Category Archives: Svalbard

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 7, 2017


Alternative ‘doomsday vault’ to store data on film in Mine 3
Sometime in the future, when the amount of “fake news” has become so large and complex the truth is unclear, one may be able to enter a new type of “doomsday vault’ in Mine 3 and check the facts.”

Breaking borders: European Parliament ends visa-free travel in EU for U.S. residents; may mean trouble for Olso stopovers


U.S. residents traveling to/from Svalbard appear highly likely to be affected if a European Parliament decision to end visa-free travel in Europe for U.S. residents takes effect. While Svalbard is outside the EU travel zone, most travelers usually have an overnight stopover in Oslo or other European city.

Fair ye tale: Community joins sun in making light out of darkness during this year’s Solfestuka


The weather’s been too hot. The mining facilities are too cold. But for those kicking off this Solfestuka the madness of the past year is hopefully just right.

Cut off: Emergency, regular phone numbers fail at Longyearbyen Hospital during avalanche


Both the emergency and regular phone numbers at Longyearbyen Hospital were inoperative during immediately after the avalanche a week ago Tuesday that destroyed two apartment buildings, according to High North News.

Deadliest force: Reseachers hope to improve avalanche-risk awareness with network of snowfall measuring devices


You might think polar bears – and the potential for attack – are the biggest danger the Norwegian island archipelago of Svalbard. But avalanches kill far more people on Svalbard than polar bears ever have.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb 28, 2017


To the many in Longyearbyen who suddenly have no address, a Very Special Letter arrived a few days ago. Actually, it’s to the “people of Longyearbyen,” but they wouldn’t have gotten it if not for some persistence by the sender and local postal officials since it was mailed to our editor who’s among those evacuated (not the first time we’ve made that inside journalism joke this week) after Tuesday’s avalanche.

Chilling conclusion: UNIS says faulty boat, last-second travel plans and safety training factors in manfunction at sea malfunction


A boat with a weak design, last-minute travel plan changes and a lack of proper safety training resulted in a dozen people being stranded and soaked on the icy sea between Barentsburg and Longyearbyen last month, according to an internal investigation by The University Centre in Svalbard.

Flake media: ‘Scientists Add 50,000 Seeds to Arctic Doomsday Vault Because Everything Is Awful’


The eyes of the world – or at least the press – were on Svalbard last week. But it was future destruction, not the avalanche that destroyed homes and the psyche of residents, that generated headlines.

And most of the lamestream media buried the most interesting aspect of that “other” story.

ALERT: Two avalanches occur near Longyearbyen, officials say nobody trapped


A large avalanche early Sunday afternoon blocked a snowmobile trail on Hiorthfjellet across from Longyearbyen, but emergency officials said nobody was caught in it. A second subsequent avalanche in the area soon after also apparently trapped no people.

Quest for the top: Denied chance to seek the North Pole, French explorer is going after Norway’s government for stopping him


Gilles Elkaim’s latest dream is an epic quest to the North Pole in the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen. But the longtime French explorer’s free-thinking ways are considered a crime in Svalbard, so he’s following in the footsteps of the historic Norwegian explorer in another way: waging a very public war on what he calls cruel government repression.