Pyramiden: The Arctic Settlement Frozen in Time. Svalbard AW2018 : Part Three

Within the foothills of towering peak stands Pyramiden. The abandoned urban settlement lies 8000 miles from the North Pole and is only accessible by boat or snowmobile. While the Craghoppers team was in the area, we explored the settlement as part of our tour around Norway.

The abandoned community offers a glimpse into the past. In 2007, the site was re-opened to tourists and adventurers, keen to see the vast terrain of a mining heritage in one of the most isolated settlements on earth, after the inhabitants left in 1998.

Scattered with relics from the past, visitors have the chance to step into a different world. Children’s toys are scattered in the nursery, a swimming hall left empty and an abandoned movie theatre still with the reels of film to play. These are the real silent witnesses of time.

Explorers flock here to explore the rugged terrain, icy community and arctic winters – and it’s not for the faint hearted: Pyramiden is located on the island, a 31 mile journey from the closest Capital, Longyearbyen.

One of the only guides there is Vladimir Prokodiev, who carries a large gun on his back in case of a polar bear attack at any moment. He’s not all alone though– he has a pet fox called Saigon that follows him around on the compound.

With no radio, TV or internet, the settlement is the epitomy of isolation. However, as tranquil and remote as it may seem, the polar bears aren’t the only danger to the area.

Explorers are welcomed to the site to experience the history and natural beauty of the isolated area, but bear in mind the weather and daylight conditions. The highest temperature is around 10’c but wind chill makes it feel a lot less. From October – April the northern lights are visible, but from May – July the sunlight can be 24 hours.

To read more about our travels around Norway, click here:

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