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Platåberg

The mountain Platåberg ist situated directly west of Longyearbyen and it is what they call the “Hausberg” in German: the mountain next door that you naturally choose for a hike if you just want to go somewhere without putting to much thought into it. It is just natural to go there and many locals do it quite often, more or less year round. Also for tourists it is very popular. A hike up to the plateau usually starts at Skjæringa (the part of Longyearbyen between the church and the power plant). For trained mountain hikers, it is not a big deal to reach the plateau in an altitude of about 400 m. For the less experienced hiker, the rocky terrain and steep slope can actually be quite challenging. And it can be really challenging, if not impossible, when there is snow or the the rocks are covered with ice.

Varden (stone man)

Depending on snow and weather, avalanches can be a hazard, and of course there could be a polar bear anywhere – in 1995, a young woman from Norway was killed by a polar bear on Platåberg, close to Longyearbyen.

On the plateau

For a little hike, people often just go to the cairn (or “varden” in Norwegian). At 300 m altitude, it is quickly reached and it provides a stunning view over Longyearbyen, Adventfjord and Adventdalen. Of course, the view is just getting better as you get further up! In the summer, you will be surprised about all the flowers that grow along the edge of the plateau towards Longyearbyen. The plateau itself is completely covered with frost-shattered rocks, many of them arranged into stone rings and other kinds of frost-patterned ground by the cold climate. It is common to see reindeer and ptarmigan on Platåberg.

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last modification: 2018-09-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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