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Lil­lie­höök­breen as a vir­tu­al pan­o­r­amic tour

Lil­lie­höök­breen 1/3

Lil­lie­höök­breen (-gla­cier) is one of the lar­gest gla­ciers of nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen. The impres­si­ve gla­cier front is an unbe­lie­va­ble 11 kilo­me­t­res long (appro­xi­m­ate­ly, as of 2013). It has retrea­ted stron­gly during the last cen­tu­ry, as has been docu­men­ted by Duke Albert I. of Mona­co during his 1906 expe­di­ti­on in com­pa­ri­son to a 2006 visit of his grand­grand­son Duke Albert II. The volu­me loss during this time is esti­ma­ted at 40 %. Sin­ce 2006, the speed of the retre­at has even increased.

The morai­ne land­scape south of the eas­tern side of Lil­lie­höök­breen, which is pro­ba­b­ly named after a 19th cen­tu­ry Swe­dish sci­en­tist, is wit­ness of the grand dimen­si­ons it must have had less than 200 years ago. This pan­ora­ma was taken on a morai­ne hill during a mid­night outing in late August 2014.

Lil­lie­höök­breen 2/3

Lil­lie­höök­breen is actual­ly not an indi­vi­du­al gla­cier, but a com­plex of more than 10 gla­ciers that unite to form one lar­ge, moving mass of ice. If you fol­lo­wed the main branch inland, you would ascend slow­ly for almost 20 kilo­me­t­res and then reach an ice pla­teau, which is the ice divi­de bet­ween Kross­fjord and Raud­fjord on the north coast. From this ice divi­de, Raud­fjord­breen is flowing for about 14 nor­thwards befo­re it ter­mi­na­tes in Raud­fjord, 35 kilo­me­t­res north of Kross­fjord.

Lil­lie­höök­breen 3/3

Our gla­cier crossing in August 2014 was not meant to go that far, we went from the east side of Lil­lie­höök­breen to Möl­lerfjord fur­ther east. After ascen­ding the eas­tern slo­pe of Lil­lie­höök­breen, we rea­ched a lar­ge medi­al morai­ne that sepa­ra­tes Lil­lie­höök­breen from Sup­an­breen. I took the second and the third of the­se pan­ora­mas on this morai­ne ridge. We con­tin­ued the tour to Lloyds Hotel in Möl­lerfjord in the most beau­tiful sum­mer wea­ther you can ima­gi­ne.



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last modification: 2019-04-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange