Icetrek North Pole Ski 2017

Apr 05

on the ice

Published at 19:33
Dispatch created from email
We didn't depart on the Antonov flight from Longyearbyen until 12.30am, together with 4 other teams, all skiing a last degree to the North Pole. Sleep on the cramped and noisy plane was impossible and our 3am arrival was immediately followed by unloading, filling fuel bottles, briefings and loading onto helicopters.

We landed at 89 North at 6am with no sleep and decided to ski, covering a respectable 12km in 4 hours. 3km/h is rare on the Arctic Ocean. But after the first honeymoon hour we started to feel the sub-30c cold, the loads and the transverse sastrugi that stymied a rhythmic advance. We stopped at 12 and I immediately peeled John's accreted shell jacket from his inner fleece. He'd been travelling too warmly, tomorrow we'll make some adjustments to decrease icing up.

After camping an afternoon snooze came easily, to me at least, and we're now enjoying a post-dinner hot chocolate.

First day done! Couldn't be happier.

Happy Birthday Billie! Sorry your uncle is always on the ice.


Pics of John and I with the Antonov ad Longyearbyen airport, John skiing past an ice block, duo selfie and John drying out in the tent.

  • Name: Camp 1
  • Elevation: 1 m
  • Latitude: 89° 79North
  • Longitude: 135° 4027East


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    2017-04-05 23:31:13 Mt Creek Tas says: As always, stay safe Eric, have a good trip, hopefully you don't need those rifles ;) on the skidoos? Mt creek Hobart
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    2017-04-05 23:22:55 Hector says: Safe Travels John and Eric...what an amazing adventure! Please put in a good word for me when you see Santa Clause.
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    2017-04-05 23:17:54 Hans says: Well done old man. As per LOEG agreement i am closest and designated party to come should alcoholic beverages run low! For gods sake stay safe and warm
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    2017-04-05 21:59:37 JEN says: Well done on your first day!! It looks amazing and I wish we were with you! Keep warm and make sure you get some sleep. Thinking of you guys constantly. Be safe. Love you dad xoxo
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    2017-04-05 21:37:33 Tim says: You're doing an amazing job Dad! Stay safe. Rest up. Enjoy the journey! Sending lots of love. Tim
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    2017-04-05 20:56:53 Dean says: I wish I was with you guys - being back in the office after a fortnight in the Arctic really sucks!
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    2017-04-05 20:52:31 jake says: Well done despite the delay!! Please watch that over-heating and rest as much as possible between skiing!! Stay safe and warm! May the ice be with you - towards the Pole. xox
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    2017-04-05 19:46:01 Keith says: Gee I miss that place! That first day is simply awesome. Enjoy the trip and I hope you travel over 1km overnight as you sleep ... (towards the Pole!)

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