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Home → April, 2018

Monthly Archives: April 2018 − News & Stories


Two snow mobi­les bro­ken into fast ice in Mohnbk­ta at the east coast

Two snow mobi­les bro­ke through the sur­face of the fast ice in Mohn­buk­ta at the east coast of Spits­ber­gen. Nobo­dy suf­fe­red any inju­ries. Both belon­ged to a group of nine snow mobi­les with locals from Lon­gye­ar­by­en out on a pri­va­te tour. Accord­ing to offi­cals, the group had been care­ful and exer­cis­ed good prac­ti­ce. Short­ly befo­re the inci­dent, they had mea­su­red the ice thic­kness to be clo­se to 70 cm, a value that usual­ly indi­ca­tes safe con­di­ti­ons.

As the indi­vi­du­al dri­vers had kept suf­fi­ci­ent­ly lar­ge distance bet­ween their vehi­cles, fol­lowing ones could avoid dri­ving into the dan­ger zone. The dri­vers of the snow mobi­les that had bro­ken through the sur­face mana­ged to get off and onto safe ice. The group could retrie­ve both snow mobi­les with ropes, avoiding loss of equp­ment and fuel in the envi­ron­ment. Immedia­te­ly after the inci­dent, they infor­med the Sys­sel­man­nen in case anyo­ne had seen them and rai­sed alarm.

Snow mobile tour Mohnbukta, east coast of Spitsbergen

On tour on the ice in Mohn­buk­ta on the east coast of Spits­ber­gen: beau­ti­ful, but never ent­i­re­ly risk-free.

The inci­dent, which hap­pen­ed yes­ter­day (Satur­day), shows that fjord ice is never an ent­i­re­ly risk-free envi­ron­ment for tra­vel­ling. Even with care­ful beha­viour, risk can­not be ful­ly exclu­ded. Care and quick avai­li­bi­i­ty of safe­ty equip­ment (ropes and “ispig­ger”, kind of nails with hand­les or some­thing simi­lar that hel­ps you in the worst case to get out from the water and back onto ice) can safe lives.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

Arc­tic tra­vel blog in the far south: Ant­arc­ti­ca, Pata­go­nia

I have been asked why the­re has been no arc­tic tra­vel blog in a while. The rea­son is short and con­clu­si­ve: I have not been in the Arc­tic recent­ly. I have been in Ant­arc­ti­ca and Pata­go­nia – you couldn’t be much fur­ther away from the Arc­tic, yet very fami­li­ar! So, the­re has inde­ed been a recent and well-fed tra­vel blog, just from the deep south and not from the high north and accord­in­gly on a dif­fe­rent web­site (antarctic.eu, click here to get the­re).

The arc­tic tra­vel blog will be con­ti­nued in a few weeks from now, when we start the nort­hern sea­son under sail ear­ly in the second half of May.

Travel blog Patagonia

Super­cool land­s­capes with trees? Hard to belie­ve, but that exists! Click here to have a look at the tra­vel blog Pata­go­nia. But don’t worry, the­re is also a lot of super­cool land­s­capes without trees in the same tra­vel blog, from Ant­arc­ti­ca.

Traf­fic ban in Tem­pel­fjord, Bill­efjord and Rin­ders­buk­ta

The Sys­sel­man­nen has deci­ded to ban moto­ri­sed traf­fic from the fjord ice in Tem­pel­fjord (inner Isfjord), Bill­efjord (near Pyra­mi­den) and Rin­ders­buk­ta (in Van Mijen­fjord). The ban is based on the assu­med dis­tur­ban­ce of wild­life by moto­ri­sed traf­fic. All of the­se pla­ces are popu­lar desti­na­ti­ons for snow mobi­le trips from Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Rin­ged seals need the fjord ice cur­r­ent­ly to give birth to their off­spring, and polar bears, which have been seen regu­lar­ly in recent times in all the­se pla­ces, have accord­in­gly an important hun­ting sea­son to build up fat reser­ves. The aut­ho­ri­ties assu­me that the total dis­tur­ban­ce by moto­ri­sed traf­fic is too much for the wild­life to car­ry on with their important respec­ti­ve busi­nes­ses.

