Today was a study in contrasts for our Spitsbergen Expedition team. They started out Day 3 with a rather unexpected disappointment : one of our participants, Christophe, requested a return to Longyearbyen due to exhaustion and a pulled muscle which made the demanding journey simply too uncomfortable. Dixie was able to arrange a non-urgent snowmobile evacuation and by 11:30 this morning Christophe was back in the guesthouse in Longyearbyen where the rest of our team hopes to reunite with him on Saturday.
Our other two intrepid participants, Bart & Pierre, were eager to get moving with Dixie toward the Sassenfjorden, the gleaming body of water that had been tempting them since last evening when it glimmered from their campsite. After a rather steep descent, they reached the shoreline late this morning and enjoyed a meander around the unique area of open water.
Before long the trio was busy with another steep climb away from the bay, one which will eventually lead to the Helvetiatal, or Swiss Valley, which they expect to reach early tomorrow morning. From there they will progress back to Longyearbyen.
Tonight's camp location:
N 78° 17 52
E 16° 21 25
The temperatures for this expedition remain on the cold side. It was -24°C at altitude earlier today, but warmed slightly to -21°C at their campsite this evening. As the group descends further tomorrow, the temperatures should rise a bit and make their travel slightly more comfortable.