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Thursday, April 16

Snow Retreat

Isbjørn gave themselves a deserved day off and went exploring - ice climbing on a frozen waterfall and built snow holes around Foxdalen. Polarrev had a leisurely start and then skied towards the sea down DeGeerdalen.

Both Fires express concern about the amount of bare ground on the mountain tops and sides, there is still snow in the valleys. The concern is the lack of snow will shorten the amount of time we are able to drag our kit in the pulks and bring forward the time when we have to start carrying everything in rucksacks. None of the YEs are looking forward to that (neither are the leaders!). Although the temperatures are low now, the wind scours the snow and the bare patches absorb the sun heat and the brown areas get larger every day, the areas of ice on the mountain sides shine in the sun, where last week there was snow.

Rype continue with the reindeer feeding pit survey and reindeer survey, this time on Janssonhaugen. We are not to disturb the reindeer as we survey them as this is a critical time of year for them. After surviving mostly on fat through the winter they need to eat the very sparse vegetation available to keep alive and also the hinds to prepare for birthing. 5 reindeer walk right up to us as we ski across to Janssonhaugan, have a good look and wander away. I don’t think they mind us, they just can’t work out what we are as we don’t ski like the locals do! 1 of the reindeer is a local as she has been caught on camera on previous days. It would be good to print out their photos and see how many of them we are seeing on a daily basis. Clear, still, -20ºc.

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