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Home → June, 2018

Monthly Archives: June 2018 − News & Stories

Lands­li­de in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: road clo­sed

A lands­li­de from Pla­tå­ber­get crossed the road near the ceme­tery in Lon­gye­ar­by­en a few days ago. Nobo­dy was inju­red and the event was not seen by anyo­ne, as far as known, but the road from the old muse­um to Huset has been clo­sed by the Sys­sel­man­nen for safe­ty reasons until fur­ther noti­ce.

It is not the first lands­li­de in this area. Pre­vious events had trig­ge­red a deba­te to move the ceme­tery to a safer loca­ti­on near the church to pre­vent it from pos­si­ble dama­ge, but no decis­i­ons have been made so far.

Smal­ler lands­li­des as the recent one are gene­ral­ly a com­mon and well-known phe­no­me­non on slo­pes like the one near the ceme­tery. They may occur any­whe­re on simi­lar slo­pes in the field, espe­ci­al­ly in the ear­ly sum­mer, after the snow mel­ting peri­od. Lands­li­des of this type are nor­mal­ly not too fast, so hikers should be able to move away and into safe ter­ri­to­ry wit­hout dif­fi­cul­ties. But the dan­ger poten­ti­al has to be con­side­red for exam­p­le when put­ting up a tent, and the­re are other types of lands­li­des and mud­flows that invol­ve more water and hig­her velo­ci­ties. In June 1992, a sci­en­tist was kil­led by a tor­ren­ti­al slush ava­lan­che in Lief­defjord.

landslide Longyearbyen cemetery

Lands­li­de in Lon­gye­ar­by­en near the ceme­tery. Image © Alex­an­der Lembke.

Pata­go­nia under sail 2018: tri­plog and fotos

Fol­lo­wing to the tri­plog and pho­tos of our Ant­ar­c­tic expe­di­ti­on with SY Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha in ear­ly 2018, we have now got the Pata­go­nia tri­plog with asso­cia­ted pho­to coll­ec­tions and some short sto­rytel­ling online. With the log, sto­ries and pho­tos, you can join us retro­s­pec­tively at no cost and enjoy Patagonia’s won­derful­ly wild land­scapes and water­ways with no “risk” of wind and waves, sea­sick­ness and cold – have fun!

Patagonia 2018, SY Anne-Margaretha and Rolf Stange: triplog, stories, photos

Hiking on one of Patagonia’s many remo­te islands.

And yes, we are fair­ly con­fi­dent that this Pata­go­nia adven­ture was not the last one of its kind, the­re is still so much to dis­co­ver! We have no dates fixed yet, and it won’t hap­pen as ear­ly as the next aus­tral sea­son (2018/19), but we’ll return to Pata­go­nia, no doubt!

But first, I’ll soon return to Spits­ber­gen! So my arc­tic tra­vel blog will get new stuff regu­lar­ly from July onwards.

Polar bear obser­ved clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Less than a week after the polar bear visit to Kapp Lin­né, which made it big in inter­na­tio­nal media, ano­ther polar bear was seen near a sett­le­ment in Spits­ber­gen. This time, it was Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the main sett­le­ment.

The bear was seen for the first time Fri­day evening in Advent­da­len clo­se to the old airst­rip, some kilo­me­t­res sou­the­ast of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, wal­king to the sett­le­ment.

Soon, the Sys­sel­man­nen was on site with the heli­c­op­ter, the polar bear had alre­a­dy come quite clo­se to town. Scared away by the heli­c­op­ter, the bear moved to Hior­th­hamn, oppo­si­te of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Later, when the bear was seen swim­ming in Advent­fjor­den, a group having a par­ty with a fire on the beach in Lon­gye­ar­by­en was evacua­ted – a safe­ty mea­su­re wit­hout any dra­ma, the bear was not seen any­whe­re near the site.

polar bear, Adventfjord

Polar bear in Advent­fjord, not far from Lon­gye­ar­by­en (archi­ve image, 2014).

The polar bear was seen for the last time Satur­day around noon on the way into Sas­senfjord. Sin­ce then, its whe­re­a­bouts are not know, and the aut­ho­ri­ties have clo­sed the “case” until fur­ther obser­va­tions may be made and repor­ted by anyo­ne in the field.

It is said that the bear was a lar­ge male. The­re were no situa­tions dan­ge­rous for humans or the bear.

The case shows how important it is to be alert and pre­pared also in the area clo­se to Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Spits­ber­gen under sail with SV Anti­gua in July 2018: dou­ble cabin available

18 inten­se days in Spits­ber­gen on SV Anti­gua, a 3 mast sai­ling ship – a dream voya­ge for arc­tic enthu­si­asts! Now the­re is the chan­ce to join us on our voya­ge in July (12-29, 2018). Ful­ly boo­ked sin­ce long ago, two beds in a dou­ble cabin are now available again after a can­cel­la­ti­on.

