Tag Archives: North Pole

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.

CHILLINGLY CLOSE: Ship struggles to reach polar explorers Børge Ousland and Mike Horn from ice north of Svalbard as they run out of food after three-month ski trip over North Pole


Down to their last day of food and suffering frostbite in temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius after spending three months skiing the Arctic ice over the North Pole, polar explorers Mike Horn and Børge Ousland found themselves separated by only a few kilometers from peers trying to reach them –but thwarted by an opening in the ice between them.

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 15, 2019


Which of these is fake news: 1) A luxury “igloo” hotel at the North Pole for $105,000 a night, 2) a luxury “blimp” hotel at the North Pole for $80,000 a night or 3) a luxury portable hotel on a Svalbard glacier for a considerably lower price yet to be determined? Bang the box below to find the answer and many more misadventures from yet another wacky week.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of Aug. 19-25, 2019


Climate change forces reindeer turn to seaweed (we’re pretty sure that means “eat” rather than literally transform), salvage resumes on the Northguider trawler, more about tourists wrecking and picking up wreckage in pristine areas, the Svalbard icebreaker is the first Norwegian ship to reach the North Pole, area temperatures at highest point in 300-year timespan and more headlines from the global media about this blessed land of the frozen chosen (with our always inspirational masthead motto for the day in italics).

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.