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Panoramas Billefjord Nord

Pan­ora­mas from the aban­do­ned Rus­si­an mining sett­le­ment of Pyra­mi­den are fur­ther down on this site.


Urm­ston­fjel­let is towe­ring high abo­ve its icy sur­roun­dings south of upper Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen. This is the ama­zing view from its nor­the­as­tern cor­ner. In the west, you can see Bil­lefjord and, if you look careful­ly, the Rus­si­an sett­le­ment Pyra­mi­den. The huge gla­cier Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen is domi­na­ting much of the sce­n­ery. In the east, it leads up to the ice cap Lomo­noss­ov­fon­na.

The impres­si­ve cal­ving cliff of Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen in ear­ly May.

As so many of its kind, Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen has retrea­ted in recent years and thus some small, rocky islets came out under the ice – again, as they had been ice-free befo­re and were cover­ed by the gla­cier during an advan­ce. The rocks are among­st the oldest known in Spits­ber­gen.

Fro­zen lake bet­ween Rag­nar­breen and its morai­ne.

Hør­bye­breen nor­thwest of Petu­ni­abuk­ta. The moun­ta­ins the­re are among­st the most beau­tiful ones in Spits­ber­gen, inclu­ding the ciant stone spi­der Taran­tel­len. Geo­lo­gi­cal­ly, the area is also very inte­res­t­ing: the Bil­lefjor­den Fault Zone, an important set of now inac­ti­ve geo­lo­gi­cal „cracks“, is well visi­ble the­re. Hør­bye­breen is in win­ter part of the rou­te to Pyra­mi­den, in sum­mer it is a pos­si­ble trek­king rou­te to Ålands­vat­net and Aus­t­fjord.

Upper Hør­bye­breen.

Petu­ni­abuk­ta: Ebba­d­a­len

The incre­asing­ly strong spring sun has mel­ted, or rather vapo­ri­zed, much of the snow here in lower Ebba­d­a­len on the east side of Petu­ni­abuk­ta, giving way to a desert-like impres­si­on of spring in the arc­tic.

A uni­que bit of sce­n­ery in inner Ebba­d­a­len, whe­re a water­fall is fro­zen solid in win­ter. Wide are­as of mir­ror-like ice cover the val­ley flo­or bet­ween morai­ne hills and gla­cier-polished rock slo­pes.


This area in cen­tral Pyra­mi­den was a mea­dow of gras­ses from Sibe­ria, whe­re only child­ren and reinde­er were allo­wed to roam until the sett­le­ment was aban­do­ned in 1998. The sign of the mining com­pa­ny and of cour­se Lenin are among­st Pyramiden’s most popu­lar pho­to objects. The Lenin bust is pro­ba­b­ly the nor­t­hern­most one of its kind, unless the­re is ano­ther one some­whe­re in tho­se few parts of the Rus­si­an arc­tic which are even fur­ther north. I have been to the old sta­ti­on on Rudolf Island in nor­t­hern Franz Josef Land and I haven’t seen any Lenin the­re. Let me know if you know of any Lenin fur­ther north.

The ent­rance hall of the cul­tu­re house behind the Lenin sta­tue.

The sports hall is also part of this sov­jet-style cul­tu­re house.

One of seve­ral rooms on the second flo­or of the cul­tu­re house.

The swim­ming hall is in a sepa­ra­te buil­ding not far from the cul­tu­re house, next to the open air sports are­na “Gaga­rin”.

Lar­ge room on the second flo­or of a house bet­ween hotel and cul­tu­re house.

A lar­ge buil­ding with accom­mo­da­ti­on for miners. Today, it is only inha­bi­ta­ted by Kit­ty­wa­kes that nest in the win­dow frames, making a lot of noi­se. You can also see hotel Tuli­pan (tulip).

Bar and restau­rant of Hotel Tuli­pan, not long after the re-ope­ning of the hotel in spring 2013. Not a bad place to spend some time: the ser­vice was sur­pri­sin­gly good and the food rich, but Rus­si­an style: don’t be sur­pri­sed about chi­cken and rice for break­fast. The pri­ces remind, howe­ver, of wes­tern capi­ta­lism, Lon­gye­ar­by­en-style.

Room in hotel Tuli­pan. Every room has its own toi­let. But the show­er is some­whe­re else and cos­ts 50 NOK extra.

The “bot­t­le house”

The famous “bot­t­le house” just out­side of Pyra­mi­den on the settlement’s wes­tern side (away from the fjord). One can only guess how much time it took them to get the buil­ding mate­ri­als rea­dy 😉 Said to be 5308 bot­t­les! The bot­t­le house was built in 1983.

Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen 1

Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen is the moun­tain on the sou­thern side of Mimerd­a­len, whe­re the well-known Rus­si­an ghost sett­le­ment of Pyra­mi­den is situa­ted. It is the long ridge which you con­stant­ly see as you look from Pyra­mi­den across the val­ley. An impres­si­ve moun­tain with a wide pla­teau with some pro­tru­ding led­ges. It won’t sur­pri­se you to read that the view from the­se led­ges is gre­at. The fact that the sun is coming from a good direc­tion for most views of inte­rest during mid-day and after­noon does not hurt eit­her. To the west, you can see the val­leys dis­ap­pearing in the distance in beau­tiful Dick­son Land, you have got Pyra­mi­den more or less to the north or nor­the­ast and all the way to the east, you can see Bil­lefjord and Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen. All this tog­e­ther makes for quite an impres­si­ve pan­ora­ma! I hope that the panos on this page mana­ge to trans­port a bit of that impres­si­on.

Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen 2

The „pro­blem“ is that you have to have to get the­re to enjoy the view. As a round trip from and to Pyra­mi­den, ascen­ding Ygg­dra­sil­kam­pen from Bil­lefjord and des­cen­ding down to the val­ley in the west, it is almost 20 kilo­me­t­res. You are clim­bing a net alti­tu­de of 583 met­res. The ascent and des­cent are both quite chal­len­ging: steep slo­pes with lots of loo­se scree, that defi­ni­te­ly requi­res good con­fi­dence to move around in that kind of ter­rain. And you have to know the right spots whe­re you actual­ly can get up and down, most­ly it is just too steep!



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last modification: 2017-12-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange