BSES HQ receives expedition field updates weekly so check back every Monday to see what has happened in the week gone by.

Saturday, May 30

Onwards to Wimanfjellet

Isbjørn move from the Blackbreen to the head of the Wimanbreen with a view to climbing Wimanfjellet when the weather improves, possibly overnight. Polarrev recommence the Blackbreen survey and dig one 3m deep snowpit, going higher up the glacier than they have been before. Rype collect the kit and rubbish from the snowline and sort it all out. Clearing, light westerly breeze, +1ºc.

Friday, May 29

Fire Change

Fire Change! Click on The Team to see the new fires.

Isbjørn get up early and move down from the Blackbreen to Tobredalen for 1000hrs for a Fire change. Polarrev resurvey the slush pits and prepare for a handover of the project and a Fire change. The new Isbjørn leave science camp after the 2000hrs radio schedule to move back up to the top of the Blackbreen. Ash and Emily do their 2 minute presentations about themselves, we learn how much Ash likes cheese and Emily’s breakfast routine. Rype hold a leaders’ meeting then ski back to Base Camp with a large pulk of kit and rubbish, they cross the col for their ninth time and leave the pulk at the snow line which has moved yet again further back up the Wimandalen. The sea starts to refreeze off Base Camp 3. Clear, light westerly breeze, +1ºc.

Isbjørn arrive at glacier science camp. The YEs will stay and become Polarrev, Richard and Lucy D will move out with the other YEs who will become Isbjørn – confusing eh? Photo Rype

Thursday, May 28


At last a beautiful day with clear blue skies, and the fjell tops out of the clouds. This is the science handover day with the YEs changing from Adventure/biology to glacier science and vi-servers a. but with the long awaited break in the weather both groups make the most of it and Isbjørn don’t come down to science camp this evening. Isbjørn climb Knorringfjellet then come down and bivouac at the head of the Blackbreen. By coincidence, Polarrev climb Knorringfjellet from the other side then come down to meet Rype who have brought back the repaired HF radio for functional checks and who stay the night. Becoming cloudy, light westerly breeze, +3ºc.

Wednesday, May 27


Isbjørn have a very frustrating day working in a whiteout, with strong wind and spindrift to find their food cache, this takes them five hours. Most of Polarrev have an admin day in camp whilst Christian and Pippa ski down Tobredalen on a waste and rubbish run; they also bring a broken HF radio. Rype meet up with Christian and Pippa, take the waste to the sea at Elveneset then come back over the col to Base Camp. Thinning cloud, westerly breeze, light snow. 0ºc.

Tuesday, May 26

RTK GPS in use again

Isbjørn (adventure) come and collect their biologists from the improvised camp then return to their previous location. Polarrev re-survey the Tobredalen snow pits and carry out an RTK GPS survey of the Blackbreen lateral moraines. Overcast, strong westerly breeze, -4ºc.

Message From Mark

Mark would like to wish his sister a very happy birthday - Best wishes Becky.

Monday, May 25

Stubborn Tents

Isbjørn (adventure) move from Knorringbreen to the head of Wimanbreen, then descend to pick up Isbjørn (biology). Polarrev continue the RTK GPS survey and continue to monitor the slush/surge pits. Isbjørn (biology) take much longer than expected to pack up and set off two hours late. The tents had melted into the snow and then the recent drop in temperatures have frozen them in, 1 tent took the group 45 minutes to chisel out of the ice. This is the first time they have had to fit their kit in their rucksacks and working out where and how to pack everything is a challenge. For some in the group it doesn’t all go in and bits and pieces are strapped on the outside hiding the rucksacks.

Local Climate Change

This week at Base Camp 3 the sea ice has been in and out of our bay. The sea has been flat, pond like until 23.5 evening. Some days the broken ice has been packed in and all that can be seen when looking north and east. The next day it can be open water with just the odd pieces of melting ice. We have also had a few substantially sized lumps - one is estimated to be 100m long and 10m out of the water, of interest to the small day cruise boats. The wildlife comes and goes literally with the ice. The eider ducks enjoy the safety of their floating ice lily pads and drift past the bay only to drift back a few hours later. We are alerted to their passing by the ooh, ooh they make as they drift by, sounding like neighbours enjoying a bit of scandalous news.

Jackie and Ade

Sunday, May 24

Halt the Melt

Isbjørn (adventure) climb Konusen whilst Polarrev start the RTK GPS survey of the Blackbreen. Isbjørn (biology) and Rype join forces and make a round trip of 20km to climb the north ridge of Janusfjellet in search of fossils - The group splits on the way home with the faster group racing to get back in time for radio schedule and Helen, Adrian and Herpreet coming back closer to the shore. They see 2 walrus and an arctic fox!

Last night’s snow and minimum overnight temperature of minus 2 has enabled the snow to settle and a crust to form on the snow. When walking you still break through the crust and in places down to knee height but at least today the snow is not soggy. The cold night and cold day has temporarily halted the melt. Overcast, strong easterly breeze changing to westerly -2ºc.