Exploring an ice cave

Being a student at the university centre in Svalbard carries with it certain perks, one of them being able to venture into the wast icy expanse of Svalbard after lectures. Roughly 60% of these lands are covered by glaciers, and 3 of these glaciers are located just south of Longyearbyen. The most easily available is Longyear-glacier, just west of Sarkofagen, a looming peak named by it's shape of a sarcophagus.

This glacier serves as a highway for the snowmobiles travelling south, so getting there requires little effort. The glacier is also a land-based glacier, with little movement going on, so crevasses on this glacier are a little harder to come by compared to the more active ones heading into the sea. Still, being on the safe side, we probed the route when venturing out of the track to avoid falling into possible melt-water channels flowing along the glaciers. 

Locating these caves can be quite the challenge in the dark, and they also move between the seasons, so we were not sure if we would find one. After a few hours though, we eventually found one, to the delight of everyone's cold feet. The temperature outside was about -22 degrees celsius, but inside the cave it felt alot warmer. 

Lacking in proper gear for cave-exploring, we restricted ourselves to exploring the first 20 meters of the cave. These caves follow the bottom of the glacier and can reach length's into the 100's of meters.


The entrance







No draugr, wampas or polar bears were sighted in the cave, though a foul stench filled the motionless air as we ventured further. Will have to check back later to investigate further the whereabouts of the stone tablet the shopkeeper in town wanted me to find...

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