700 km to go – in 40 days

Published 20.02 in category North Pole 2006

Hi, this is Børge calling from N83?45’38”, E103?40’. We have walked 18 km since this morning and only drifted three kilometres south last night. Fortunately, the southerly drift seems to have stopped for now.

We made good distance in the 10 hours that we walked, putting in some extra time to cross an open lead at the end of the day. It was about 30 metres wide. We had to swim and break the ice, more or less using the pulks as battering rams and swimming behind them. It took us half an hour and was pretty exhausting. As we stood there on the other side looking back, we thought how strange it was that after almost exactly 9 hours, we’ve come to challenging leads each of the last three days out on the ice. This one, however, was narrower and much easier to cross.

The ice has been good to us today, and the weather relatively mild, only –20?C. The skis and pulks glide well. We can really feel the beneficial effect of taking the Sunday off; even though we had an exceptionally long day, we were not tired. And it helps with solid rations – we’re no longer thinking about restaurants the whole time. All in all we’re pleased with today’s progress.

We needed that. The gruelling start of our expedition came as quite a shock to us, and really threw us off schedule. Nevertheless we never lost faith in our ability to reach our goal, and still believe we can reach the North Pole in winter. Time is short, however – and we have to cross 700 km of ice during the next 40 days. Of course there is always a risk of unforeseen incidents, but I am convinced we’re going to make it.

Today we’ve been out on the ice for 30 days. Tomorrow we’re pressing further north, closer to N84?.



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