Sorgfjord is in the „shadow“ of Verlegenhuken, the northernmost part of Spitsbergen (the main island), at the northern entrance of Hinlopen Strait. A small, beautiful fjord, which often caused the whalers troubles with ice that could move in and out at any time, hence the name. For us, Sorgfjord has been relief rather than worry („Sorge“) many times, when we found shelter in there after having left a stormy Hinlopen or crossed a very windy Wijdefjord.
Beautiful scenery and exciting stories from the past, more than you can tell just quickly during a rest in the middle of a hike, are amongst Sorgfjord’s excitements. A different kind of beauty than the postcard-style landscapes of northwestern Spitsbergen, a bit more silent, but … beautiful.
The cross to which Eolusneset owes its name. It was erected on June 06, 1855, by skipper J. Holmgren, Captain of the schooner Æolus from Bergen. The ship was trapped in ice for some weeks, and then it is of course always good to build a cross – you never know. In 1861, Æolus was there again, with the famous Swedish scientist Otto Torell on board.
The grave field not far from the cross is going much further back in history. It was used by whalers in the 17th and 18th centuries, certainly including Dutch whalers, possibly also from other countries.
The old trapper hut on the northern side of Eolusneset. Built in 1921 and repaired in 1926 by the famous hunter Arthur Oxaas, it is now falling apart. It has never been more than a shelter used only occasionally during traveling.
Sorgfjord is a beautiful area for hiking. The northern part of Magdalenafjellet can be reached relatively easily with a bit of stamina and surefootedness. On the way, you pass this little incised river valley.
Three variations of the view over Sorgfjord as seen from the northern part of Magdalenafjellet.
The little peninsula of Crozierpynten is situated on the eastern side of Sorgfjord. The list of those who visited this place in the 19th and early 20th century is almost a who-is-who of arctic exploration of those years … Edward Parry (1827), the Swedish section of the Russian-Swedish Arc-de-meridian-expedition established their wintering quarters there in 1899, and the Herzog Ernst, ship of the Schröder-Stranz-expedition, was forced to spend the winter 1912-13 there, while the leader himself, Herbert Schröder-Stranz, was most likely already dead on Nordaustland. This list is anything but complete. Not to mention all the trappers who wintered there when the Swedish house was still standing upright.
Different views of the area of the Arc-de-Meridian station on the southern side of Crozierpynten. The station was built in 1899 by the Swedish section of the above-mentioned expedition and subsequently used to winter there. The expedition is surprisingly little known, but it was very successful and brought a wealth of topographic and other scientific material back home without any loss of life, quite in contrast to many others in those early years.
The hill Flaggstanghaugen on Crozierpynten is just 31 meters high. Sometimes this is more than enough for some great views.