South Spitsbergen Summer 1980

South Spitsbergen Summer 1980

Page Type Page Type: Album
Additional Information Image Type(s): Rock Climbing, Alpine Climbing, Hiking, Wildlife, Flora, Scenery, Water

Summer 1980 - My Vintage Slides

It turned out they were still in the drawer – my old ORWO slides (made by the German "Democratic" Republic, really decent quality – no kidding). Actually, it was some photos of the North by Lolli that had inspired me. I had a few of my slides scanned and this is what's become of them – I'd been hoping to get something a bit closer to how the originals look (and I swear they really do look better:-)). Anyway, the pix were taken in 1980 on the island of Spitsbergen (part of the Svalbard Archipelago), which belongs to Norway, but has been long used by a few Polish universities as a research/vacation area (here's the map). Sadly, several months later my life was turned upside down, when – instead of visiting Juneau as planned – I found myself in the army and martial law struck.

External Links


Upside Down Photo-TR: from Highest to Sea Level

Lucky Warmth Horsundtind 1431m
Still Dreaming: RaudfjelletRaudfjellet 1014m
ForbiddenOn top of Tonefjellet 945m
The InteriorFrom top of Tonefjellet
TonefjelletAlmost top of Tonefjellet
Just About 700 mBrattega, above 600m - background, below 700m
TornbjörnsenfjelletTornbjörnsenfjellet 683m
Those In High PlacesGulliksenfjellet 578m, in the background

The Sea
Down Isles (of eider duck)
No RushPtarmigans
Heavy Rain Danger
Eimfjellet 641m (background)

Werenskiold GlacierW side of Gulliksenfjellet 578m
Still SeaE slopes of Gulliksenfjellet
Little AuksLittle auks' in their home-maze of quartzite blocks
Patterned TundraWho did it?
The Elves Didn’t Do ItElves didn't do it
Familiar FloraSaxifraga oppositifolia
Poor ReindeerSummer reindeer
September SunsetMid-September sunsets


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-14 of 14
Tomek Lodowy

Tomek Lodowy - Oct 24, 2008 1:01 pm - Voted 10/10

Grrreat !!!

Fantastic story and great adventure, these photos have soul and history, I feel it, great job, thanks for sharing.




yatsek - Oct 25, 2008 5:22 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Grrreat !!!

Hi Tomek,
Glad you like it. And I'm happy people your age who were born in this part of Europe are now free to go hiking/climbing/working all over the continent, not to mention the Isles:-)
I hope you never stop living your dreams

Dmitry Pruss

Dmitry Pruss - Oct 26, 2008 3:15 pm - Voted 10/10

Fun album, thanks for sharing!

(I also have a collection of 1980s vintage Arctics slides scanned for SP, and likely from the same brand film too LOL)


yatsek - Oct 26, 2008 7:23 pm - Hasn't voted

Age of Canvas

you mean, or something not here yet? (what about the camera? Mine was a Zenit-E :-) reliable and durable)

Dmitry Pruss

Dmitry Pruss - Oct 26, 2008 8:07 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Age of Canvas

Actually most of them aren't organized into anything yet :) I was stuck in town with broken leg last fall, and did a lot of scanning. Including these pictures of Ural, and a few of Kola Peninsula...

Zenits was too fancy for me back then LOL, I had a succession of Smena's


yatsek - Oct 27, 2008 5:57 am - Hasn't voted


lol1: So you do realize what kind of thing made me do this vintage job this fall
lol:2 My Dad spent over 10 years beyond the Arctic circle, and he even brought some pics (made 3 years after Stalin died) so I've had the tundra somehow encoded deep inside
lol3: I got my Zenit from my parents. T'was a birthday present - they'd just returned from across the eastern frontier where they found it to be a real bargain
lol4: I actually had a chance to go to the States in 1980 but I didn't jump at it (have been and will be kicking myself for being that stupid till the end of my days)
Anyway, thanks a million for the links, I'll definitely take a closer look at your vintage pics later - surely they're no less fun than mine


stinkycheezman33 - Dec 8, 2008 8:17 am - Voted 10/10

wonderful fotos

great photos and it seems like such a beautiful area! would love to see more...

thanks for sharing


yatsek - Dec 8, 2008 11:23 am - Hasn't voted

Re: wonderful fotos

Thanks for your interest. I've found some fresher ones here:,Polish_Polar_Station_Hornsund_by_Mateusz_Moskalik,gid,156094,cid,169,view,short.htm?sh=1


Nanuls - Dec 8, 2008 4:03 pm - Voted 10/10


This is a really nice album Jacek, Spitsbergen's one of those places I've always been intrerested in - being a geographer of course. What sort of research were you doing out there?


yatsek - Dec 10, 2008 7:47 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Spitsbergen

Thanks, Dan, I should've cleaned some of the old dirt on the computer before posting (as they didn't bother at the scanning point:). What I was paid for was basically digging holes in the ground and collecting samples (helping a man doing research on wild geese). As to my specialism, which was geomorphology, it was sort of 19th-century approach – find yourself a problem, then think up a weird solution – no goal, no plan, no team work, no technology, sh... Actually, now I wish I hadn't gone. The alternative (unfortunately I did have to choose between the two tempting options) was a PhD in environmental protection, at technical university. The way I see it now, I made the wrong choice.


Nanuls - Dec 10, 2008 12:01 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Spitsbergen

Funnily enough my dissertation involved me wandering around the mountains with a spade collecting soil samples. Nothing wrong with that methodology ;) It's a shame you feel that going was the wrong choice, can't be that many people that get to go. Such is life I guess... By the way, have you had anymore thoughts about teaching?


yatsek - Dec 10, 2008 3:27 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Spitsbergen

Nothing wrong, right, if you wonder with a purpose, and the research geese was probably OK, I also respected the researcher. But he was a kind of addition to our – friendly but far from productive – 'team'. I also did my (master's) dissertation by walking, mapping and digging – even got honours and the results published:). I went to Spitsbergen for the obvious reason but also since I was hoping to get a post at the university. Now I think had I done that PhD in environmental protection at the other uni, I wouldn't have dropped out of (real) science. If all this was happening these days I'd simply go on to study in the West. Then my professor actually offered Alaska the following year but martial law was quicker:-(
As to teaching, I've been very good at it (I do know as there were some student opinion surveys conducted), it worked fantastically, except for the finances, while I taught at the so called "good" schools/colleges but the average state school is a different matter. Anyway, believe me Dan, the older you get the worse you feel doing jobs that clash with your personality type.


lcarreau - Mar 18, 2009 7:10 pm - Voted 10/10

Jacek ?

I apologize for not reading this report earlier (my excuse being
from lack of time resulting from occupational burn-out.)

I was in Norway (on a U.S. military ship) in 1978. Our port was
the southernmost coast, and I remember I had to wear an overcoat
outdoors, being it was quite chilly; as I sampled some Norwegian rum.

So, this is the so-called "No Man's Land" that the Brits talk
about? It looks like a very peaceful place; very isolated from
the wars of mankind.

In my opinion, you should have been allowed to travel to Alaska.
Military conflicts tend to divert our chosen course through life.
I hope Poland was able to solidify itself through these horrific
trials and tribulations that have came to past in the Twentieth

I know you saw elves, but did you happen to see reindeer ???
THANKS for sharing this terrific bit of HISTORY with us !!!!


yatsek - Mar 19, 2009 6:15 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Jacek ?

Very kind of you, Larry - thank YOU for reading it all!
Greetings from No Man's Land!!!
Left-wing (at times - generally well balanced:)) Elf

Viewing: 1-14 of 14



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.