This trip will be Ger­man spea­king … you don’t have to be able to wri­te poems in Ger­man, but if you have basic know­ledge good enough for ever­y­day com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on, then – wel­co­me!

Spitsbergen under sail, SV Antigua July 2018

Spits­ber­gen under sail with Anti­gua in July 2018: two beds in dou­ble cabin available.

So – get in touch an wel­co­me on board! Click here for more infor­ma­ti­on about this voya­ge.

Plea­se don’t hesi­ta­te to cont­act Rolf Stan­ge for any ques­ti­ons about the itin­era­ry, the ship, Spits­ber­gen, equip­ment etc. or the Geo­gra­phi­sche Rei­se­ge­sell­schaft (Geo­gra­phi­cal tra­vel­ling socie­ty) for reser­va­tions and boo­king.

Avo­id dis­tur­ban­ce in sen­si­ti­ve tun­dra are­as such as Mid­ter­hu­ken!

The sum­mer­se­a­son has begun in Spits­ber­gen. After a rela­tively ear­ly snow melt, ships have arri­ved to take tou­rists into remo­te are­as, and birds have retur­ned to start their bree­ding sea­son.

The ear­ly sum­mer is a very busy time in the Arc­tic for all kinds of crea­tures, ani­mals and humans ali­ke. Both birdcliffs and the tun­dra are hum­ming with life, thou­sands of geese are now buil­ding up reser­ves after the spring migra­ti­on to get rea­dy for bree­ding, eider ducks and many other birds, tun­dra- and cliff bree­ders, to just about the same.

The Sys­sel­man­nen (gover­nor) reminds ever­y­bo­dy to exer­cise gre­at care when tra­vel­ling in the field. That is important at any time, but espe­ci­al­ly so in the ear­ly sum­mer when many birds are bree­ding. A num­ber of espe­ci­al­ly sen­si­ti­ve sites are pro­tec­ted as bird sanc­tua­ries, but birds are also res­t­ing and nes­t­ing in many other are­as, making them pro­ne to dis­tur­ban­ce during the bree­ding sea­son.


Tun­dra at Mid­ter­hu­ken: should be left alo­ne in the ear­ly sum­mer.

The Sys­sel­man­nen expli­cit­ly asks ever­y­bo­dy to avo­id traf­fic (not to land, that is) at Midterhuken/Gåsbergkilen in Bell­sund. Also other sen­si­ti­ve places should eit­her be avo­ided or visi­ted only with gre­at care to avo­id dis­tur­bing geese, ducks and other birds living and bree­ding in the tun­dra or on cliffs.

Safe and hap­py tra­vels!

Polar bear in buil­ding on Kapp Lin­né (Isfjord Radio)

A polar bear bro­ke into a buil­ding on Kapp Linné/Isfjord Radio.

The old radio sta­ti­on pro­vi­ded radio­com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween the sett­le­ments of Spits­ber­gen and the Nor­we­gi­an main­land. It was disu­s­ed when a glass fib­re cable was laid to enable much fas­ter traf­fic of much big­ger volu­mes of data. Sin­ce the late 1990s, Kapp Lin­né is used as a litt­le wild­ner­ness hotel on the west coast of Spits­ber­gen.

Curr­ent­ly the­re are 5 staff and 9 guests at Kapp Lin­né. Sun­day mor­ning around 7 a.m., the mana­ger, Malin Stark, saw that a door was bro­ken in, soon the­re­af­ter, she heard sus­pi­cious noi­ses from a sto­rage room, as Sval­bard­pos­ten reports.

Around 9 a.m., the polar bear was still insi­de the buil­ding. Sys­sel­man­nen and Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te have per­so­nell en rou­te to Kapp Lin­né to sca­re the bear away or to tran­qui­li­ze him. Shoo­ting the bear is the worst case sce­na­rio, which the spe­cia­lists will want to avo­ide if pos­si­ble by any means.

Polar bear Kapp Linné (Isfjord Radio)

Polar bear on Kapp Lin­né (Isfjord Radio). Archi­ve image aut­hor.

Per­sons were, as far as known, not in imme­dia­te dan­ger. It is, howe­ver, pos­si­ble, that the bear is under stress; it may be inju­red or may­be it does not find the way out again. The polar bear is assu­med to be a lar­ge male.

Polar bear visits on Kapp Lin­né are not an ever­y­day event, but they do occur more or less regu­lar­ly. This aut­hor, who spent a winter/spring sea­son working on Kapp Lin­né when he was still very young, was also able to make such expe­ri­ence. But a bear insi­de one of the buil­dings is defi­ni­te­ly a rare event.

Adden­dum: Sun­day mor­ning near 11 a.m. the Sys­sel­man­nen infor­med that the polar bear had left Kapp Lin­né and is on the way nor­thwards.


News-Listing live generated at 2024/June/17 at 00:59:05 Uhr (GMT+1)