A Conversation for Spitsbergen (Svalbard), Arctic Circle
Svalbard in mid winter
petrusbroder Started conversation Aug 30, 2008
Svalbard in summer is really just great ... I agree with the researcher.
But in mid January - Svalbard is just phantastic.
Not only because it is not completely dark, but because your perspective changes a lot ...
My kids (at that time 9, 11 and 13) and I took a very spontaneous trip to Longyearbyn middle January 2004. We booked a dog sledge with a guide for 2 days and took off. This is a good time for travelling because the polar bears are hibernating and thus do not pose any big problem. The cold also makes the ice and snow more stable, in the snow you can dig a warm cave or build an snow shelter. The cold may be a problem, but the correct equipment and some vigilance by yourself and your friends helps a lot ...
If you expect the nature to be dark you will be surprised: there is sufficient light for doing a lot ... hunting, looking around, you can see snow-hares, reindeers and quite a few other animlas. Where the light comes from? The big illuninator is of course the moon, then all the stars - millions and millions of them. The Aurora borealis may or may not add. Of course the dark adaptation of your eyes adds a lot to vision ... The only problem may be if the sky is covered by clouds or when in a snowfall. But you can very often sit that out in a cabin or a shelter.
Anyhow: a trip to Svalbard in polar winter is a great experience, not dangerous at all if you have a good guide, follow his/hers instructions and use reasonably good equipment (can be borrowed) and a lot of common sense. I can really recommend this kind of trip.
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