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Report - Grumant mine and Coles Bay, Arctic 2014

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by robham, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. robham

    robham 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Hi All,

    Haven't really posted before as I haven't had much that hasn't already been done a thousand times before, but our recent trip to Grumant Mine and the deserted settlement at Coles Bay was a little different so thought I would post it up and see how it was received.

    Its a bit of an unusual place, but anyone who likes the ageing Soviet influences in places such as Beelitz would love it there.

    Grumant is an abandoned Soviet Russian coal mine with the associated port and settlement being at Coles Bay on Spitsbergen in the Arctic. The settlement was established in 1912, deserted for a short time during the second world war and finally abandoned in 1962. Despite being a functioning coal mine it is also believed that Coles Bay had military or research significance during the cold war. You can see still see the typical cold war style floodlights and antenna masts. When leaving the bay the Russian’s totally destroyed the ‘power station’ building, possibly indicating that it had other uses, or that they wanted to protect the technology they were using, or maybe they were just bored and run out of things to do - who knows. It made a mess of it regardless.

    It reached its peak population of 1106 in 1951/52. The port and settlement at Coles Bay was linked to the mine at Grumant by a railway, but we suspect this route has been impassible for some time so the video shows our approach to Grumant by traversing the mountain behind and descending to the coastline and mine from the lowest accessible point in the valley. Its isolated coastal location has seen the buildings at Grumant deteriorate much more quickly than those at Coles Bay, which have been subject to sporadic maintenance since, possibly as late as 1980′s.

    At Coles Bay some of the original buildings have been well preserved and are still standing, including one built by Russian geologist Vladimir Rusanov in 1912. The core samples shed and drilling platform are also in very good condition and can be seen on the video. There is now only one Russian mine operating on the whole of Spitsbergen, and two other permanent settlements.

    The Graveyard at Coles Bay almost certainly contains some of the last people to be buried on Svalbard, as it is now illegal to bury bodies there as the permafrost either preserves them so that they do not decay, or spits them back out again.

    We didn't get as many photos as I would have liked as the conditions made it quite difficult, and the ones we did get were not as good as I hoped, but hopefully the video of the trip makes up for that a little.

    [video=vimeo;90076169]https://vimeo.com/90076169[/video]

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  2. Ric

    Ric темний Прип'ять
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    Re: Grumant mine and Coles Bay, Arctic

    I've approved this as it looks interesting, but do me a favour and resize your pictures, max 1024 width here.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Looks fantastic. Thanks for posting.
     
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Some interesting stuff there :thumb
     
  5. 2wid

    2wid ratamahatta
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    Very interesting, somehow reminds me of the movie The Shipping News with Kevin Spacey. Raindeers rock the casbah :)
     
  6. steveekay

    steveekay 28DL Full Member
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    i love arctic stuff, this is ace!
     
  7. canute

    canute 货车司机和国王
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    Very interesting - thanks for posting. Great conveyor belt shot :thumb
     
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