Polar expedition Greenland 2011

Spitsbergen 2010 - About

 Spitspbergen is a part of Svalbard archipelago which is located in the middle between Norway and North Pole.

 

Team of polar travelers from Vilnius, Lithuania is ready to explore Spitsbergen in spring of 2010. We are planning unsupported 22 day expedition. Skies, sledges, power kites and own muscles will be used as mover. Experience from previous expeditions will help to feel safe and calm. Power of nature will boost the spirit of expedition. Motto that helps: "Easiest way is not our way".

 

 

About Svalbard

 

Svalbard consists of 3 main islands (Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, and Edgeøya) and about 150 smaller ones. The total area of the islands is 62 800 km2, 60 % of which is covered by glaciers. Only 6-7 % of the land-area is covered by vegetation, there are 176 species of plants. All over Svalbard there is permafrost - only the top meter of earth is thawing during summer.

 

Some of the largest concentrations of birds in the North Atlantic region can be found at Svalbard. 36 bird-species nest on Svalbard dominating are the little auk, the kittywake and the fulmar. Large populations of geese, wading-birds, and eider duck can be found on the islands of Svalbard. Most of the birds are migratory, spending the winter at the Barents Sea, along the coast of Norway or on the continent. The Svalbard-ptarmigan is the only bird that stays at Svalbard throughout the winter.

 

The Svalbard reindeer and the Arctic fox are found on most of the islands. A large number of polar- bears can be found on the islands east of Spitsbergen.

 

In addition to the ringed seal, we can find the bearded seal, the harbour seal and the walrus at the costs of the islands. The White whale is the most common whale near the coast of Svalbard.

Svalbard has been discovered by Jacob Heemskerck during his whaling voyage in 1596. The islands served as an international whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century coal mining started. Permanent mining settlement has been established in 1906. The islands belong to Norway after The Svalbard treaty was written in 1920.

 

Now the population in Svalbard is about 2 900. 55.4 % of the people are norwegian, 44.3 % are russian and ukrainian, and 0.3 % are other. Norwegian administrative centre and the biggest settlement is Longyearbyen (2 080 inhabitants). Russian mining community Barentsburg has 500 inhabitants, 40 inhabitants live in international research centre Ny-Ålesund.

 

There are no roads connecting the settlements on Svalbard. It seems the archipelago is a good choice for our forthcoming expedition.

 

More information:
http://www.sysselmannen.no/hoved.aspx?m=44365
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard


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