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Yearly Archives: 2018 − News & Stories


Mof­fen & Woodfjord – 16 Sep­tem­ber 2018

The wea­ther stays on our side, the sun is shi­ning through the thin clouds and, even more important, the sea is almost flat like a mir­ror as we set cour­se for Mof­fen in the ear­ly morning. Not too much later we are shore. Mof­fen! This litt­le island just abo­ve 80 degrees north, hard­ly more than an exten­ded gra­vel bank, it exerts a fasci­na­ti­on that is hard to descri­ve with a few words. A litt­le, lonely island in the polar sea, this almost bizar­re land­s­cape of seri­es of old beach rid­ges which add up to one ano­t­her to form a gra­vel ring around a lagoon, the charme of a for­bid­den island, it all comes tog­e­ther. Mof­fen is inde­ed a for­bid­den island, becau­se you are not allo­wed to approach clo­ser than 300 metres from mid May to mid Sep­tem­ber. Today it is 16 Sep­tem­ber, so you need not just the wea­ther but also the calen­der on your side to get real­ly clo­se to the island.

Moffen

Mof­fen is loca­ted exact­ly on 80° North.

And then the­re are the wal­rus­ses! The­re are more than 100 in 3 groups on the sou­thern tip of the island, and more in the water. We have an ama­zing expe­ri­ence with them. It is hard to tell who is more curious, again and again the­re are wal­rus­ses swim­ming towards us, curious­ly che­cking the unusu­al visi­tors out.

Walruses on Moffen

Who’s watching who? Curious wal­ru­ses on Mof­fen.

The­re is also plastic on Mof­fen, sad­ly, as almost ever­y­whe­re. We take qui­te a lot of it with us.

Many of us have read Chris­tia­ne Ritter’s book „A woman in the polar night“, for some us it was a poe­tic door-ope­ner to the Arc­tic many years ago. We do have the chan­ce to visit the hut near Gråhu­ken whe­re the famous win­te­ring took place. An almost emo­tio­nal expe­ri­ence for some of us, and cer­tain­ly inte­res­ting for ever­y­bo­dy.

Gråhuken

Chris­tia­ne Rit­ter win­te­red in the Rit­ter hut in 1943/35. The hut was built in 1928 by the legen­da­ry Nor­we­gi­an trap­per Hil­mar Nøis.

Final­ly we drop anchor in the bay of Mus­ham­na – the lagoon its­elf is fro­zen, so we stay out­side as we are not sure if pro­vi­si­ons would last for a win­ter. We spend the evening around a fire on the beach, watching how the colours in the land­s­cape chan­ge.

Mushamna

Murchi­son­fjord & Sorgfjord – 15 Sep­tem­ber 2018

The­re must have been hund­reds of Rus­si­an cros­ses in Spits­ber­gen cen­tu­ries ago, built by the Pomors near their hun­ting sta­ti­ons. Nowa­days the­re are only two of them left and still stan­ding, both on litt­le islands in Murchi­son­fjord. One of them is our desti­na­ti­on for the morning.

Nordre Russeøya, Murchisonfjord

Rus­si­an cross, Nord­re Russeøya/ Murchi­son­fjord

Snow is lying on the ground and the­re is the smell of win­ter in the air, a fee­ling even enhan­ced by the yel­lo­wish light of the low sun. We take stun­ning arc­tic win­ter impres­si­ons and some lar­ge fishing nets back on board after the lan­ding.

Nordre Russeøya, Murchisonfjord

In Sorgfjord, the clouds have disap­peared almost com­ple­te­ly, the sun is low on the blue sky. The snow-cove­r­ed land is shi­ning in colours some­whe­re bet­ween white, blue and red.

Crozierpynten, Sorgfjord

Cro­zier­pyn­ten on the Eas­tern side of Sorgfjord

Crozierpynten, Sorgfjord

Murchi­son­fjord – 14 Sep­tem­ber 2018

A rea­son­ab­ly calm night under sail brings uns far east to Nord­aus­t­land, as far as Murchi­son­fjord. A thin lay­er of fresh snow is a clear sign of the sum­mer figh­t­ing a lost batt­le in the­se lati­tu­des, the ther­mo­met­re does hard­ly climb abo­ve zero any­mo­re. A snow sho­wer was redu­cing the visi­bi­li­ty almost to zero as soon as we went ashore.

