The "Science Phase" of the expedition was carried our between 7th July and 6th August, while we were in our base camp at Alandsvatnet. The Science Phase consisted of three scientific projects. All three projects were forming the fieldwork for first degree dissertations. The projects were; Geological Mapping, Plant Ecology, and Avalanche Geomorphology. Once people were assigned to assist with the scientific fieldwork, there were always between four and six members of the expedition left. Their role was; to train 'novice' expeditioners, set up food dumps for the Adventure Phase, and to explore the area.

The Geological Mapping Project involved covering a 15km2 area around Alandsvatnet, which straddled an important geological belt, known as the Billefjorden Fault Zone. The mapping was carried out at a scale of1:10 000. At this scale, every rock outcrop in the area had to be visited. This required working, and moving across features such as steep exposed scree slopes, and traversing ridges. For safety reasons there were always two members of the expedition doing the geology, unless Steve restricted himself to safer terrain.

The Plant Ecology Project involved an extensive survey of the plants in Alandsdalen near Alandsvatnet. Jim undertook some of his work on the north side of Alandsva, but the majority was on the south side. The project was usually carried out by Jim alone, except towards the end of the fieldwork, when Jim used a second person in order to speed up the surveying.

The Avalanche Geomorphology Project was carried out on talus cones emanating from the north-east face of Sentinelnosa. Chris had to measure over 10,000 rock samples, systematically from a number of sites. Chris carried out this work alone.

When enough people were assigned to the fieldwork for a day, it left typically four or five people free. In the early part of the phase, the group was concerned with instructing the uninitiated on various safety techniques, such as ice axe arresting, belaying on snow and ice, and skiing. Once all the group were proficient, the usual thing was to go and explore the local area. In the month that we were by Alandsvatnet, the expedition climbed ten mountains. These mountains are listed at the end of this section.

In addition to mountain bagging, there were other activities. Some were less popular, such as load carrying food across the Mittag-Lefflerbreen for the Adventure Phase. Others were more fun, like taking promotional photographs, and visiting Oversganghytta on the shore of Austfjorden. Others were enormously enjoyable, like top roping ice climbs on ice cliffs beside the Mittag-Lefflerbreen, and bouldering on crags near to base camp.

A food dump had to be set up in preparation for the adventure phase. These were carried out by a team of six people each time, and it took three trips to move the month's food and equipment. A dump was set up on the east of Mittag-Lefflerbreen, below Aktivbreen.

In addition to the adventure phase food dumps, we also had to make a dump of equipment that we did not need on the adventure phase. This was taken to Framstakken, where it was left in a tent, for us to pick up on the walk out.

During the Science phase, our patron - Lt Gen Robin Ross - visited us in the field. He came on the 20th July. He very kindly brought mail into us, and took mail out. If you received a postcard from us, then it was genuinely sent from our base camp!

To access the Mittag-Lefflerbreen from Alandsdalen, required crossing the glacial outwash river on the west of the glacier. This river is far too wide to forge. We anticipated this, and we were loaned a boat from Compass Inflatables. This proved essential in crossing the river. In preference to carrying the boat out, we sold it to a tour group who happened to be in the area. The boat has been left near the lake for future expeditions to use.


Sentinelnosa (NE face)
Cheopsfjellet (north face)
Fareofjellet (north face)


14 July
14 July
2 Aug
27 July
13 July
11 July
22 July
18 July
27 July

SF, RP, RH, KP, DB, LL-W. (6)
DB, LL-W, RP, RH, JT, WB. (6)
DB, LL-W, RH, RP, JT, WB. (6)
RH, LL-W, RP, WB. (4)
DB, LL-W, RP, KP, WB, SF, RH. (7)
DB, LL-W, RP, KP, WB, SF, RH. (7)
SF, RP, CK, RH. (4)
DB, JT, WB. (3)
RH, LL-W, RP. (3)
DB, LL-W, RP, RH, WB. (5)

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