fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
pfeil THE Spitsbergen guidebook pfeil

Straumsland and Heleysund


Heley­sund is a sound that sepa­ra­tes Barent­søya at her nor­t­hern­most end from the eas­tern part of Spits­ber­gen. Plea­se refer to the info page about Heley­sund and Straums­land for more geo­gra­phi­cal infor­ma­ti­on and more pho­tos.

Here we have got some pan­ora­ma images to illus­tra­te the beau­ty of Straums­land, on the north side of Heley­sund.

Straums­land: Tun­dra, wet­lands and hills

We start our hike with a crossing of Straums­land. The inland con­sists lar­ge­ly of wide, shal­low depres­si­ons. The­se are most­ly fil­led with wet­lands that are not that easy to cross. It is important to find a pro­per place for a crossing whe­re you can cross wit­hout much dif­fi­cul­ty and wit­hout dama­ging a lot of vege­ta­ti­on. Wet tun­dra is very vul­nerable!

Other than that, the­re are some wide tun­dra are­as in Straums­land. The­re are Spits­ber­gen reinde­er and arc­tic foxes in the­se are­as, and occa­sio­nal­ly polar bears. The­re are many birds, like dif­fe­rent geese and ducks and smal­ler tun­dra birds like the snow bun­ting. I have also seen the pret­ty rare Sabine’s gull here and even Who­o­per swans, which occur only as quite rare vagrants in Spits­ber­gen!

Next to the wet­lands, the­re are low hills of dole­ri­te, a rock simi­lar to basalt. This is the kind of rock that makes up the bed­rock in the who­le area of Straums­land and Heley­sund, inclu­ding the nor­t­hern tip of Barent­søya. On the­se hills, the sur­face is dry and the vege­ta­ti­on is com­pa­ra­tively poor. Lichens are more pro­mi­nent here.

Straums­land: New­ton­vi­ka

On the east side of Straums­land, the­re is the litt­le bay of New­ton­vi­ka. Unfort­u­na­te­ly, it is very shal­low, only the smal­lest boats could pos­si­bly anchor here.

Straums­land: Heley­sund

The most scenic part of Straums­land is argu­ab­ly the south coast, that is forming a steep cliff towards Heley­sund. From the top of the cliff, we have a view over all the neigh­bou­ring waters, from Ginev­ra­bot­nen, as the nor­the­as­tern part of Storfjord is cal­led, and to Barent­søya in the south (under the sun, it is mid-day) with her wide pla­teau-shaped hills and rol­ling tun­dra are­as. To the north (left in the pic­tu­re) of Barent­søya, the­re are Heley­sund and Orm­ho­let, sepa­ra­ted by Küken­thaløya and some smal­ler islands.

The per­spec­ti­ve on the land­scape is chan­ging while we are fol­lo­wing the top of the cliff for a while.

Again and again we find dif­fe­rent, but always stun­ning lar­ge colum­ns of dole­ri­te rocks, which give the sce­n­ery a bit of a wild west cha­rac­ter. Black guil­l­emots are bree­ding in some places on the cliffs, and Glau­cous gulls have their nests on top of some of the colum­ns.

It is pure scenic plea­su­re to hike in this land­scape for hours on a sun­ny days like this. Depen­ding on the tides, the cur­rent can be very strong in Heley­sund, and it can be ama­zing to watch that for a while, espe­ci­al­ly when the­re are some pie­ces of gla­cier ice drif­ting with the cur­rent.



This and other publishing products of the Spitsbergen publishing house in the Spitsbergen-Shop.

last modification: 2019-05-25 · copyright: Rolf Stange