Snaddvika, Murchisonfjord

Snaddvi­ka, Murchi­son­fjord

We lan­ded in the inner­most cor­ner of Murchi­son­fjord. White snow was covering red rocks, gree­tings from ear­ly chap­ters of Earth histo­ry. Wide-open views over hills and val­leys, fjords and islands, with the ice cap in the back­ground.

Kinnvika, Murchisonfjord

Kinn­vi­ka, Murchi­son­fjord

We move over to Kinn­vi­ka for the after­noon lan­ding. The Sep­tem­ber sun is cas­ting warm light over the cold land­s­cape and the old Swe­dish rese­arch seta­ti­on. The light is get­ting more and more inten­si­ve, with colours like from an dream.

We spend the night at anchor in Kinn­vi­ka, nice and calm.

Kinnvika, Murchisonfjord

The Swe­dish rese­arch sta­ti­on Kinn­vi­ka was last in ope­ra­ti­on in 2007/2008.

From Smee­ren­burg to Hamil­ton­buk­ta – 13 Sep­tem­ber 2018

A lovely bit of sai­ling takes us up to Smee­ren­burgfjord during the night. Smee­ren­burg gives us a friend­ly wel­co­me with fine lan­ding con­di­ti­ons. Wal­rus­ses, Dut­ch 17th cen­tu­ry wha­ling, polar foxes and the beau­ti­ful sce­ne­ry make the morning.

Walrusses, Smeerenburg

Wal­rus­ses, Smee­ren­burg

As we con­ti­nue fur­ther east­wards, we see the first polar bear of the trip. Qui­te distant, but well visi­ble for ever­y­bo­dy.

Polar bear, Fair Haven

The first polar bear of our trip!

In Hamil­ton­buk­ta, we enjoy the timeless beau­ty and silence of the Arc­tic for a while, sur­roun­ded by stun­ning moun­tains and gla­ciers. So, ano­t­her good day in the Arc­tic! We are curious what tomor­row may bring, as we set cour­se to the nor­the­ast.

Smeerenburg

Smee­ren­burg

Hamiltonbukta

Hamil­ton­buk­ta

Kongsfjord – 12 Sep­tem­ber 2018

We start in rather tra­di­tio­nal man­ner in Ny-Åle­sund in Kongsfjor­den. Our first and last visit to a sett­le­ment. Spits­ber­gen gives us a warm – well, chil­ly, but sun­ny and beau­ti­ful – wel­co­me. A fresh bree­ze is com­ing towards us as we go along­side. We dedi­ca­te the morning to the litt­le sett­le­ment with its histo­ry, coal mining and north pole expe­di­ti­ons, and the pre­sent: sci­ence.

Ny-Ålesund

The mast from which Amund­sen and Nobi­le laun­ched their air­s­hips.

The lar­ge gla­cier Kronebreen is temp­t­ing us in the after­noon. We can’t resist – well, why should we even try – and enjoy the stun­ning land­s­cape.

Kronebreen

The migh­ty gla­cier Kronebreen

Later, we set sails again. It is pure plea­su­re to move silent­ly out of Kongsfjor­den and into the sun­set.

Kongsfjord

Text: Rolf Stan­ge

Isfjord – 11 Sep­tem­ber 2018

It was high time to take off again, to get water under the keel and wind around the masts! We got a good bit of both as we went on board SV Anti­gua today. The­re was a fair bree­ze blowing out of Advent­da­len, the sun was shi­ning from a blue sky. Late after­noon, we left the small pier in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, and up went the sails!

Isfjord

Up went the sails! This time towards the west and north coast of Spits­ber­gen.

Isfjord

From Advent­da­len into the Isfjord.

It was a beau­ti­ful bit of real sai­ling out of Advent­fjord and through most of Isfjord. Many peop­le on board have been on Spits­ber­gen a num­ber of times befo­re, so it should real­ly be a very inte­res­ting trip!

Isfjord

Gre­at guests and atmo­s­phe­re on board!

The first evening made clear what Sep­tem­ber in Spits­ber­gen is all about: warm light from the low sun, stun­ning sce­ne­ry and even a Blue wha­le which waved with its flu­ke.

Blue whale, Isfjord

A Blue wha­le, the big­gest ani­mal on earth…

We pas­sed the wide pla­teau of Fuglef­jel­la, Grum­ant­by­en, Cole­s­buk­ta. Moun­tains and gla­ciers on the other side in the north, Alkef­jel­let under the bright sun ahead of us. Ama­zing beau­ty whe­re­ver you loo­ked!

