Random weirdness for the week of June 11, 2019

Random weirdness for the week of June 11, 2019

OK, scary as that angry girl shooting magic (or whatever) from her hands might seem, what we’re really concerned about are those diamond-shaped things you might suspect are merely harmless snowflakes. Because it More »

AN UNFORTUNATE FEW DAYS AT SEA: Passengers rescued from grounded sailboat, young man dies from epilepsy on cruise ship in third sea emergency in three days

AN UNFORTUNATE FEW DAYS AT SEA: Passengers rescued from grounded sailboat, young man dies from epilepsy on cruise ship in third sea emergency in three days

Passengers were rescued from a sailboat that ran aground in Isfjorden and a young man on a cruise ship in northwest Spitsbergen died after a serious epilepsy attack, marking the second and third emergencies at sea More »

PERIL AT PYRAMIDEN: Historic seal-hunting boat takes on water at ice edge as 13 aboard prepare to abandon ship, but stays afloat until help arrives

PERIL AT PYRAMIDEN: Historic seal-hunting boat takes on water at ice edge as 13 aboard prepare to abandon ship, but stays afloat until help arrives

A boat notorious for its former seal-hunting history that started taking in water in the engine room after suffering a leak Friday morning at the ice edge near Pyramiden had the 13 people aboard preparing More »

Blown to and fro: Strong winds giveth and strong winds taketh away for runners in biggest-ever Spitsbergen Marathon; local teen, 14, achieves notable win as fastest woman in 10K race

Blown to and fro: Strong winds giveth and strong winds taketh away for runners in biggest-ever Spitsbergen Marathon; local teen, 14, achieves notable win as fastest woman in 10K race

While spectacular snow-covered mountains dominate the landscape for the world’s northernmost marathon, the vast majority of the course itself is basically flat. But for Isabel Aarnes it was very much an uphill More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 28, 2019

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 28, 2019

Shortage of industrial store space results in overinflated prices, restraints on growth A lack of available buildings fueling Longyearbyen’s housing crisis is also being felt by businesses in dire need of storage More »

 

Light season blues: Artist Elizabeth Bourne is a ‘pagophile’ who’s moved into the neighborhood. That’s actually very cool

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Elizabeth Bourne describes herself as an “unapologetic pagophile,” which might make her new neighbors’ blood run cold. Unless they find out what it means, at which point they’ll know her blood runs very cold.

The foremost definition refers to life forms that “prefer to live in ice.” Or, alternately and presumably more appropriately in this instance, perform certain activities on the ice (breeding is cited as an example). 

ALERT: SAS STRIKE STARTING FRIDAY? Pilot walkout may halt Svalbard flights on eve of ski marathon, adding further misfortune to biggest one-day event of the year

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Pilots at Scandinavian Airlines are threatening to go on strike at midnight Friday, which could result in cancelled flights for a large number of the nearly 1,000 people expected to participate Saturday in the Svalbard Skimaraton, the archipelago’s largest one-day event of the year.

CONCRETE PROMISE: Here’s how crazy Longyearbyen’s housing market is: Somebody bought this uninhabitable historic building in an avalanche zone for 1.4M kroner

tallbldg

The government says it’s illegal to live there and even if you could it’s in a high-risk avalanche zone (several occurred in the immediate vicinity during the past week, wrecking a hillside cable tower and spilling across a road that had to be closed). But, hey, it’s nicely furnished and has cultural heritage site status, so whoever just paid 1.4 million kroner for it has some nice bragging rights even if – like the previous owners – they’re forced to live elsewhere.

ALERT: Upper homes/lodging in Nybyen evacuated, other access limits in town imposed due to weather-related avalanche risks; (UPDATE: Order lifted as of noon Saturday)

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Update 2 p.m. Saturday: The evacuation order was lifted as of noon Saturday, according to The Governor of Svalbard. Vei 300 between Huset and the old museum is still closed until after Easter weekend.

Original story: An evacuation of Gjesethuset 102 and other buildings near the mountainside in Nybyen, along with access restrictions in other at-risk areas of Longyearbyen, was ordered by The Governor of Svalbard on Friday evening due to rain and above-freezing temperatures that are causing a variety of problems for people trying to get about.

Metal morons: We’re clueless about Manowar, so we’re mostly farming this story about their gig here to social media fanboys

manowarparade

It’s 9 p.m. in Longyearbyen…do you know where your eardrums are?

If they’re worrying absent, it’s because the heavy metal band Manowar that’s built a huge cult following since forming in 1980 is halfway (yup, there another’s hour to go) through their Tuesday night concert at Kulturhuset as part of this year’s “The Final Battle World Tour.” But the show is only part of the spectacle, as parties, a parade and plenty of other pandemonium planned (and probably lots that isn’t) before the Manowarriors collapse into slumbers likely to last well into a hangover-laden Wednesday.

EVACUATION ALERT: Gruvelageret, nearby buildings vacated due to avalanche risk, Huset remains open

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Gruvelageret and the surrounding buildings on the mountainside beyond Huset have been evacuated due to the avalanche risk, The Governor of Svalbard announced Monday afternoon.

Mushy mountainside: Avalanche across Vei 300 near Huset closes road yet again to all traffic

april15avalanche

An avalanche that sent snow across a stretch of Vei 300 just before midnight Sunday has resulted in the closure of the road to all traffic between Huset and the intersection near the old museum, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

BREAKING NEWS: Entire North Pole season cancelled for first time ever due to political, weather problems at Barneo ice camp

barneocancelled

The entire North Pole season at the Barneo ice camp has been cancelled for the first time in its 18-year history due to a breakdown in weather after a lengthy political crisis, officials said Friday. That means many of the hundreds of expedition participants and others who paid tens of thousands of Euros and suffered nearly two weeks of exasperating delays in Longyearbyen are losing their hopes of reaching the top of the world after being told as late as midday Friday flights to the camp might start later today.

BAILING ON BARNEO: North Pole Marathon cancelled; other Pole expeditions trying to reach ice base camp uncertain as ‘you can’t trust anything they say’

nomarathon

(UPDATE: The entire North Pole season is now cancelled.)

A political crisis at the Barneo ice camp that has now delayed all expeditions hoping to reach the North Pole this spring by nearly two weeks has resulted in the cancellation of the North Pole Marathon – by far the largest of this year’s groups with 46 participants plus others affiliated with the race – and is causing increasing frustration and uncertainty among other groups despite camp officials stating the first flights to the camp may occur as soon as Friday night.

NOT SO ICE: Anger abound about sea breakup in polar bear, seal area to bring ship carrying fuel to Svea

icebreak

The breakup of the sea ice early this week in an area populated by polar bears and seals so that Store Norske can continue the government-ordered dismantling of the Svea mine triggered considerable outrage among locals and The Governor of Svalbard is now stating it would not have approved the activity if current conditions were known.