Rúnar Óli Karlsson

Two successful trips to Jan Mayen

Finally back after three weeks of sailing, climbing and skiing. The goal was Jan Mayen on 71 degrees North and to climb its 2277m high volcano, Beerenberg.


We embarked from Isafjordur on the 13th of June and sailed for three days to Jan Mayen. We arrived in perfect weather and the group put up camp on the beach. The day after they continued up to 1300 metres and put up basecamp there for the next few days. Since the crew of Aurora were not guiding this trip, we decided to moved her to Båtvika off the Jan Mayen station (Olonkin City) and meet the eighteen inhabitants on the island. Their main job is to maintain a Loran C station and do meteorological observations. Three guys from the station were planning to go to the top and I decided to go with them the next day. Departure at 01:00 in the morning. There was a “bar night” at the station and somebody handed me a guitar…I went to bed half an hour before departure!


The weather was perfect, dead calm and clear sky. The climb went well and we were at the top in the afternoon. The group in basecamp walked the whole crater rim which had never been done before. I had my skis with me and had a really good run down the mountain. We returned to the station around eight in the evening. There was a little celebration at the station and we had champagne and pizza in the little swimmig pool.


Two days later we sailed back to Dalvik in North Iceland in great wind and picked up another group and headed out again the day after. This time, we landed on the northern side of the island and put up camp at the old meteorological station. In the group were six Norwegians, two Germans and two radio amateurs from the UK and Poland. The radio guys planned to transmit from Jan Mayen over the next days while the rest climbed Beerenberg and did some easy hiking in  the lower mountains. The plan was to climb the mountain from the old met station when weather allowed. Again we were blessed with very nice weather and climbed the mountain during the night and stood on top early in the morning. It was a tired bunch that returned to camp at ten in the morning


We took a rest day the day after and then spent two days exploring the mountains and valleys on the northern part of the island and its rich history of whaling, research and remains from the second world war. Then it was time to set sail again and we returned to Isafjordur early Saturday morning the 6th just in time for a few beers at the bar…!


Thanks to all of you who came on those two trips and also thanks to all at the Jan Mayen station for their support. We´ve already planned two trips next year in June and the first one is fully booked.