Category Archives: Svalbard

Mining and/or tourism? Government friend and/or foe? Store Norske’s unpredictable future takes more volatile turns


The question used to be what options, if any, were possible at Svea since coal mining was shutting down. Now the dilemma is it might be possible to have mining and other new activities already occurring – but government officials who’ve been so supportive in the past might block some or all of those options this time.

Opening the world’s top ‘resort': Barneo welcomes first guests to balmy -30C weather and ice-solid camp conditions


The opening of this year’s Barneo ice camp went so smoothly it might be called dull. Which for those working at and beginning expeditions from the camp is very exciting indeed.

These go to 89: Local band Advent Bay Poolboys to play first rock concerts at Barneo ice camp during five-day stay


Some people spend years planning and hundreds of thousands of kroner for expeditions to the top of the world. Thomas Nilsen sent a Facebook message on a whim and got an invite to hang out there free with four of his friends for five days.

Unlike others at the Barneo ice camp at roughly 89 degrees latitude north, they aren’t renowned polar explorers, Earth-shaking scientists or soldiers receiving extreme-weather training. Instead, it’s about putting rock on ice as the local quintet known as the Advent Bay Poolboys is scheduled to perform what are billed as the first-ever rock concerts at the camp.

Soaring suds: Norwegian Air to serve Svalbard Bryggeri beer on international flights; brewery doubling production


It’s a sobering challenge to get thousands of people buzzed while they’re high every month, but the folks at Svalbard Bryggeri are eager to get hopping to it.

Beer produced by the local brewery will be sold on all Norwegian Air international flights (including those to and from Svalbard) beginning in June, according Andreas Hegerman Riis, co-founded and brewmaster of the facility.

Starting with a fresh Pole: Bareno sets up 16th annual camp; logistics remain in Longyearbyen


As of now it’s all about cooperation, confidence, hope and inspiration. So their adventures will be reported as such, until it isn’t.

A series of upbeat reports during the past several days announced the 16th annual Barneo ice camp has been successfully established at 89 degrees 24 minutes north latitude and is scheduled to operate from April 4 to 26.

Snow barrier: Evacuation of homes in avalanche area upheld until summer; access to retrieve items cut back to once a week


For the past month people have generally been allowed into their evacuated homes for a few hours a day to collect belongings except for a few rare days when storms heightened the avalanche threat. Those days are over at least until the snow is gone.

Royal residency: Queen Sonja – and printing press from her foundation – part of Artica Svalbard’s artists’ residency debut



After a few years of sometimes controversial efforts to generate buzz about a local artists’ residency program, it appears the “local” and “buzz” are ready to debut with full force.

Norway’s Queen Sonja will be among those presiding over the four-day opening of Artica Svalbard, with activities that will highlight works by local artists old and young – and give those aspiring to be the latter a “magic” opportunity.

Avoiding deep doo-doo: Trappers Trail sleddog race makes last-second course change due to…wait for it…avalanche threats


Given how much of Longyearbyen has gone to the dogs due to recent avalanches, it seems only fitting the risk of more disrupted the weekend plans of the canines themselves.

Different strokes: Once a Soviet scientist, artist sharing a life of lessons by blending her colors with Svalbard’s waters


Anna Mikhailova was born during the last days of the Soviet Union and baptized in science.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of March 21, 2017


Don’t believe those new claims Norway is the happiest country in the world (or the recent study showing Svalbard folks are happier than those on mainland) – according to many informed people living elsewhere we’re simply deluged and deranged for various reasons. And when you see photos like what these folks at Isfjord Radio consider a proper winter wardrobe sanity would seem to be on the side of the skeptics.