Being the last outpost before the North Pole, the backcountry of Svalbard is one that truly deserves to be called wilderness. On these desolate islands approximately 2500 people share the land with more than 3000 polar bears. The geography is striking: pointy mountains rising out of the sea, broad valleys crosscut by glacial rivers, ridgelines as sharp as the edge of a knife. 60% percent of the land is covered with ice.
Outside of the main settlements (and even inside of the smaller ones) carrying a rifle and a signal pistol are basic safety requirements. It’s a land of hunters and trappers, where sound instincts and a good intuition are necessary for survival, where us humans are not always on top of the food chain. I had seen Svalbard once before in summertime so a return to the islands while completely covered in a white, fluffy blanket was long overdue.
Continue reading “The road through Norway, part IV: Svalbard”
Twenty days ago PJ and I left civilisation behind once again and together with 36 huskies we were relocated to a cabin in the woods. When I wake up in the morning and step out of the door they are the first things I see, swinging their tail, jumping around. I see the sky turn into a painting under the polar night. I see the silent white forests, the snow covered trees, the occasional bird. When I go to bed in the evening I hear nothing. No cars, no people, no loud music, no trains, no humming and buzzing. Only the howls in the woods echo in this frozen world.
Continue reading “Howls in the woods”
Over three weeks ago we got back above the polar circle, unpacked all the wool we could find and started up at another kennel for a new winter season of dog sled guiding. This year it will only be the two of us taking care of a small pack of 36 dogs, with whom we will move out into the woods in the near future. We’re moving into a wilderness camp, where we will greet, host and guide tourists making their way over for 3-day dog sledding tours. At the camp we have no running water, an outhouse for a toilet, and a small generator with which we can power the small cabin we will live in for a few hours a day. Pretty much everyone we know down south declared us entirely mental, yet here we are, feeling that we are winning at life once again.
Continue reading “The Arctic Circle and Beyond”
For many people, visiting the high north is a very special experience. They come into a world completely different from what they know. Vast and empty, dark and covered in snow, this region has many things to offer that draw many thousands of tourists every year. And they have have many reasons to choose to do so. Below I have listed the ten reasons why I fell in love with the north, ten reasons to convince you to pay a visit to the Arctic too. Continue reading “Ten Reasons to Visit the High North”
Woohoo! I just received news that I have a job as a guide in the north of Sweden this winter. By half of November I’ll be moving to the small village of Kangos in the county of Norrbotten and I’ll be staying there until the end of April. During this time I’ll be taking guests from the Pine Tree Lodge on excursions to the Ice Hotel and the Moose Park, on day trips with skis and snowshoes and on overnight safaris to look for the northern lights. Continue reading “Moving North”