Isfjord

Isfjord

Isfjord

Polar bear fami­ly in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Today (Mon­day, 10 Sep­tem­ber), a polar bear fami­ly was seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten, not far from the air­port and camp­si­te at Lon­gye­ar­by­en. It was a fema­le bear with two first-year cubs, pro­bab­ly the same polar bears that were seen on Satur­day at Rev­ne­set, on the north side of Advent­fjord oppo­si­te of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. On Satur­day, the bears were cha­sed away by heli­co­p­ter towards Sas­sen­fjord, away rom Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Polar bears inclu­ding fema­les with cubs regu­lar­ly cover lar­ge distan­ces. A walk inclu­ding lon­ger swim­ming distan­ces from Advent­fjord (Lon­gye­ar­by­en) to Sas­sen­fjord and back wit­hin 2 days is ful­ly rea­listic and nor­mal.

When the bears were seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten today around 16.00, both curious onloo­kers and the Sys­sel­man­nen (poli­ce) were soon on the sce­ne, as repor­ted by Sval­bard­pos­ten. The Sys­sel­man­nen fol­lo­wed the polar bear fami­ly by car slow­ly towards Bjørn­da­len fur­ther west.

The­re, hopes that the bears might con­ti­nue and disap­pe­ar from the Lon­gye­ar­by­en area soon vanis­hed in the haze, as the bears were seen fee­ding on a lar­ge wha­le car­cass, pos­si­b­ly from a sperm wha­le as appears on a pho­to taken by the Sys­sel­man­nen. This might pro­vi­de the bears in ques­ti­on with food for a lon­ger peri­od, if the wha­le does not start to float and drift away again. Chan­ces are also that the wha­le car­cass attracts fur­ther bears.

The Sys­sel­man­nen asks the public not to get clo­se to the bears and to be alert and to exer­cise usu­al safe­ty mea­su­res at any time in the field.

polar bears and whale carcass, Bjørndalen

Polar bear fami­ly with a solid meal in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Mon­day (10 Sep­tem­ber) after­noon. Pho­to © Sys­sel­man­nen.

Update: the polar bears were sca­red away from the wha­le car­cass by the Sys­sel­man­nen later on Mon­day, as Sval­bard­pos­ten wro­te. The dead wha­le was towed into the fjord by Polar­sys­sel, the Sysselmannen’s ship, and the bears were sca­red and moved up into Bjørn­da­len.

The Spits­ber­gen-Calen­dar 2019 is avail­ab­le

Our alrea­dy almost tra­di­tio­nal Spits­ber­gen-calen­der ist now avail­ab­le for 2019. It is avail­ab­le as befo­re in the big­ger A3 for­mat (beau­ti­ful on the wall) and the smal­ler A5 (gre­at for examp­le on the table or on the wall whe­re not so much space is avail­ab­le).

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

With arc­tic impres­si­ons through the year: the new calen­dar Spits­ber­gen 2019 is now avail­ab­le.

As oppo­sed to other offers avail­ab­le on the mar­ket, we select a set of 12 ent­i­re­ly new pho­tos every year to crea­te a com­ple­te­ly new calen­dar with fresh impres­si­ons, showing some of Spitsbergen’s most beau­ti­ful sides inclu­ding sce­ne­ry, wild­life and flowers.

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

Unusu­al per­spec­ti­ve of an impres­si­ve land­s­cape: the ice cap Aus­t­fon­na seen from the air.

Unusu­al per­spec­ti­ves of remo­te pla­ces tog­e­ther with stun­ning wild­life pho­tos form a good part of the selec­tion, which is com­ple­ted by flowers and stun­ning sce­ne­ry of polar land­s­capes and ice.

Spitsbergen-Calendar 2019

Of cour­se the­re are some polar bears in the calen­dar 🙂

Click here to see all images of the Spits­bergn calen­der 2019, more infor­ma­ti­on and orde­ring.

Job mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en gro­wing in spi­te of reduc­tion in coal mining

The gre­at fear of a col­lap­se of the job mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en after the signi­fi­cant reduc­tion of coal mining, espe­cial­ly in Sveagru­va, did not beco­me rea­li­ty so far. This is indi­ca­ted by the latest sta­tis­tics of the Sta­tis­tik Sen­tral­by­rå, the Nor­we­gi­an direc­to­ry of sta­tis­tics. In 2017, the­re were 4.2 % more jobs in Sval­bard com­pa­red to 2016. The num­ber of jobs in mining were actual­ly redu­ced by 34 % down to 100, but this loss was more than com­pen­sa­ted by growth in other bran­ches, most­ly in rela­ti­on to tou­rism. Hotels and restau­rants crea­ted 36.3 % more jobs in 2017 than in 2016, total­ling 315 jobs in 2015. ´

Longyearbyen: job market growing

Lon­gye­ar­by­en is gro­wing, also on the job mar­ket: 4,2 % more jobs in 2017.

