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Nordaustland: Langgrunnodden

Panorama of a polar desert and an old trappers' hut

Langgrunnodden, MAP

The pen­in­su­la Lang­grun­nod­den is the nor­thwest point of Nord­aus­t­lan­det.

Lang­grun­nod­den is the wes­tern­most point of the lar­ge pen­in­su­la Stor­stein­hal­vøya, the nor­thwest part of Nord­aus­t­land, far north in Hin­lo­pen Strait. This is a very bar­ren polar desert type of land­scape. The sce­n­ery is very wide-open, with low hills stret­ching bet­ween Murch­ison­fjord in the south and Fran­k­lin­sund in the north. We start our litt­le tour of Lang­grun­nod­den on ihe north side of this low-lying pen­in­su­la.

The­re are some lagoons, inclu­ding Cla­ra­vå­gen, one of Svalbard’s lar­gest lagoons. The car­bo­na­te-bea­ring bed­rock is shat­te­red by frost into count­less small, sharp rocks, often arran­ged in fasci­na­ting pat­terns by free­zing-tha­wing-cycles over cen­tu­ries and mil­le­nia.

It is just about one kilo­met­re across Lang­grun­nod­den, and the ter­rain is lar­ge­ly flat and easy to walk until we have rea­ched Det­ter­buk­ta, the bay on the south side.

The­re is a ruin of a trap­pers’ hut in this bar­ren land­scape. The hut was built in 1908 by a group of win­tering hun­ters led by Anders Lar­sen. The area was rare­ly used by win­te­rers. During the few win­terings in the area, the main huts were eit­her in Murch­ison­fjord or in Bren­ne­vins­fjord and on Lågøya.

In 2020, the his­to­ric monu­ment pro­tec­tion aut­ho­ri­ty “dis­co­ver­ed” this hut and found it to be some­thing spe­cial, becau­se of a series of long, nar­row woo­den pins that were atta­ched to the wall abo­ve the bunk bed in a ver­ti­cal posi­ti­on, clo­se and par­al­lel to each other. You can see the­se pins abo­ve the remains of the bed in the fol­lo­wing pan­ora­ma (pho­to­gra­phed in 2017):

The use of the­se pins is not ful­ly unders­tood. It was sug­gested that they were meant to keep the clo­thes of a per­son in the bed from free­zing to the walls in the cold win­ter. The walls of this hut, as of most huts built during the trap­per peri­od, were thin and hard­ly iso­la­ted. But it remains a mat­ter of spe­cu­la­ti­on if the­se pins were actual­ly sui­ted to ser­ve this pur­po­se. Becau­se of the­se “free­zing pins” (Nor­we­gi­an: fry­se­pin­ner), this hut was occa­sio­nal­ly refer­red to as “fry­se­pin­nehyt­te”.

Becau­se of this “archi­tec­tu­ral pecu­lia­ri­ty”, it was deci­ded to make a major effort to reno­va­te the hut at Lang­grun­nod­den sub­stan­ti­al­ly, so it would sur­vi­ve for ano­ther long time to come. But when the offi­ci­al craft­smen came to do the job in the sum­mer of 2021, they were in for a sur­pri­se: the hut was gone and away, most likely com­ple­te­ly des­troy­ed by a hea­vy win­ter storm that blew most of the remains out onto the drift ice whe­re it was then lost. After more than a cen­tu­ry, the his­to­ric monu­ment pro­tec­tion aut­ho­ri­ty came a cou­ple of months too late, accor­ding to Sval­bard­pos­ten.

Lang­grun­nod­den – Pho­to gal­lery

And final­ly some pho­to­gra­phic impres­si­ons of Lang­grun­nod­den. Most of the pic­tures are from 2017; the hut does not exist any­mo­re, as men­tio­ned abo­ve.

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



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last modification: 2023-07-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange