Experience the unique Arctic landscape from the top of Sarkofagen. Surrounded by magnificent view in all directions, this is a hike not to be missed!
One of the unique sights that meet you when you first arrive in Longyearbyen are the mountain ranges which cover large parts of Svalbard. The visible layers in the mountainsides, avalanche runs and flattened tops may remind you of old forts from the middle ages.
What could be better than experiencing the unique Arctic landscape from a mountain top? Surrounded by a magnificent vie in all directions, this is a hike you should not miss!
Glacier crossing with armed polar bear guard
The hike begins in Nybyen, at the highest point in Longyearbyen. The route takes us through the valley towards the glacier. From here we cross the glacier and head up a stony ridge to Sarkofagen. The glacier crossing is simple, as it is a stable glacier, and we will not need to use ropes. The guide will go first and lead the way, and, while the chances are miniscule, will carry weapons in case we meet a polar bear. This means there is nothing for you to worry about except enjoying the view and the hike.
If we are lucky, we might find fossils on our way!
60 million year old fossils
The moraine landscape that this tour takes you through, is more like a moonscape than the mountains you might have seen elsewhere in Norway. As if the landscape wasn’t alien enough, you can also stumble over 60 million year old fossils here. The mountains around Longyearbyen, and the sediments from ancient seas, rivers and swamps that used to exist here, can be read like a history book if you take a closer look at all the layers. In addition, the glacier presses into the mountain, moving rocks and gravel into the moraine and bringing fossils into the light and our sight.
Leave no trace
One of the thoughtful things to do on Svalbard is to try leave no sign of your visit. This means that we should not find or leave any obvious trail through the moraine. The terrain is steep and uneven at times, but the guide will keep a steady pace upwards, so that everyone can keep up and enjoy the hike. Remember to keep an eye out for wildlife during the tour. There is a good chance that we may spot Svalbard ptarmigan, which is little larger than the mainland ptarmigan. These birds have no natural predators here, which means they are not easily scared.
- Transfer from accommodation in Longyearbyen
- Hot drinks and lunch
- Use of snowshoes or crampons if required
This hike takes you through terrain that is at times steep and/or uneven, and is fairly challenging. Participants should be relatively fit, and it is an advantage if you are used to mountain hiking. Hiking shoes are required, and gaiters can be an advantage as there may be rotten snow in the area. We will use snow shoes if required.
This hike has an age limit of 14 years.
Minimum amount of participants: 2
Safety is our highest priority, and the guide needs to be able to give directions you understand. To participate on one of our excursions, it is required that you speak and understand English or one of the Scandinavian languages.