Ice Bears and Islands

Svalbard_topo_mapThe concept has launched, after 6 years of dreaming of this trip it looks like it will happen in 2015. Welcome to Ice Bears and Islands – our Expedition around Svalbard Archipelago,  Arctic Norway. We will be a team of 4, comprising of myself Jaime Sharp (NZ/Canada), Tara Mulvany (NZ), Jeff Allen (UK) and PG Porsanger (Norway). The name of our expedition comes from the Literal translation of the Norwegian Name for polar bear “Isbjørn” the “ice bear”, and from the fact we will be paddling around a group of arctic islands.

In mid to late June we will fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard to attempt a 2000km circumnavigation of the four main islands of the archipelago.   We expect our expedition to take around 90 days, and apart from two planned food drops, we will be paddling self sufficient without a support vessel.

Our strategy for this trip will be based around our predictions for the ice break up around the NE corner of the archipelago, which lies as far as 81 degrees North.  We need a ‘warm’ summer, if the sea ice is to break up and allow us through,

There is no doubt that attempting any expedition in the Arctic is an ambitious & costly undertaking.  We have developed a detailed Safety Management Plan to help to minimize the risks involved, and to plan for the hurdles that are likely to come our way.  Some of these challenges include a 300km uninterrupted stretch of glacial cliffs, freezing temperatures and hungry polar bears and walruses.  We will carry firearms, an electric bear fence, bear bangers and flares, for defense against Polar bears – our biggest on land threat.

Our next step is gathering funds, organizing gear and equipment, & finalizing logistics such as shipping kayaks to Svalbard from Tromso, Norway.  We are still seeking financial and gear sponsors to help turn this dream into reality, so if you would like to be a part of this epic adventure we would love to hear from you.  You can contact us here.

There are so many uncertainties, unknowns, and ‘what if’s’, but we are confident in our ability to venture safely in this wild land.  And whatever the outcome of our journey will be, it’s certain that we will return with stories to share of our time in this remote far corner of the world, where day & night, and sea & ice all blend into one sparkling, untouched seascape.

 

Stay Tuned for more info coming soon!

Jaime

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