These are the four things we will do for 30 days and nights. The expedition life is a life of routines and the weather decides how our days will be. After several days have passed the life at home will feel far away. It is nice to live a simpler life. No worries about todays outfit or what to buy in the store. You have what you wear and all your meals are ready in the pulk/sledge. We work as a team, taking turns navigating and being a “snow plow” if needed. Some days you might have extra energy and will help out someone with some of the weight in their pulk, other days someone will help you. On such a long trip no one are just tired or strong, everyone are both.
The landscape is changing constantly. We cross huge glaciers where everything is flat, we will struggle with long hills, or maybe we will venture out on the sea ice. Further south we meet a dream land of steep peaks and valleys. Very few have traveled in these valleys before us and seen what we see. In Spitsbergen everything is a little bit further away and a little bit bigger than it seems. We move in a time of the year when it is mostly light all day and night. This gives us an extra energy boost even though the days are long and sometimes tiresome.
Even though it is light most of the time it is not certain we will see the sun every day. The weather is challenging and sometimes it might be so white from the fog that we might not even see our own skiis. Then it is important to stay together and take turns navigation, it is exhausting to navigate in a white out. Other days it might be the wind that provides us with a challenge and we have to be prepared for an involuntary resting day if the winds are too strong. The weather will either way colour our experience and it is the contrasts in the weather and landscape that makes this expedition a true adventure. When you know the nice weather won’t last forever you always appreciate it more and eating lunch without mittens becomes a highlight.
The polar bear is the king of Svalbard and since we are staying so many days in his kingdom the probability is quite high for an encounter. Meeting a polar bear is a powerful experience, but we prefer it if we spot it before it spots us. We bring weapons on the whole trip and in areas where there are known to be a lot of polar bears we will take turn sitting guard. Everyone will be taught to shoot a signal gun to scare away the polar bear if necessary. We take every precaution to avoid a meeting, but in case our roads cross we have to be prepared.