One of the unique sights that meet you when you first arrive in Longyearbyen is the mountain ranges which cover large parts of Svalbard. The visible layers in the mountainsides, avalanche runs and flattened tops can remind you of old forts from the middle ages.
The hike begins in Nybyen, at the highest point in Longyearbyen. The route takes us through the valley towards the glacier. From here we cross the glacier and head up a stony ridge to Sarkofagen. The glacier crossing is a simple one, as it is a stable glacier, and we will not need to use ropes. The guide will go first and lead the way and you can concentrate on enjoying the spectacular nature.
If we are lucky, we might find a fossil on our way!
The moraine landscape that this tour takes you through, is more like a moonscape than the mountains you might have seen elsewhere in Norway. As if the landscape wasn’t alien enough, you can also stumble over 60 million year old fossils here. The mountains around Longyearbyen, and the sediments from ancient seas, rivers and swamps that used to exist here, can be read like a history book if you take a closer look at the layers. In addition, the glacier presses into the mountain, moving rocks and gravel into the moraine and bringing fossils into the light.
One of the thoughtful things to do on Svalbard is to try leave no sign of your visit. This means that we should not find or leave any obvious trail through the moraine. The terrain is steep and uneven at times, but the guide will keep a steady pace upwards, so that everyone can keep up. Remember to keep an eye out for wildlife during the tour. There is a good chance that we may spot Svalbard Grouse, which are a little larger than mainland grouse. These birds have no natural predators here, which means they are not easily scared.
This hike takes you through terrain that is at times steep and/or uneven, and is fairly challenging. Participants should be relatively fit, and it is an advantage if you are used to mountain hiking. Hiking shoes are required, and gaiters can be an advantage as there may be rotten snow in the area. We will use snow shoes if required.
Safety is our highest priority, and the guide needs to be able to give directions you understand. To participate on one of our excursions, it is required that you speak and understand English or one of the Scandinavian languages.
4- Demands good physical fitness, not suitable if you have limited mobility (steep, slippery and uneven terrain)