Evening hike up Plateau Mountain

Evening hike up Plateau Mountain (Plateaufjellet), which overlooks the town of Longyearben in Svalbard.

Rising up behind the town of Longyearben in Svalbard, I tackle this small-ish mountain on the second-last day of our stay. While the days are getting noticeably shorter each day, it’s still possible to do this hike in the evening, setting out at 7pm from our hotel with our guide.

We drive to Svalbard Church, on the western side of town, where we leave the car before walking down the road towards Longyearben a short distance. We soon pick up a rough path that heads directly up the ridge, and it takes us about 40min to hike the 1.2km up to the first lookout.

We stop here for a hot drink at the edge of a cliff, with the town of Longyearben and Adventfjorden spread out below us. Sukkertoppen mountain is on the other side of Longyearben.

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You can see in the photo (below, right) a street at the furthermost right of the town, at the foot of Sukkertoppen, which has no houses. An avalanche in December 2015 destroyed a row of houses, killing one person and an an injuring a number of residents.

After a short break, we walk a bit further up the ridge, with views up the Longyearben valley. You can see a the old Mine Site 2, half-way up the cliff on the eastern (opposite) side of the valley, which operated from 1913-1952.

As it starts to get dark (it’s now around 8:30pm), we head  back, taking a more direct route down that passes the remains of an old mining railway line before finishing at the Svalbard Church.

Location Guided trip starts at Svalbard Church on Veg (Road) 303
(78.21995, 15.61945)
Distance 3.1km return
Grade Easy. 350m total ascent
Season/s June-September
Map Topographical maps on-line at TopoSvalbard
GPS Route Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.
Resources Spitsbergen Outdoor Acitivities – Evening Hike
map-svalbard-plateaumountain
Map showing route up Plateau Mountain, with elevation profile.

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