Wednesday, July 18, 2012

For the beginning of this week I was again lucky enough to go out on a great adventure. I joined four other people on a hike out to a student cabin owned by UNIS where we spent the night before hiking back into Longyearbyen. The hike out took us over the mountains on the right side of Longyearbyen which I have much wanted to hike to the top above, for main reason that I knew the view would look something like this.

This I think gives a very good view of what Longyearbyen looks like in the summer time. Now in order to reach the cabin we have to travel across the top of this plateau and then down the other side. The way across was a perfect combination barren rocks, snow, and very soggy moss.

This is what the view looked like as we got closer to the opposite side of the plateau. We then were faced with the problem of our hiking route. Due to the fact that there is still a lot of snow in some places most of the valleys where you could hike down were blocked with snow. All of these valleys also had rivers running beneath the snow so you had an added risk of falling through added onto an already dangerous descent. There we had to hike to the end of the far along the side of the plateau until we found a valley that had melted enough to let us pass down into the valley below. This turned out 4 hour hike into a ten hour hike. Although because we had to hike the extra distance we got to see things like this.

This is just one pack of reindeer that we saw as we were hiking. They were everywhere grazing around us as hiked and I must have been able to get about 15 ft away from them before they would shy away. After we got down into the valley we got an impressive view of the whole valley.

We then had to cross the river going down the valley due to the fact that our cabin was on the other side. I of course plunged right into the river at the first nice spot to cross and ended up being submerged above my knees. I then waived off my companions and told them to find another spot. This made for a great picture to show a perspective of how large these mountains are.

You can see all four of them as they look for another spot to cross, they finally just decided that they would have to get wet.

They unfortunately did not do much better than I did and still ended up going through deep water. We finally then made it to the cabin.

I don't think many things can beat a cabin on the sea side in the Arctic. We then cooked way to much pasta and played a card game that we found in the cabin called Arctic Quiz, which I felt was very suiting. Then after some much needed sleep, what could be better than some Arctic morning air.

I also got the nice surprise of seeing this.

It is slightly hard to see but after a little rain during the night we got a nice rainbow across the sea. We then made a large bowl of oatmeal, cleaned up the cabin and headed back to Longyearbyen. On the way back we decided to take the road that followed the coast back which was very beautiful but slightly less adventures, I think we had had enough adventures from the first day.

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