This growth is mea­su­red in “Års­verk”, which may be best trans­la­ted with “man hours per year”. 315 “års­verk” do not necessa­ri­ly mean 315 full-time employees, but an amount of paid work that could be done by 315 peop­le wit­hin one year. This amount of work may, howe­ver, be spread over a lar­ger num­ber of part-time or sea­so­nal jobs, which is cer­tain­ly the case to some degree in tou­rism. “Tou­rism” as such is not a cate­go­ry in the sta­tis­tics. Jobs crea­ted wit­hin tou­rism are mea­su­red in cate­go­ries such as hotels & restau­rants, ser­vice indus­try and trans­port and logistics.

Gui­de­book “Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard”: next edi­ti­on soon avail­ab­le

The first edi­ti­on of my gui­de­book Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard came out in Ger­man in 2007, fol­lo­wed by the first Eng­lisch edi­ti­on Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard in 2008 and the first Nor­we­gi­an edi­ti­on Sval­bard – Nor­ge nær­mest Nord­po­len in 2017. The Ger­man ver­si­on soon beca­me popu­lar amongst Spits­ber­gen-tra­vel­lers and enthu­si­asts, so I could deve­lop the book through several edi­ti­ons. The 5th Ger­man edi­ti­on came out in 2015 and it is now out of print, the new (6th) edi­ti­on of the Ger­man ver­si­on is cur­r­ent­ly in print and expec­ted to be avail­ab­le in Sep­tem­ber 2018. I have updated the book com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly, both the text and the index have been impro­ved and enlar­ged so the new edi­ti­on will have 580 pages (the old edi­ti­on has 560 pages). Maps and fonts have been impro­ved. My know­ledge and expe­ri­ence keep gro­wing also after more than 20 years of lear­ning and living the Arc­tic in theo­ry and real life and all this beco­mes part of updated edi­ti­ons, and so does new rele­vant legis­la­ti­on, recent deve­lo­p­ments in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and so on and so forth.

Guidebook (German) Spitzbergen-Svalbard, 6th edition, September 2018

The newest Ger­man edi­ti­on of the gui­de­book Spitz­ber­gen-Sval­bard is in print and due to be released in Sep­tem­ber 2018.

Many pro­fes­sio­nal gui­de col­leagues use this book (inclu­ding its Eng­lish and Nor­we­gi­an ver­si­ons) on a dai­ly basis in their arc­tic lives, refer­ring to it as the “Sval­bard bible” (or Spits­ber­gen bible, wha­te­ver you pre­fer)! A com­pli­ment that I as the aut­hor am hap­py to accept.

The Eng­lish ver­si­on Spits­ber­gen-Sval­bard has been updated tho­rough­ly in ear­ly 2018, and the same goes for the Nor­we­gi­an ver­si­on Sval­bard – Nor­ge nær­mest Nord­po­len which came out in 2017.

All three ver­si­ons of the gui­de­book can be orde­red on this web­site inclu­ding the Ger­man ver­si­on. If you order the Ger­man ver­si­on, you will get the new, 6th edi­ti­on as soon as it is avail­ab­le (expec­ted in Sep­tem­ber 2018).

Bed avail­ab­le in ladies cabin on Anti­gua (11-21 Sep­tem­ber 2018)

Spits­ber­gen under sail with SV Anti­gua, 11 inten­se days – a dream jour­ney for friends of the Arc­tic at a time when sun­sets have star­ted to bring ama­zing colours to the­se high lati­tu­des again. Now the­re is the oppor­tu­ni­ty to join on a short noti­ce – the­re is a vacan­cy in a ladies cabin. Click here to read more about this trip. This trip will be Ger­man spea­king, so the descrip­ti­on is also in Ger­man.

Spitsbergen under sail with SV Antigua, September 2018

Spits­ber­gen under sail with SV Anti­gua in Sep­tem­ber 2018: Space avail­ab­le in a ladies cabin.

So – go ahead and wel­co­me on board!

Just get in touch with Rolf Stan­ge (con­ta­ct) for any ques­ti­ons regar­ding the trip, the ship, Spits­ber­gen … or get in touch direct­ly with the Geo­gra­phi­sche Rei­se­ge­sell­schaft for reser­va­tions and boo­king.

