1,000km By Ski Across Svalbard

French adventurer Vincent Colliard and filmmaker Caroline Cote are in Svalbard, preparing to leave on a 1,000km sled haul around the Norwegian archipelago.

The pair will set off on February 1 from the capital of Longyearbyen and ski a 1,000km loop unsupported back to their starting point by the beginning of April.

Colliard is best known as Borge Ousland’s protégé and partner on the Ice Legacy project, in which they are crossing the 20 largest ice caps in the world on skis. Colliard has also guided in Antarctica, sailed the Northwest Passage, across the Atlantic, and attempted to sail/haul across the Arctic Ocean in summer.

Cote is known for her work in adventure filmmaking and photography, but she has also made first ascents of peaks in Antarctica, paddled the Yukon from Whitehorse to the Bering Sea, and sailed the Atlantic.

Caroline Cote. Photo: Caroline Cote


Temperatures in Longyearbyen are a modest -20˚C at the moment, but the duo will be traveling during the Polar Night until about February 15, when the sun crests the horizon for the first time this winter, briefly. Until then, they will proceed through twilight and darkness. This means that they will need to be especially on guard for the 250+ polar bears that inhabit the archipelago.

Polar night (captured a little brighter than reality) near Longyearbyen. Photo: Rolf Stange

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is a writer for ExplorersWeb. He has been writing about Arctic travel, mountaineering, science, camping, hiking, and outdoor gear for 7 years. As well as ExplorersWeb, he has written for Gear JunkieRed Bull, Outside, The Guardian, and many other outlets. Based in Leicester, UK, Routen is an avid backpacker and arctic traveler who writes about the outdoors around a full-time job as an academic.