The North Pole is the ultimate adventure.
To walk in the footsteps of the legendary explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Robert Peary and to know the same desire of exploration is truly the thrill of a lifetime. You will traverse the Arctic Ocean as you navigate pulling your sled through open leads, pressure ridges, cold and amazing scenery. As Amundsen, André and Byrd did, we will use Svalbard as our springboard to reach the TOP OF THE WORLD.
This Expedition is not for the faint-hearted. Sleds will be heavy, conditions difficult, ski days will be long and homemade cooking limited! You will however, learn more, challenge yourself to the fullest, and take more from this journey than that from any other experience. The Last Degree Expedition is for those who wish to experience the whole gamut of sensations that fill a ski journey to the North Pole. The number of days spent on the ice will be 8 – 9, and everyone will haul their own sledge of personal gear together with their share of the expedition equipment. Each night will be spent in tents and everyone will help with the work necessary to complete the expedition. One of my aims for the trip is to give others the chance to encounter the extraordinary and dramatic scenery of the far north, and we will have time enough to get the genuine feel of the Arctic Ocean .
Departure from Longyearbyen, Norway. The plane will be a Russian Antonov 74. This is a short-runway jet with a carrying capacity of around thirty people. We will land at “Barneo” (a drifting Russian ice-station set up in advance each year) situated at about 89 degrees North. Barneo is re-established each year by Russian staff from Khatanga in Siberia. Because thick, frozen leads are used for the runway, the position of Barneo varies from year to year. Three hours after leaving Longyearbyen we will land at Barneo. Time of arrival into Barneo and weather conditions permitting we plan to set out from the base that same day. This allows us to get out into the pack-ice and into our routines without further delay.
The final degree of latitude spans roughly 110 kilometers from the 89th parallel to the Geographic Nor th Pole. The first couple of days will be heavy going. Gradually our bodies will acclimatize and we will adapt to the conditions and terrain and our speed and distance covered each day will increase.
Once we reach the pole, we will be picked up in a MI-8 helicopter. We will have a little over a week to reach the pole. Past expeditions show that this is adequate to cover the last degree on skies. However, as ice conditions vary from year to year, it is important to have a safety margin. We will probably have one day in hand before pick up, depending on when we reach the North Pole.
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