The making of the muskoxen images: Camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway

March 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The making of the muskoxen images: Camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway.

I joined my friend and fellow photographer Niels Kooijman on a 13 day winter camping trip to photograph muskoxen in Dovrefjell National Park, Norway. Niels has been doing this type of trip for several winters already and I benefited from his knowledge, experience, and some of the group gear he has accumulated over the years. We used sleds and snowshoes to transport ourselves and our gear in the area. As it was late in the winter season some of the snow had a hard icy crust. The muskoxen were on steep windswept slopes which meant we had to navigate pretty steep slopes with hard icy snow to get there. This requires an aggressive snowshoe with teeth around the entire frame rather than snowshoes that only have teeth under your boots. The MSR lightning ascent is a very suitable snowshoe for these conditions. Our tent was a Hilleberg Saivo; suitable for extreme winter camping conditions.

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The image below shows Niels pulling his Fjellpulken sled towards camp 2.

The making of the muskoxen images, Niels Kooijman pulls his Fjellpulken sled towards camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, NorwayThe making of the muskoxen images, Niels Kooijman pulls his Fjellpulken sled towards camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, NorwayThe making of the muskoxen images. Niels Kooijman pulls his Fjellpulken sled towards camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway. Muskoxen evolved in Asia and adapted to arctic tundra environments. Muskoxen became extinct in Europe (last records are from Sweden about 9,000 years ago) and Asia (last records are from the Taymyr peninsula in Russia about 2,000 years ago), probably primarily as a result of over hunting by people. Muskoxen crossed into North America from Siberia between 200,000 and 90,000 years ago and they survived in Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. Muskoxen were reintroduced in Europe and Asia relatively recently. Muskoxen were first reintroduced in Dovrefjell National Park in Norway in 1931-1932, but these animals were all killed during the second world war. A second reintroduction attempt (1947-1953) was successful though. The muskoxen population size in Dovrefjell National Park is currently estimated at several hundred individuals.

The image below shows Camp 2. It was below -20 °C (-4 °F) that night.

The making of the muskoxen images, camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, NorwayThe making of the muskoxen images, camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, NorwayThe making of the muskoxen images, camp 2, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway. Muskoxen evolved in Asia and adapted to arctic tundra environments. Muskoxen became extinct in Europe (last records are from Sweden about 9,000 years ago) and Asia (last records are from the Taymyr peninsula in Russia about 2,000 years ago), probably primarily as a result of over hunting by people. Muskoxen crossed into North America from Siberia between 200,000 and 90,000 years ago and they survived in Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. Muskoxen were reintroduced in Europe and Asia relatively recently. Muskoxen were first reintroduced in Dovrefjell National Park in Norway in 1931-1932, but these animals were all killed during the second world war. A second reintroduction attempt (1947-1953) was successful though. The muskoxen population size in Dovrefjell National Park is currently estimated at several hundred individuals.

 

 


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