Sunday, 25 February 2007

About South Georgia in Islands Magazine

In the March 2007 issue of National Geographic Islands Magazine there is a story about a trip I attended as an Expedition Leader last year. The writer and photographer is my good friend Jad Davenport and the article is made available here with his permission. Download the PDF here or click on the Islands Magazine front page (to download). I know that many of my readers have been to South Georgia, so this may lead to many a recognizing nod. Enjoy.

Friday, 23 February 2007

In Arctic Air Space

The sun is almost back in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. These pictures are taken from the flight in yesterday and out today. The landscape is extraordinary fascinating in the blue ambient light from the sun below the horizon. The reason I was in Longyearbyen this time was to launch the Norwegian Polar Institute Cruise Handbook for Svalbard (sorry, only in Norwegian, coming in English by the summer), the project I have been working on this winter.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Reindeer racing

The yearly Norwegian Reindeer Racing Championship on sprint distance took place in Tromsø today. This event is mainly driven by Sami people who have large stocks of tame reindeer to choose from. One of the outsiders was a team from Tromsø that competed with an animal that is bred at the University in Tromsø for recearch in Arctic biology. This is a niche sport, but never the less spectacular. The sprint distance is 201 meters or 660 feet. The fastest equipages (one reindeer and a skier holding two lines on skis behind) cover the distance in about 15 seconds. This is about 25% faster than Michael Johnson at his fastest on the similar distance. The longer distance is 1000 meters, there is another championship for this. At the present the 18 year old woman Ánne Risten Sara and her reindeer Ena II is the world record holders, but they did not compete today because of a new import rule for reindeers (Ena II is imported from Finland).

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Tromsdalstinden, Sálasoaivi

Conditions for skiing is better now when the sun is back in Tromsø. Today my dog, Pinga, and I went into the backcountry and we experienced being alone on the mountain. That is strange because more than 50.000 people live within a short drive or walk from this area. Pinga and I don't mind being alone in the backcountry and we had a really nice time seeing the landscape being partially lit up by the sun (because of some overcast) and the sun set creating beautiful pink skies and a blue snowscape. We were out a few hours but didn't get very far. Instead of covering distance we consentrated on having a good time and taking some pictures. On the first picture you see Tromsdalstinden, here also mentioned with its Sami name. The mountain is 1.238 meters high and is regarded a Holy Mountain for the Sami (indigenous people, also called Lapplanders).