Again, nega­ti­ve records from the arc­tic: ice cover low, tem­pe­ra­tures high

It comes hard­ly as a sur­pri­se: once again, the­re are nega­ti­ve records of the cur­rent sea ice situa­tions. As the Nor­we­gi­an Ice Ser­vice released on Twit­ter, the­re has never been as litt­le ice around Sval­bard as cur­r­ent­ly sin­ce begin­ning of the record­ings in 1967. As the latest ice chart shows, both Sval­bard and neigh­bou­ring Frans Josef Land are com­ple­te­ly free of sea ice:

ice chart 22 August 2018

Ice chart of 22 August 2018 (by MET Nor­way).

Accord­ing to the Nor­we­gi­an Ice Ser­vice, the sea ice cover in the Sval­bard area was 123,065 squa­re kilo­me­tres, which is 105,139 squa­re kilo­me­tres less com­pa­red to the long-term average (1981-2010), a loss of almost 50 %!

But sci­en­tists are even more worried about the loss of ice north of Green­land, which is also visi­ble in the ice chart abo­ve. Nort­hern­most Green­land is an area whe­re ice is pushed against the coast by cur­r­ents, so it is – was – buil­ding up a very solid ice cover aver­aging 4 m in thic­kness and reaching more than 20 m thic­kness in pla­ces! This ice cover was, howe­ver, wea­ke­ned by warm air incur­si­ons such as the extre­me event in Febru­a­ry. The wea­ke­ned ice could be moved around by wind much more easi­ly, and this is exact­ly what hap­pen­ed now in a lar­ge area north of Green­land. Even if the water sur­face free­zes again soon, the dama­ge is now done and it is hard­ly rever­si­ble: as the term mul­ti-year ice sug­gests, it takes many years to replace a lost area of such ice, but it is hard­ly expec­ted that this will hap­pen at all given cur­rent cli­ma­te deve­lo­p­ments.

Rossøya, Vesle Taveløya ice-free

Sval­bard fur­thest north: Ros­søya (left) and Ves­le Tav­leøya com­ple­te­ly ice-free, mid-July 2018.

It fits into this pic­tu­re that Lon­gye­ar­by­en has now got an unbro­ken seri­es of 90 (!) mon­ths with tem­pe­ra­tures abo­ve the long-term average. A dra­ma­tic deve­lo­p­ment, but hard­ly a sur­pri­se.

Isøya­ne & Kapp Bort­hen – 16 August 2018

Sør­kapp tur­ned out to be a pie­ce of cake this time 🙂 hard­ly any sea worth men­tio­ning. We still went up the west coast a good cou­p­le of miles last night, to place us a bit fur­ther north, so we can make it up to Isfjord without trou­bles when the time comes. Soon. As it remai­ned calm, we drop­ped the anchor late night or, rather, ear­ly morning near Isøya­ne off Torell­b­rea­ne. Ama­zing sce­ne­ry!

Isoya­ne

Isoyane

All the way back sin­ce I star­ted thin­king, I wan­ted to go to Isøya­ne, and today was the day. A litt­le walk on an island less than one kilo­met­re in dia­me­ter, without any real ele­va­tions, was exact­ly the right thing for us today. The near-shore waters are very shal­low and rocky, making lan­ding a bit chal­le­ning, but we found the one and only right spot. What can I say – a won­der­ful litt­le island! This green, lush tun­dra gives you an idea of the count­less genera­ti­ons of Com­mon eider ducks, geese, Arc­tic terns, various skuas and other fea­the­red crea­tures have fer­ti­li­sed the tun­dra here year after year. The fresh green was a plea­su­re for the eye, after so many days in the polar desert and gla­cier envi­ron­ments fur­ther east and north! The coas­tal land­s­cape was stun­ning, with its many litt­le bays and exten­si­ve mari­ne plat­forms cut by wave action into solid rock.

Isoya­ne

Isoyane

Kapp Bort­hen is not far from Isøya­ne. Ano­t­her place from which you will usual­ly keep a good distance. Only on a real­ly good day, when the wea­ther is fine and sta­ble and the sea is calm, it is a place whe­re you may land. The­re is a wide plain bet­ween the coast and the moun­tains, so flat that you could almost land an aero­pla­ne here. And this is exact­ly what the crew of a Ger­man figh­ter pla­ne did in Sep­tem­ber 1942 after their pla­ne had been dama­ged during an attack on a con­voi.

