Won over the big lead, new record – 20,3 km

Published 18.04 in category Last Degree Expedition 2006, North Pole 2006

Hi it’s Svante again, 18th of April. After a delicious porridge breakfast, we started on a very difficult task. When we came to the large lead, we saw that yesterday’s reconnaissance was in vain. The lead had widened another 50 meter and become frighten large. We had to ski along the lead for a whole hour before we managed to find a crossing point and could continue our journey northwards. Weather has been great however, with sun, clear sky and minus 20C.

The group this year is somewhat special with 54 years between the youngest and the oldest participants. Jordan is 15 (Scotland) and John is 69 (Ireland), it’s nice to see how the rest of the group look after them and how they all work together. Today we also sneaked across a newly frozen lead on thin ice. Thin salt water ice is different from freshwater ice, and it actually bends and moves up and down when we ski on it. Salt water ice becomes soft because of the salt, but at the same time it’s strong, at least in temperatures like now. We can assure everyone that we do not take any unnecessary risks and we always check the ice with our ski poles all the way across, knowing that ice thickness can vary across such leads.

Apart from the big lead, conditions have been good, and we made a new record with 20,3 kilometres. It’s now only 26 kilometres to the Pole so this goes like butter. We are quite tired after the long day, but this year’s group is strong and all are in remarkably good shape. Obviously people have taken the task seriously and put in a bit of training beforehand, that always helps. No news from the Boyarsky team yet, they wanted to be lifted closer to the Pole with helicopter, but we don’t know yet. That’s all for today, will be back with more tomorrow.

2 comments to Won over the big lead, new record – 20,3 km2

  • Reply

    Ed  /  April 19, 2006

    Hi Svante,

    Thank you so much for making mention of Boyarsky’s team. I hope they stay safe and get to the pole somehow.

    Thanks for the info on salt water ice. I’ve been wondering how ice can be described as “rubbery”!!

    Great to hear you guys are making good progress. Keep it up! Can’t wait till you guys get to the Pole. Would be nice to have Jordan make the youngest boy record and inspire kids all around. Ed.

  • Reply

    Martin Byrne  /  April 19, 2006

    Just a note to wish you all well on this bonkers trip. When Mick told us where he was going we though he had finally lost it. It’s must be a great sense of achievement. Good luck with the rest of it and pass on our love to Mick, and hope the arm is doing ok!

    Martin & Fidelma xx

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