79 Degrees North

Lunch on a glacier After two hours of hiking, we finally reach Vestre Brøggerbreen. The last hour has been a maze of moraines crisscrossed by braided streams. With every step the loose glacial debris shifts underfoot, requiring complete concentration to avoid tumbling onto boulders. Climbing onto the base of the glacier, I eagerly unload my […]

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Reaching Gerdøya

Weather days We prepared for bad weather. My red, 96-liter L.L.Bean duffel bag brims with fleece jackets, raincoats and extra hats, and my waterproof phone case is rugged enough to allow us to collect samples in the most torrential downpours. But I never imagined while packing for Ny-Ålesund that the biggest threat to our trip […]

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Discovering Ny-Ålesund

Life at 78° N Cautiously opening the front door, I make my way down the metal stairs. A quick glance to my sides then I round wide around the corner of the station. At 5:30 in the morning, no one is around. The bright daylight adds to the eerie feeling of desertion. I was told […]

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79 Degrees North, Nearly

Arriving in Svalbard Waiting on the tarmac at Tromsø Airport for our Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flight to Svalbard, I nervously check my watch as the noon deadline approaches for SAS pilots to announce a strike.  What will happen to our flight to Svalbard if the pilots strike? Will we be stuck in Tromsø? What will happen […]

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