Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 13

Expedition Day 8: Alkefjellet and the edge of the sea ice.

What was planned
What actually happened

During the night we sailed north around the top of Spitzbergen. At around 2.30am we reached the furtherest point north. According to my GPS it was around 80° 2.098' north. This was closer to the North Pole than many of the early Arctic explorers. When we awoke later in the morning we were close to the high cliffs of Alkefjellet with its bird colony. After drifting close to the cliffs for over an hour, we continued on to find the edge of the sea ice,looking for polar bears and oter wildlife.


Alkefjellet is a renowned location for observing the breeding colony of guillemots. A Zodiac cruise was planned to get us close to the cliffs but the weather was cold and windy. oon after we arrived a heacy snow storm passed through, clouding our view for a while. There are thousands of birds on the cliffs, with many flying in and out with food, or just circling around in the air. The conditions of rolling sea, snowstorm and distance from the cliffs made photography challenging, especially when there was always snow flkes on a very cold camera.

GPS evidence that we were within 10° of the North Pole!.
Approaching the northern part of Spitzbergen.
The Alkefjellet Cliffs in the distance.
A glacier close to the cliffs.
A mass of birds on the water gave a clue to the birds on the cliffs.
A Guillemot returning with food.
Getting closer to the cliffs.
And then the snowstorm passed through.
After the snow cleared we had a great view of the birds on the cliffs.
Above the cliffs thousands of birds circled in the breeze.
Later, we sailed away from the cliffs and cruised the edge of the sea ice.

Videos of Alkefjellet

Here are four videos of Alkefjellet. The first is to show how heavy the snow was.

Videos of Alkefjellet

Two videos as we passed along the edge of the ice.

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Last updated: 7/12/2015