Posts in category North Pole Last Degree 2013
Another nice day with fantastic weather.
The two remaining of this years team headed back to Barneo last night after another beautiful day with sunshine and almost no wind.
This late in April, you can feel the rays from the sun, and even if it is more than 20 below, a sheltered spot in the pack ice can be warm and cosy. Days like these are great, skiing at your own phase with no specific goal, picturing in your head that you are walking at the top of the globe with more than 4000 metres deep water under your heels.
The plan was to catch the evening flight back to Longyear, where the rest of the team was waiting. We haven't heard from them yet this morning, presuming that they all had great party last night. Eivind sent some of his shots from the trip, which we post here today.
Temperatures rises quickly towards the end of April, and the two will be on one of the last planes out of Barneo Ice station this season, which closes on the 22nd of April. Recent years the base has been closing earlier and earlier, due to the rise of temperature, thus the ice conditions gets too unstable - in other words; the season is short and hectic.
As already mentioned, we measure snow deptht and ice thickness along the route. Also this year this is part of the daily do's on the way towards the North Pole, and while on the ice. This is something we do for the Norwegian Polar Institute, as a part of their climate change research programme in the Arctic. They have also set adrift a 20 kg satelite buoy which will conduct measurements to help the scientist understanding more of whats happening in the Arctic.
These two photos Bengt sent yesterday, and we are eager to see more! It will be come... stay with us.
They reached the Pole!
Yesterday evening, after an already long day dodging leads and sometimes heavy pack-ice, the team pitched tent for dinner and agree on the strategy forward. They were only 8 km from the Pole, but if they went to bed and continued the day after, they would have drifted past it.
The drift the last days has been around 5-600 metres an hour, yesterday mostly to the east, which from their position gradually would have carried them further and further away from the North Pole. This would then have resulted in walking against the drift the day after.
So the decision was easy; Something to eat and then pushing for the Pole. During the night they made it, barely. The Pole was only one metre from a huge lead of open water!
But they did it, and after the photo session it was time to celebrate in the tent. North Pole cake of various sorts, whiskey and cognac was mentioned, and then a good and well deserved sleep.
What has happened today is still a bit unclear, but Bengt called in and said they could be picked up and flewn back to Barneo and further to Longyearbyen on an evening flight. As far as I know Terry and Eivind have said yes to this offer, while Bryony and Bengt will keep on skiing until the scheduled flight on the 21st.
Reaching the Pole is of course important, so the focus has up to now been fixed at this goal. It is however often in the days after, just skiing and exploring in the ice with no real goal, one gets the best photos and video.
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DAY 4 - Another day with temperatures at -30. The wind is making it feel rather chilly, but as there is snow on the ground, the air is drier and it is just like walking in a fairytail with the sun and the light shining in the pack-ice and pressure ridges. Beautiful.
They had a long break in the middle of the day, as some skins were falling off. They warmed up the skies and managed to solve it.
The team set camp at 7PM.
Todays distance 18 km
Their position N 89° 43,8’ / E 150° 14’ – 30 km remaining to reach the North Pole.View 1 comments
Started out really chilly and windy, with temperatures at around -30, it was the coldest day so far. After a while the wind dropped, so the drift, and eventually it became clear and beautiful weather.
Some rough ice and even a big lead made the day.. Exciting. The lead was almost 200 m wide with open water in it, making it impossible to cross it. Shifting the course more east, they had to walk in a north-easterly direction for almost 5 km before they found a way to cross.
They set camp at N 89° 32' / E 151° 15'
As part of our cooperation with the Norwegian Polar Institute, the team is measuring the ice every day, and writing reports, to give a picture of the ice-conditions this year. This is something we do every year, in order to give the Polar Institute the information they need for their statistics.
Bengt & the Team
Day 2 - Waking up to a complete whiteout, realising they had moved almost 4 km during the night, thanks to the strong drift. Good thing the wind direction had changed as the drift would have taken them too far down, if not.
Skied about 16,6 km in mostly good ice conditions. They had to get across some pack-ice, a bit of climbing, but nothing too much for them to deal with.
Bryony, Eivind and Terry make a strong and positive team! Everything is ok.
They set camp at N 89° 42’/ E 144° 33’
DAY 1 - Bengt’s team, Bryony, Eivind and Terry, started off early leaving Lonyearbyen at 6 AM in the morning. After only a couple of hours at the ice camp - Barneo, they were ready and flewn out with the MI-8 helicopter, dropped off at their starting position.
After some 6 hours and they had covered a distance of about 10 km, and were ready to set camp after what had been a good and long day.
- It is about 90 km away….
We are in Longyearbyen now. Terry and I (Bengt) are preparing the food for the expedition.
Eivind and Bryony should have landed just now. We expect Børge, Nigel and Mark to be here tomorrow.
Weather is just beautiful - Sunny with temperature -20.