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Sveagruva

The landscape in central and southern Nordenskiöld Land has its own charme. Narrow, curved valleys such as Todalen and Gangdalen. And then Reindalen, Spitsbergen’s biggest ice-free valley, where you get an impression of infinite spaces (and wind …). Unfortunately, we could hardly see anything during the trip over Slakbreen and Gruvfonna, the usual route to Sveagruva, because the clouds were low. But what we saw was the more charming. Abstract lines. Natural artistry.

Svea Nord is where Norwegian mining is going on these days, and this, followed by a road built on a glacier and the actual mining settlement Sveagruva, are not aesthetical highlights in Spitsbergen’s nature, but an industrial landscape. Whatever you think of coal mining in the arctic: this is interesting to see and certainly a change from glaciers and white, snow-covered mountains.

The hut at Blåhuken in Van Mijenfjord woke up some emotions of nostalgia, from a long ski trip in 2001 and a number of cold nights.

It was really cold, and already then the hut wasn’t in good shape anymore …

spitsbergen sveagruva (gallery)

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

Blåhuken

Old Blåhukhytta is beautifully situated under the mountain Blåhuken on the north side of Van Mijenfjord. The fjord is protected by Akseløya and freezes accordingly reliably every winter. The hut itself is unfortunately a ruin today.

Slakbreen

If you drive with a snow mobile from Longyearbyen to Sveagruva, then you will usually cross Reindalen and then drive up Slakbreen, passing Andreasbu, an emergency hut by the mining company Store Norske. I made this panorama on a hill of the Slakbreen-moraine, on the southern side of Reindalen. The valley Reindalen is Spitsbergen’s largest ice-free valley, with a huge river and wide wetlands and marshes in summer.

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last modification: 2013-12-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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