Pyramiden Blue Lake Expedition
A ghost town, polar bears and a night in the camp…
This tour brings us from Nordenskiöld Land northwards to Dickson Land on the other side of Isfjorden. We leave Longyearbyen and Adventfjorden by ship and sail towards north-east across Isfjorden, where we can see Tempelfjorden and its characteristic mountain slopes in the distance before we enter Billefjorden. From here on, all the area to our right-hand side belongs to the Sassen-Bünsow Land National park. Northern fulmars, seagulls, auks, and puffins are just a few bird species that might pass by the ship. At the end of Billefjorden, we enter Adolfbukta where we slowly proceed towards the glacier Nordenskiöldbreen. Small pieces of ice swimming in the bay remind us that the glacier, in all its beauty, also bears a danger as it slowly but steadily moves and calves into the ocean. Therefore, we enjoy the scenery in safe distance and see if we can spot seals or polar bears.
Lunch will be served on the ship before we make our way towards Pyramiden at the edge of Mimerbukta. Pyramiden, which literally means “the pyramid” is a small abandoned Russian town named by Swedish geologists after the characteristic pyramid-like mountain-top nearby.
We leave Pyramiden shortly after arrival and start hiking to the Blue Lake Cabin, approximately 8 km west of the town. We walk through Mimerdalen until we reach our cabin at a small lake, where we set up our camp and introduce you to the polar bear safety basics for camping in the wilderness. After that we hike up the slope of Yggdrasilkampen in order to get the view over the area: Odindalen, Munindalen, Mimerdalen, Pyramiden, and the glacier we passed by with the ship earlier that day. It is worth bringing the tripod up here as the view invites you to compile some panoramas. From here we can also see some of the places we are going to visit the next day. Please see the schedule below for more details.
On day three, after we had breakfast and left the Blue Lake Cabin, we hike back to Pyramiden where we will have dinner. Then we take you on two guided tours in Pyramiden: One given by a local Russian guide who will introduce you to the history of the ghost town. The second tour has its focus on photography and provides the guest with the necessary time to picture the coal mining installations and the old buildings from outside as well as inside. Hundreds of Black-legged kittywakes have taken over some of the buildings and offer shots that might be even too close for the zoom lens!
Pick-up at your accommodation in Longyearbyen09:00 Departure from Longyearbyen harbor with M/S Polar GirlBarbecue on the ship at the glacier NordenskiöldbreenArrival in Pyramiden, introduction round and safety instructionsBus transport to the centre, hike to Blue Lake Camp (8 km)Setting up the camp, overnight safety instructionsEvening-hike to the viewpoint at the north-western slope of YggdrasilkampenSupper in Blue Lake CampOvernight stay in camp / tents (Polar bear watch)
BreakfastHike towards Odindalen, crossing Mimerelva in MimerdalenLunch with cookies and coffee in “Odincabin”Dinner with expedition food in OdindalenHike to the northernmost extension of Jotunfonna glacierLate-night-supper in Blue Lake CampOvernight stay in camp / tents (Polar bear watch)
Breakfast at Blue LakeDemount of the camp, hike back to PyramidenDinner in Pyramiden HotelMeeting the local guide, guided tour through Pyramiden (Background information)Guided tour Lost places (focus on photography)Bus transport from Hotel back to Pyramiden harborDeparture from Pyramiden with M/S Polar Girl back to LongyearbyenArrival in Longyearbyen, bus transport back to accommodation places
This tour includes transport by ship across the open waters of Isfjorden. Wind and strong waves can cause seasickness. We recommend a wind- and waterproof jacket and something warm to put on while on the ship and on our hikes. Good hiking boots are necessary and you need to be in good physical condition. No credit cards or foreign currency is accepted in Pyramiden Hotel. The hotel is the only building in use, there are no shops. Snacks and drinks as well as souvenirs can be purchased in the hotel and camera batteries can be recharged there after we are back from Blue Lake Cabin.
Pyramiden is an abandoned town and consequently Polar bear area: Groups must stay together on both guided tours.
Duration: 3 days, overnight stays in tents/camp and in Pyramiden Hotel
Included in the price: Transport and accommodation (camp /tents, Pyramiden Hotel), food, camping-kitchen equipment, experienced guides with necessary safety equipment, barbecue on the ship, dinner in Pyramiden Hotel, guided tours in Pyramiden
Not inclusive: Personal camping equipment (sleeping bag etc., see packing list), Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, additional snacks, tips for the guides
Capacity: max 8 persons
Language: English, German, others can be arranged on request
Recommended photo equipment: Binoculars, tripod, flashlight and/or headlights, wide angle lens for lost places, strong zoom lens for wildlife photography from the ship
Activities: Sailing, hiking, camping, wildlife photography, lost places photography
Age limit: 14 years
Nature and terrain: Glaciers, fjords, mountains, rivers, valleys, wildlife, view
Sites: Cabin, camp, abandoned buildings, ghost town
Duration: 3 days
Capacity: max 8 persons
Language: English, German
Season: Spring, summer, autumn