Tag Archives: Barneo

CORONAVIRUS /OVERVIEW UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 13: Non-Nordic visitors banned from Svalbard; North Pole season cancelled, governor’s office closes to visitors, locals offer shopping/babysitting


Impacts of the multitude of restrictions and ban in Norway due to the coronavirus continue to accumulate in Svalbard on Friday, a day after the measures were enacted, as visitors arriving from non-Nordic were banned in Svalbard, the North Pole expedition season in April was cancelled, and numerous private and public entities such as The Governor of Svalbard announced they are partially or fully closed.

The measures taking effect at 6 p.m. Thursday and in place until at least March 26, along with additional local measures, including the closing of all educational institutions, sports and cultural events, city-operated facilities such as Kulturhuset and Svalbardhallen, and a 14-day quarantine for all arriving passengers from non-Nordic countries since Feb. 27.

There are no known cases of anyone Svalbard infected with the coronavirus in Svalbard as of Friday afternoon.

WHAT THE PUCK? Putin may play in historic hockey game at Barneo in April – could he trigger yet another nasty political faceoff in Svalbard?


“Putin makes stopover in Svalbard while traveling to play hockey at the North Pole.” It’s a helleva potential headline and news story if it comes to pass this April, although as of now there’s no guarantee he’ll play – or the match will even occur, given the chaos of recent years – or that he’ll take the conventional flight route through Svalbard if he does.

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


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’


(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.

Random weirdness for the week of April 9, 2019


Tip for the many North Pole hopefuls stuck in Longyearbyen: Don’t try to reach the Barneo ice camp like the guy above. Still, since the madness of our stranded caravan community of Pole pursers reportedly involves everything from a marathon bar brawl to blaming Wiggy Trump for the trouble (because of course he always is), it’s probably not the worst sock to the balls suffered this week.

NO NORTH POLE SEASON? First-ever cancellation of all expeditions looms as political problems mount, plane to Barneo ice camp abandons Svalbard


The word for last year’s shortest-ever season at the North Pole was “disaster.” This year the word is rapidly becoming “hopeless.”

Officially there are still flights scheduled to the Barneo Ice Camp for those hoping to reach the top of the world, albeit a week or more later than officially planned. But there is now no plane to transport people there and, even if officials succeed in hasty plans to bring in another plane from Canada or Iran, there is no guarantee the ice runway and various logistical factors will remain stable enough to allow any expedition flights at all.

Crazy for the top of the world: Eclectic community of adventurers and workers again come together to brave a range of bizarre hardships in their shared lure of the North Pole


Vladimir Putin won’t be facing off in the pope-blessed “Last Ice Hockey Game at the North Pole” until next year due to organizational snafus. A “badass lady” from India is supposedly living up to that rep by skiing from Oslo to the top of the world. And a world-class marathoner from Hong Kong who says his competitive juices aren’t flowing for this year’s icy endurance race at the Pole also hopes to beat the 4.5-hour record time by at least an hour.

Welcome to another season between 89 and 90 degrees latitude north where expedition-of-a-lifetime quests, awareness campaigns, trophy seeking, publicity stunts, outhouses from hell and lots of beer are the hallmarks of a temporary exclusive community inhabited by some of the hardiest workers and well-heeled misfits (and we don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way) on Earth.

Assuming they eventually manage to make it to the starting line at the village, so to speak, which these days is just one more extreme oddity.

APRIL FOOLS FOR NORTH POLE HOPEFULS: Hoards stuck in Longyearbyen as construction and Russian/Ukrainian political spat threaten another disastrous season at Barneo ice camp


They paid fortunes to attempt the dream adventure of a lifetime by reaching the North Pole, but instead are stuck waiting in cafes and sleeping on floors of hopelessly overbooked lodges (or boats, or wherever they can find empty space) because the Bareno ice camp at 89 degrees latitude north, which “officially” opened April 1, is now delaying the first flights to the base by more than a week due to problems building the ice runway and a political squabble between Russia and the Ukraine about operations there.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 22, 2019


Guess it’s time to confess to again being part of a massive media coverup about stuff happening here, conspiring during the past week to declare a big trial in Oslo about catching crabs in Svalbard (no, not a red-light zone expose, much as we keep getting demands for one) is in reality mostly about which countries will get to drill for oil in the surrounding waters in the future. But our scheme to make it sound like a “what if” scenario have been foiled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency which, having revised its World Factbook during the past few days, reveals Svalbard is is already producing and exporting a rather large amount of crude oil.

Barbara Smith, 89, becomes oldest person to reach North Pole; granddaughter, 14, trying to be youngest Brit to ski there


For Barbara Smith, 89, saying “I’ve gotten to 90” means something entirely different than a lady lying about her age.

It didn’t happen in the most adventurous or strenuous of ways since she was aboard a helicopter, but this week the 89-year-and-270-day-old woman from the English village of Chrishall became the oldest person to reach the North Pole, according to the Guinness Book of Records.