Until 01 Juni – covering the com­ple­te remai­ning win­ter sea­son – all moto­ri­zed traf­fic is ban­ned from the fjord ice in the­se are­as. The­re are excep­ti­ons on the shor­test safe rou­tes in Bill­efjord from Nor­dens­kiöld­breen to Pyra­mi­den, which is part of the regu­lar trip from Lon­gy­e­ra­by­en to Pyra­mi­den, and in Tem­pel­fjord, making it pos­si­ble to cross the ice on the shor­test safe rou­te west of Kapp Schoultz to Kapp Mur­doch. Maps showing the details are avail­ab­le on the Sysselmannen’s web­site.

Non-moto­ri­sed traf­fic is not con­cer­ned.

In 2018, the fjord ice has deve­lo­ped bet­ter than in recent years. It is the first time in several years that Tem­pel­fjord can be cros­sed regu­lar­ly and safe­ly.

Appear­ent­ly wild­life is not much dis­tur­bed by care­ful, sen­si­ti­ve traf­fic by gui­ded groups or care­ful indi­vi­du­als. Ruth­less beha­viour of careless indi­vi­du­als or groups is ano­t­her mat­ter and hard to con­trol.

The Sys­sel­man­nen reminds the public that it is everybody’s indiv­du­al respon­si­bi­li­ty to assess the safe­ty of the ice for traf­fic.

Traffic ban Tempelfjord

Gla­cier front in Tem­pel­fjord: popu­lar desti­na­ti­on for excur­si­ons, but cur­r­ent­ly off limits for moto­ri­sed traf­fic.

Out now: Spec­ta­cu­lar Ant­arc­ti­ca post­cards (limi­ted edi­ti­on)!

Tra­vel to the Ant­arc­tic once – a dream only few can rea­li­ze. Ever­yo­ne else con­ti­nues to dream while sen­ding post­cards with spec­ta­cu­lar pic­tures from the Ant­arc­tic to their loved ones. The post­cards inclu­de motifs of King and Emperor Pen­gu­in, Ele­phant seal, a very rare “Eco­ty­pe D” Orca and spec­ta­cu­lar land­s­capes on remo­te Ant­arc­tic islands, inclu­ding a tabu­lar ice­berg that is uni­que and dis­tinc­ti­ve to the Ant­arc­tic ice­berg form.

>>>Order Ant­arc­ti­ca-post­cards here

Antarctica-postcards

May­be the dream of an Ant­arc­tic trip will come true some day?

Avail­ab­le now: New, fourth edi­ti­on of the tra­vel­gui­de Spits­ber­gen – Sval­bard

608 pages thick: the new gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen – Sval­bard for the Eng­lish-spea­king audi­ence has grown by almost 100 pages! All chap­ters have been updated with new details, espe­cial­ly maps.

>>>Click here for more infor­ma­ti­on and orde­ring the new, fourth edi­ti­on of “Spits­ber­gen – Sval­bard”

Spitsbergen-Svalbard Travel guide, 4. edition

Essen­ti­al for all Eng­lish spea­king Spits­ber­gen fans:
The new, fourth edi­ti­on of the gui­de­book Spits­ber­gen – Sval­bard

»Spits­ber­gen – Sval­bard« has detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on about the flo­ra and fau­na of Spits­ber­gen, its natu­re and human histo­ry and detail­ed chap­ters about all regi­ons, fjords, islands and sett­le­ments. The various sea­sons are descri­bed and dif­fe­rent ways of tra­ve­ling. Rou­tes are descri­bed in detail for popu­lar snow mobi­le excur­si­ons, day hikes, long trek­king expe­di­ti­ons and boat trips. 14 mam­mal spe­ci­es, 26 bird spe­ci­es and 29 flower spe­ci­es are descri­bed in detail and illus­tra­ted with colour pho­to­graphs. Many maps wit­hin the text pro­vi­de geo­gra­phi­cal ori­en­ta­ti­on – the­se are amongst the many important impro­ve­ments com­pa­red to pre­vious edi­ti­ons. The polar bear risk and issu­es rela­ted to wea­pons are dis­cus­sed. Detail­ed infor­ma­ti­on about rele­vant legis­la­ti­on as well as names of all wild­life and plant spe­ci­es descri­bed in no less than 10 lan­guages make the book a com­ple­te refe­rence also for pro­fes­sio­nal gui­des. This is by far the most com­ple­te Sval­bard gui­de­book avail­ab­le on the mar­ket!

Indis­pensable for Spits­ber­gen-begin­ners as well as for Spits­ber­gen-experts

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