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Daily Archives: 2. March 2019 − News & Stories

Febru­ary-impres­si­ons from Spits­ber­gen

Febru­ary can be a beau­tiful month in Spits­ber­gen. Espe­ci­al­ly if it is nice and cold and not as bat­te­red by cli­ma­te chan­ge as last year, when warm air incur­si­ons brought seve­ral peri­ods of tha­wing and rain. This year, we have had good frost for most of the time in Febru­ary. Cold, clear wea­ther and not too much wind. The sun is still lar­ge­ly behind the hori­zon and hid­den by moun­ta­ins, but the moun­tain tops star­ted glo­wing a good week ago and we have had the first rays of suns­hi­ne on our fro­zen noses! You still have to do a litt­le trip to enjoy that plea­su­re, the sun won’t reach Lon­gye­ar­by­en befo­re 08 March.

Longyearbyen Camping

Lon­gye­ar­by­en Cam­ping is still a quiet place.

The avera­ge tem­pe­ra­tu­re in Febru­ary was -11.1°C, “only” 5.1 degrees abo­ve the long-term avera­ge which is defi­ned as the avera­ge from 1961-1990. Five degrees abo­ve a “nor­mal” tem­pe­ra­tu­re that is impos­si­ble to reach now! That is still a lot. Nevert­hel­ess, a month­ly avera­ge of -11.1°C invol­ves a lot of fine frost. Even the fjord, Advent­fjord, seems to con­sider free­zing over again, just for a chan­ge. This has not hap­pen­ed in many years. It is unli­kely to hap­pen this year eit­her, but the­re is at least some initi­al ice for­ma­ti­on in pro­tec­ted in-shore cor­ners.

Ice in Adventfjord and sun on the mountains

Ice in Advent­fjord and sun on Hiorth­fjel­let and Advent­top­pen.

You still have to make sure you get out around mid-day to catch some direct sun­rays. An after­noon trip does not bring any­thing but twi­light. Which can of cour­se also be beau­tiful, but if you want the see the sun, then this is not the real thing.

With ski and dogs in Adventdalen

Out with ski and dogs: “rope ski­ing” (snø­rek­jøring) in Advent­da­len.

Hiorth­fjel­let, the cha­rac­te­ristic moun­tain oppo­si­te of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, is a very popu­lar place the­se days. Half-way up the slo­pe, the­re is a hut with some lar­ge anten­nas, which is local­ly known as Tel­el­in­ken. Per­fect­ly pla­ced on a slo­pe facing south with a fan­ta­stic view over Advent­fjord and a good place to catch some first sun­rays!

First sun over Adventfjord

First sun over Advent­fjord.

The air tem­pe­ra­tu­re is minus 20 degrees cen­ti­gra­de, but we enjoy the first direct sun­rays on tho­se few squa­re cen­ti­me­t­res of expo­sed skin that we have had for some time …

Arctic sun worshipper

Arc­tic sun wor­ship­per.

… and the ama­zing light that the low sun brings back to this cold island.

Mountains, Nordenskiöld Land

Sun­ny views of some moun­tain tops in Nor­dens­ki­öld Land.

The­re is not yet much wild­life bey­ond tho­se spe­ci­es that spend the win­ter here, arc­tic fox and reinde­er. Recent­ly, still in dark time, the­re was a com­mon eider near the shore in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. That one has pro­ba­b­ly spent the win­ter in Advent­fjord, some­thing that is not com­mon but not unhe­ard of eit­her. A kit­ty­wa­ke has been seen some days ago.

Tracks of an arctic fox on Hiorthfjellet

Tracks of an arc­tic fox on Hiorth­fjel­let.


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