The Joint Universities Spitsbergen Expedition was first proposed in July 1992. At that time it was nothing more than an idea between two people and the preferred destination wasn't even Svalbard! By October Svalbard was chosen as the location, because it is relatively cheap to get there, and it could fulfil our other objectives. A number of possible base camp sites were considered throughout the last months of 1992. The criterion for selecting an area were:
  1. Within a reasonable distance of Ny-Friesland.
  2. Containing interesting and varied geology.
  3. Containing reasonable vegetation.
  4. Having affordable access.
Areas considered included Lomfjorden, and the east side of Wijdefjorden.

In January 1993, the base camp area was finalised to be Alandsvatnet. This was reasonably close to Ny-Friesland, offered interesting geology (lying on The Billefjorden Fault Zone) good vegetation (as the valley floor was at 100m and within a plant reserve) and the access was no more expensive than anywhere else we were considering.

January also saw the team list finalised. It contained three 'novice' expeditioners - Lucy Lloyd-Williams, Kristina Petersen, and David Boulton.

The administrative structure was for a team of three to be responsible for the organisation. The Leader (logistics), Base Camp Manager (food), and Fund-Raiser (money).

The thinking behind the expedition was for it to contain both useful scientific fieldwork, and also adventure. The adventurous objectives of Newtontoppen and Perriertoppen appealed from the start. They headlined our adventurous objectives, were accompanied by four weeks of Nordic Skiing and mountaineering.

The relatively large number of expeditioners was for morale, safety, and to allow parties to do independent things while scientists were working.

This style of organisation worked very well, and there then followed 6 months of frantic work - the results of which will become apparent in this report.

Next           Top           Back