«I have had the greatest nature experiences through exploring Spitsbergen. From being stuck in hunting lodges due to bad weather conditions and having close encounters with polar bears, to hearing the first snow sparrows after a long winter and watching the tundra thaw and flourish».
Eli Gunnemark has great experiences from all over the world to compare with. He has wandered through major cities in India, climbed Nepal’s mighty mountains and wandered deep into the jungles of Borneo. On the Indonesian archipelago in the South China Sea, Eli guided at night, in search of exotic animals such as ghost monkeys, paragliders, spiders and snakes.
The stay at Borneo aroused the desire to professionalize the guide competence, and Eli exchanged the heat of the jungle with Arctic cold at nature guide studies at Tornedalen Folkehøgskole in northern Sweden. After a two-year education, Eli led snowmobile, ice fishing and skiing trips for a hotel in the Swedish part of Lapland.
Guiding on Svalbard and in the Arctic polar regions has long been a dream for Eli. In 2017, he landed in Longyearbyen, and has since worked as a guide on boats, larger expedition vessels and snowmobiles. In June 2021, he took over as host of our Nordenskiöld Lodge, together with his fiancée Arien Ramnefjell.
«Arien and I have often guided around Nordenskiöld Lodge, and we had a dream of one day we would have a base at the cabin in the wilderness. Now we have the opportunity, and it feels like an adventure to receive guests at this beautiful outpost», says Eli, who grew up in a suburb of urban Stockholm in Sweden.
«The varied everyday life, extreme nature experiences and the endless adventures that Svalbard offers make this an incredible place to guide in», concludes Eli.