bet­ter were the views from the rid­ges pro­tru­ding towards Mimerda­len bet­ween the­se cir­ques. The most stun­ning view comes pro­bab­ly at the eas­tern point of Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen. Coun­ter-clock­wi­se, you look out from Nor­dens­kiöld­breen over Pyra­mi­den (moun­tain and sett­le­ment), Mun­inda­len and the inner reaches of Mimerda­len. Just ama­zing! I may have used that phra­se befo­re, but it is sim­ply appro­pria­te. Of cour­se I took a 360 degree pan­ora­ma. It had been a bit of work to drag the equip­ment up the moun­tain, but it was more than worth it!

Descen­ding from the moun­tain was yet ano­t­her inte­res­ting ques­ti­on. I was mental­ly pre­pa­red to return the same rou­te I had come, just in case. The ascent on the eas­tern side had not actual­ly been a com­for­ta­ble rou­te, and I was hoping to find ano­t­her, bet­ter way. But the first view down from the eas­tern side of Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen was not exact­ly encou­ra­ging: not­hing but steep, high rock cliffs. No way to get down the­re! So I went on to the south and final­ly I found a slo­pe that I could use. Still pret­ty steep, with end­less fiel­ds of loo­se stones, but it worked. And I was inde­ed qui­te hap­py not to walk the who­le way back. But I have to admit that it is not a gre­at way for ever­y­day use.

After a long descent, I final­ly got to a Rus­si­an hut at a litt­le lake in Mimerda­len. Per­fect to rest again for a litt­le while and to eat the last bis­cuits befo­re taking the last few kilo­me­tres back to Pyra­mi­den. It amoun­ted to almost 20 kilo­me­tres in total. I have to admit that I could have done without that annoy­ing cold. But it was the per­fect day for this kind of hike, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty was just too good to be mis­sed!

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: 2017-09-15 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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