#7: ice cave

2024-03-22 06:56:22am
The overnight temperature of -27 was welcome after our nights into the thirties. Everyone slept warmly and commented on the difference 5° can make. It was another clear and still morning but with the sun wheeling behind the mountains flanking the southern side of Reindalen (valley) we didn’t reach sunlight until mid-morning. The joy of skiing from the bitter shade into sunlight is like a rebirthing. At Marthabreen (glacier) valley we left our sleds and skied 2km to a spectacular ice cave, one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Walls and ceilings were scalloped with sun cups and in places festooned with giant ice crystals as delicate as spider webs that swayed in the gentlest of breezes. We were truly mesmerised by the sights. After skiing back to the sleds and lunching in the sun (with some frosty sleeping bags sublimating in the -25 sunshine) we crossed Reindalen to Kokkbreen (glacier) where we found a suitable campsite among the moraine. Tomorrow we climb the glacier and camp at a high pass that overlooks Advebtdalen, our final valley back to Longyearbyen. Tonight I’m tenting with Arthur. Eric
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