National Geographic : 2009 Apr
• INSIDE GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO: KARL ERIK WILHELMSEN ON ASSIGNMENT Iceman Parked deep in the snow as a blizzard raged, photographer Paul Nicklen hoped a polar bear would saunter by and provide a shot for this month's Svalbard story. "Svalbard bears are not hunted, so they're relaxed and approach quite closely," he says. For three hours Nicklen sat with freezing hands and ice-crystal-covered lashes, yet the perfect moment was elusive. One female did come by, but just to munch the seat of his snowmobile. She visited his cabin later (see page 75). Tragically, a few days after taking this picture, Nicklen's guide and friend Karl Erik Wilhelmsen suffered a fatal fall through the sea ice. Covered head to toe in white to match a snowy Svalbard ridge, Paul Nicklen patiently waits for polar bears.