- Dates: 23rd August – 3rd September
- Location: North of Isfjorden
- Grade: Easy – no experience necessary
- Number of Participants: A minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12
- Accommodation: First and last night Guesthouse accommodation the
remainder of the time in your own tent.
Arrive at Longyearbyen Airport on 23rd August where you will be met by our representative. Depart from Longyearbyen Airport. You will meet your fellow travelers at the Spitzbergen Guesthouse where we will spend the night. We will discuss the details of the hike and get to know one another over supper. The following day we will check everybody's kit and clothing and prepare for the journey. The trip starts with an early morning wake up call and breakfast at your accommodation in Longyearbyen where we will have spent our first night meeting our fellow hikers and preparing for the off. It is then down to the docks to load all the gear onto RIBS for the trip across Isfjorden to a remote landing site some 25 Km away. Once the RIBS have departed we will feel truly alone in this magnificent remote landscape.
The next 10 days we will be hiking through the area, both along the coast and inland, sometimes setting a base camp for a couple of nights and other times pitching camp in a new location. You should be able and prepared to carry all your belongings including a tent that we will provide and your share of the food along with some of the team equipment. There is no need to help with the chores although our guides will encourage it as it does constitute part of the overall expedition experience. You will be sleeping in your own tent or you can share with others and we will take a larger “mess” tent where freeze dried meals will be prepared. At the end of the trip we will once again rendezvous with the RIB’s and return to Longyearbyen and your well deserved end of trip dinner and a good night’s sleep prior to departure the following morning.
What should you expect:
- Weather: you can expect a minimum of 0°C and a maximum of 12°C, with an outside chance of rain or snow.
- Camp: You will be sleeping in tents with a larger “mess” tent in the middle where delicious freeze dried meals will be prepared.
- Ablutions will be primitive but effective and each person will be advised to bring along their own moist wipes to keep clean. We will not be able to shower or bathe whilst we are in the field but personal hygiene is very important indeed.
- We also operate a light footed approach to nature making as little impact as possible and shipping out all our refuse.
- Food: We use super freeze dried food supplemented with fresh produce. A typical day’s menu would be:
* Porridge or pancakes for breakfast, tea or coffee
* For lunch: cheese and cold meat sandwiches with snack bars and biscuits and hot apple drinks from a thermos
* For Dinner: a staple such as potatoes, rice or pasta with rehydrated protein based “sauce” such as chillied or casseroled beef, lamb or chicken. Please advice us of any special requirements.
- Wildlife: Amongst the wildlife you will be sharing your trip with you may see are walrus, bearded, and ringed and harp seals, beluga whales, the rare and elusive bowhead whale, reindeer, Arctic fox and immense seabird colonies. The real prize though is the mighty polar bear who reigns over this magnificent domain.
Featured Bird Species: About 163 species of birds have been found on Svalbard, and 20 to 30 of these regularly nest there: The Little Auk, the Kittywake, the Fulmar, the Eider, the Brünnich's Guillemot, the Pink footed Goose. The Little Auk is probably the most common specie in the Svalbard archipelago during the nesting period. The Svalbard Ptarmigan which is subspecies of the Ptarmigan is the only bird that stays at Svalbard throughout the winter. Other species typically Arctic like the gull of Sabine, the gull of Ross and seagull Senator also spend winter in Svalbard or in the area.
Mammals: There are 17 mammal species in Svalbard, of which 3 are endangered & 3 are vulnerable. Bowhead Whale, North Atlantic Right Whale, Minke Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Humpback Whale, Narwhal, Beluga, Bottlenose Whale, Arctic Fox, Red Fox, Polar Bear, Walrus, Hooded Seal, Bearded Seal, Harp Seal, Ringed seal.
- Clothing and personal kit: We will send you a separate clothing and personal kit check list where you can also place an order for purchase or hire of items.
- Insurance: Due to the extremely remote nature of our expeditions Jim McNeill writes a specific proposal for underwriters. For those living in the UK this is normally arranged through the British Mountaineering Council. The slight disadvantage with this is that you have to be a member of the BMC in order to qualify for the insurance which currently costs £14.97. Typical cost of the insurance is around £250. If you live elsewhere you will have to get insurance from your own country. Please contact us if you have any problems.
- Flights Booking: So as to avoid any possible repayments and cancellations we accumulate the minimum number of expedition team members and then contact you with suggestions of the best flights to book.
- There are inherent risks involved when really immersing yourself in a highly remote environment alongside wildlife. We have a continual briefing and practice system with comprehensive plans to evacuate individuals or the whole team if necessary. A full Safety Strategy will be sent to you before departure.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Norway Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking National Parks