Skiing the northernmost mountains in the world continued: Svalbard, Norway

Reggie Crist skiing Trident North. Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist skiing Trident North. Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman

A continued photo essay by Will Wissman.  Click Matador Network for original story

Words: Will Wissman

When arctic explorer Doug Stoup asked me to join his expedition to Svalbard, Norway, to ski on the planet’s northernmost mountain range, I figured it would be more of a novelty. What I didn’t realize was the terrain and snow conditions would be world class.

Our journey began in Longyearbyen (population 2,000), roughly 800km from the North Pole, a whaling community turned coal mining town that currently features one grocery store, a couple of overpriced hotels, and a scattering of bright colored buildings. With less than 60km of roadway, the best (and virtually only) way to get around is by snowmobile. So our team of seven loaded up a small fleet of snowmobiles, along with towing sleds carrying all of the necessary gear and supplies to survive and ski for two weeks. Leaving fuel caches along the way, it took 12 hours to reach our final destination, the Atomfjella Glacier, containing the highest mountains on the island.

The following is a collection of photographs I captured while on the remote glacier for those two weeks. After the adventure was over, I had no hesitation in saying there is absolutely no better place to ski in the world than Svalbard during the month of May.

Longyearbyen, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Longyearbyen, Norway in the early morning sunlight. Photo: Will Wissman
Spitsbergen, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Scoping out the mission. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountain Range Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountain Range in Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont setting up the First Ascents basecamp on the Atomfjella Glacier. Photo: Will Wissman
Basecamp Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Basecamp in the clouds. Photo: Will Wissman
Atomfjella Mountains Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
The Atomfjella Mountains provided extraordinary views and skiing. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Doug Stoup hiking Rabbit Ears Location: Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist and Doug Stoup earning their way to the top of Rabbit Ears. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Svalbard, Norway Powder Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist skiing blower Svalbard pow at 3am. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist makes with contrails all the way to basecamp. Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Lexi Dupont getting her fair share of powder turns. Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist, Doug Stoup, Lexi Dupont Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Reggie Crist, Doug Stoup, and Lexi Dupont seem to be in the right place at the right time. Photo: Will Wissman
Polar Bears Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
A Mother and her cubs in search of a meal. Photo: Will Wissman
Sailboat Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
The Noorderlicht frozen in time. Photo: Will Wissman
Polar Bear Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
Watching the wildlife made us realize that we were in a land dominated by survival of the fittest. Photo: Will Wissman
Seal Svalbard, Norway Photo: Will Wissman
A seal takes a break for a little people watching. Photo: Will Wissman

 

 

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