For me to leave Alaska in the summer for a chunk of time is rare. I did so in July, in part, to serve as photography guiding staff on a voyage in Svalbard. On this wonderful trip I accrued a few very notable nature encounters. One in particular ranks up there in what I have come to call “natural sanctuaries”, places that stand out with a degree of immensity in collective beauty, wildlife, emotion and scenery.
The Norwegian name of the place is Alkefjellet, which roughly means bird mountain. They are ocean side dolerite towers reaching 100 meters high, home to thousands and thousands of nesting Brunnich’s guillemots and kittiwakes. The experience of drifting along these sheer rock faces in an inflatable boat, immersed in sight and sound is nearly lost in attempt to convey it words. It was an immersion. A rare place on the planet. A place I will never forget. Below are a few images of a place difficult to convey in its immensity, but my humble attempt at doing so.