Tromsøya crossing in winter

An almost true story to be read out loud with a deep and rough voice.

I survived one of mankind’s largest expeditions of our times – the crossing of the arctic island Tromsøya from south to north! Probably I’m the first one, who dared to face this extraordinary challenge.

The arctic ice breaker could not approach the harsh coastal line of Tromsøya’s southern tip. Too mighty the storm, too sharp the rocky cliffs, too high the enormous waves! I was forced to row the last mile in a wooden dinghy. When I approached land I realised that despite of months of planning I was without food! Would I survive? Well, the tour must start, with or without provisions. One has to go on in live.

The land was wild and it was hard to find the entry point of my expedition. Where is Sydspissen, the Southern tipp? With my extraordinary orientation skills I finally managed to find this unexplored promontory which would be the starting point for my crossing.

I followed the coastal line through a field of invincible rocks. The storm howled and the surge of waves covered everything in spray. I decided to leave the exposed coast and seek shelter in the inland. To my surprise I found some ancient dwellings.

It seemed that this hostile island had been inhabited earlier. What a discovery! I continued my way and realised that I was not alone. People still seemed to live here. While most of the indigenes hid inside some dared to be outside, guarded by their dogs. The houses were shocking. While the people seemed to have some basic skills in woodcraft, they still lacked the knowledge of constructing right angles.

I continued my way through the forbidding terrain. After a while it opened and gave view to an extent of ice. Could it be a lake? Probably it had been frozen for centuries. Here I spotted more locals. As the others before they ignored me. Didn’t they dare to seek contact? I do not know. First I though they would hunt seal or walrus but they just seemed to wander around without any goal.

Soon I was alone again in the rough mountain scape of this arctic island. Orientation was extremely difficult. Without my compass and sextant I probably would have been lost forever in this pathless country. I was completely on my own.

The terrain descended and gave view to a strange installation. Scaffoldings pointing up to the sky were erected randomly on that slope. Was is temples or other places of worship? Who build them? When? And why? Probably one never will find out.

Since I lost my food I was forced to continue my expedition. Time was precious. The land was bleak and barren. No trees, no bushes, nothing. Maybe some moss seeking shelter between the stone could survive under the eternal snow. For other plants this place is too hostile. 

The mountains became even higher and I got view on a small coastal village, probably abandoned ages ago. One wooden house lay nearby but it lacked a door and most of the walls.

I looked for walkable paths that would lead me further north. The more north I came the more glaciers covered the land.

It started to get dark but without food I did not dare to seek shelter. I was forced to go on and on without any rest. Amidst the mountains I spotted two indigenes. They sat on some kind of toboggan well clad in furs to keep them warm in the harsh sub-zero climate. I did not dare to disturb them and only managed to get a blurred photo as a proof of my observations.

According to my positional measurements the northern tipp of Tromsøya could not be far. I had survived until now. Would I make it to Nordspissen, the northern tip?

Alas – after more efforts and privations I managed to reach Nordspissen. I was grateful that fate allowed me to be the first human who reached this remote spot on foot. To my big surprise the legend was true: There is a mystic monument at Tromsøya’s northern tip and I can prove it:

But my efforts were in vain. I was too late! The last ship of the season just had passed by. Now I was forced to live here on this remote and solitary polar island for another year. But that’s daily routine for tough explorers like me.

 

3 comments to “Tromsøya crossing in winter”

  1. Kirsi Nitschke 2021-12-13 14:31

    Great story, Olaf and so nice introducing of our little island we are living on.
    The nature ist so beautyfull and full of magic, not only when the northern lights are dancing.
    I love to be here.

  2. Christiane 2021-12-14 15:02

    Very funny! Live ist full of magic, you just have to find it :)

  3. Johanna 2021-12-14 19:28

    Wie anschaulich Du Deine Expedition beschrieben hast ! TOLL…… :-)

Write a comment: