Svalbard ice cave

Ice cave – a cave in which (in the whole cave or at least part of it) there are persistent ice clusters or ice dripstones throughout the year. As a rule, this is related to the fact that the cave (or its part) remains at minus temperatures throughout the year or only slightly above zero in the warm half of the year.

I’m afraid of caves, although I don’t really know… I’ve never been in them, I’ve never been inside. Even in the mountains, on school trips, I had no chance to meet them.

The dark corridors carved in the rocks, where you sometimes have to squeeze through, showed an image of an uncomfortable place for me. What if I’m claustrophobic or stuck somewhere? I was wondering for a long time whether such an “attraction” would not be too much of an experience for me and I was right. The ice cave was a great experience, positive, unforgettable and amazing how beautiful masterpieces nature can create.

Temperature -20°C.

The trip was booked before arrival. We have rented weapons, we can move outside the city, but going to such a place requires more preparation, which we do not have at the moment. The guides are waiting in front of the hostel in the morning. We walk about 300 meters to the car, which is at the very end of town. From here we go to the nearby mountain, where there is an entrance to the ice cave. Our guides explain what the trip will look like, safety rules and show our equipment. I put on snowshoes, with great difficulty – I’ve never had them on my feet before, nor on my shoes. Goes. The first few steps I walk like a duck, the rackets are much wider than shoes and every now and then I catch one racket on another. Fortunately, I’m not alone in this. Only the rest of the equipment for the backpack – crampons, flashlight and helmet.

We go all the time uphill, all around white, all you can hear is the crackle of frozen snow. Legs begin to slightly feel a different, wider gait in the rackets. I’m moving on, I’m last. I am accompanied by Daniel, who is learning to be a guide. No, he won’t leave me behind. Every now and then I stop and turn around, looking at the breathtaking panorama of the city. With each step, civilization disappears behind the mountain, revealing the ever-expanding vastness of the white wasteland.

After an hour of walking, we reach the entrance to the ice cave. We set up the “camp” and a slight consternation … Red sticks in the white wasteland. The guide pulls the cover aside and takes it off, revealing a hole in the snow to our eyes… The most ordinary hole in the snow you can imagine… Different thoughts went through my head: “I’m supposed to go in there?”, “How am I supposed to get out of there?”, “Will I fit in? “. The three of us stood and stared in disbelief, our expressions understandable in any language. Sink or swim. We take off snowshoes, put on crampons, helmets, flashlights. A few words of encouragement from the guides and we enter the cave, exactly like on a slide 5 meters down…

“Darkness, I see darkness, darkness I see. “We turn on the flashlights, the eyes have to adapt, still darkness … After a while, we see the masterpieces created by the ice … We go on, the frozen rocks sparkle with colors. We slip through narrow corridors, flashlights scattering everywhere as if I’m walking down a diamond avenue. Crystals flicker overhead, creating all sorts of patterns. The ice palace… marble walls of the corridors… crystal chandeliers… We took a break in the ballroom, refreshments were waiting for us – coffee and cookies. We turn off the flashlights for a moment, I have never experienced such darkness before, the silence that fell intensifies the feeling of terror …

The cave is warm, constant temperature -6°C

The way back honors us with the first view of sunlight on the top of a nearby mountain.

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