Kokatat Sponsors Norwegian Expedition to Circumnavigate Nordaustlandet

Tuesday, 06 May 2008
Kokatat LogoArcata, CA - In summer of 2008, Ann Kristin Gjelsten and Tommy Frantzen of Norway will depart on a self-supported sea kayaking expedition to circumnavigate Nordaustlandet, a total distance of 750 kilometres. They will carry food and equipment for 5 weeks with a goal to complete the circumnavigation in 30 days.

Nordaustlandet is the second largest island of Svalbard, with an area of 14,600 square kilometres, and is located north east of Spitsbergen. A large part of the island is covered with the glaciers Austfonna, Vestfonna and Sorbonne. The rest of the island is tundra where Svalbard reindeers, polar bears and walrus live. Austfonna, Europe's largest glacier, is the third largest inland body of ice in the world. The area has been protected as an nature reserve since 1973.

The expedition's biggest challenge will be Austfonna, Europe's biggest glacier, which will prohibit  the team from going ashore for 180 kilometres. "To paddle in front of the 180 kilometres long glacier without being able to get ashore is a challenge that demands good planning and routines. But above all, this trip will give us an enormous nature adventure and experience" says Tommy.

Tommy studied outdoor life at Norway's Mountain School, and learned to sea kayak at Norway's Kayak Federation. At age 49, Tommy has been kayaking for over 25 years and now owns a kayak school in Norway's beautiful Sommer√łya. Past experiences include previous kayaking trips to Svalbard, and sea kayaking trips to New Zealand and British Columbia.

After many ski expeditions and three winter seasons as a hunter and gunman in the polar area of Spitsbergen, Tommy has extensive knowledge and respect for this region.

Ann Kristin, with only 2 years of sea kayaking experience, has become competent and fearless on the water.  At 43 years of age, she is no novice to extreme sports with experience in both parachuting and diving. Whether it's with her kayak or hiking boots, Ann Kristin looks forward to any opportunity for an adventure.

For more information and to follow the expedition, please visit www.kajakkfrantzen.no, or contact Tommy Frantzen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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