Yesterday evening I wrapped up my first winter snow mobile expedition for 2019 here in Svalbard. This year conditions were and remain just about ideal for scootering across the landscape in search of wildlife. There is a great covering of soft fresh snow and there is none of the bare ice that dominated the landscape last year that made driving difficult and caused the scooters to frequently overheat.
I will have a full trip report when I return to Australia but in brief, during the course of the five day expedition we encountered three Polar Bears on our first day in Templefjord (before it was closed by the Governor), then six on the second day in both Templefjord and on the East Coast near Monbukta. Day three, four and five we focused our efforts on Arctic Fox, Reindeer and Ptarmigan. Ptarmigan proved a little thin on the ground this trip but we had absolutely superb Arctic Fox and Reindeer.
I now have a couple of days to rest and recover before kicking off the second snow mobile expedition and then my winter boat expedition before I will return home to Australia.