Kapp-Bort­hen

Kapp-Borthen

We are now crui­sing north towards Isfjord. Calm seas and sun­ny at times. Soon our track will be a cir­cle.

Kapp-Bort­hen

Kapp-Borthen

Isbuk­ta – 15 August 2018

We ancho­red in Isbuk­ta to get at least a few hours of sleep befo­re it would be time to round Sør­kapp (the south cape, Spitsbergen’s litt­le ver­si­on of Cape Hoorn). As the sun was shi­ning and con­di­ti­ons were ide­al in the morning, of cour­se we took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to to out for a hike. A dead Belu­ga was­hed up on shore made us a bit sus­pi­cious – who knew what might be slee­ping behind a hill, con­si­de­ring to defend this tit­bit in for­ward gear if necessa­ry? But as it tur­ned out on care­ful inspec­tion, the­re had not yet been anything with big teeth working on the car­cass, which had obvious­ly been the­re for a while alrea­dy. A care­full check of the area inclu­ding aeri­al recon­nais­sance indi­ca­ted that the area was safe at the time being. You can never be 100 % cer­tain, but we could cer­tain­ly ven­ture out with good con­sci­ence. Isbuk­ta is stun­nin­gly beau­ti­ful with its lar­ge gla­ciers and many rug­ged moun­tains, like a smal­ler ver­si­on of Horn­sund. And that under a blue, sun­ny sky from an ele­va­ted posi­ti­on!

Isbuk­ta

Isbukta

It was actual­ly qui­te win­dy up the­re, so we were a bit curious what roun­ding Sør­kapp would bring. The fore­cast was not bad at all, and we are at our sou­thern­most posi­ti­on now at the time of wri­ting, get­ting up to the west coast of Spits­ber­gen soon. So far it is real­ly qui­te ok.

Isbuk­ta

Isbukta

The east coast – 14 August 2018

Spitsbergen’s east coast has, for good (or bad) rea­sons, a repu­ta­ti­on of a cer­tain inac­ces­si­bi­li­ty, if you exclu­de Sabi­ne Land with Agardhbuk­ta, Dun­érbuk­ta and Mohn­buk­ta, which can be reached rela­tively easi­ly from Lon­gye­ar­by­en, espe­cial­ly in win­ter. But else­whe­re it is dif­fi­cult. Over land, it would requi­re a long and very deman­ding, expe­di­ti­on-style trip, and from the sea, this rug­ged, unchar­ted coast­li­ne is not exact­ly invi­t­ing eit­her.

Croll­breen

Crollbreen

Some wind had come up in Agardhbuk­ta over night, no thought of any lan­ding here now. Also fur­ther south, it did not real­ly look pro­mi­sing, initi­al­ly. It was not until we had almost reached Ham­berg­buk­ta that we had ide­al con­di­ti­ons to approach one of the many gla­ciers in that area. As it tur­ned out, it had retrea­ted a bit and expo­sed a shore­li­ne com­po­sed of for­mer morai­ne that now forms several lagoons, whe­re a lan­ding was easi­ly pos­si­ble, at least on a per­fect­ly calm day like this! Com­ple­te­ly young, fresh land, very vir­gin. I was won­de­ring if anyo­ne had ever set foot on this place befo­re, which not too many years ago was still gla­cier-cove­r­ed? Of cour­se I don’t real­ly know and one should be rather care­ful befo­re actual­ly clai­ming to be the first one any­whe­re in Spits­ber­gen. But at least the fact that the thought seems pos­si­ble and actual­ly qui­te rea­son­ab­le is pret­ty ama­zing and rather attrac­ti­ve!

Croll­breen

Crollbreen

The gla­cier must actual­ly have advan­ced a bit again qui­te recent­ly, as it has pushed up a steep litt­le morai­ne ridge, which had some pie­ces of young drift­wood built in. Some of us got their cram­pons out to ven­ture on a litt­le gla­cier hike, explo­ring crev­as­ses and wha­te­ver else one can find on a gla­cier. Some others went for a silent, litt­le beach walk, going to one lagoon and then to the other and enjoy­ing all the litt­le and big things that you can find in natu­re in a plce like this. Dis­co­vering a new place, some­whe­re wild and remo­te, espe­cial­ly on the east coast of Spits­ber­gen, how good can life be? 🙂

Hedge­hogfjel­let

Hedgehogfjellet

Later, the sun deligh­ted us with ano­t­her beau­ti­ful, very red near­by-sun­set.

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