Welcome to our Expedition Update page. Click on the blog title to access the full dispatch. To see dispatches from a specific expedition select it from the list on your right. To browse through all the latest updates from all current expeditions scroll down. Enjoy!

Monday, 12 December 2016 21:34

In a holding pattern

The team is still in a holding pattern to make the flight to the South Pole, but they are not idle. Today the group was given a tour of the Novolazarevskaya Station. Their tour guide was an Astrophysicist, and he took them to every corner of the base. 

The "Novo" Antarctic Research station is located at Schirmacher OasisQueen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast, from which it is separated by Lazarev Ice Shelf. It was opened on January 18, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. The maximum summer population is 70.

The team will be going back to the station tonight to oserve the launching of a weather baloon. 

  

The team arrived back in Reykjavik this afternoon, looking forward to their final celebration dinner.  More showers ("hand sanitizer only goes so far" was overheard from one of the group), drying out clothing and gear, sleeping on a mattress, eating real food... all most appreciated and very well deserved.  Huge congratulations to all team members!!  We'll let them speak for themselves on their accomplishments and wish everyone safe travels home, till their next adventure!  Thanks to all for following along and we look forward to seeing you on another expedition! If you think you might enjoy this expedition for yourself why not join our 2018 team? Read more here

 

The team's current location is N 64° 14.737, W 016° 53.195. They had great weather today with minimal wind in the morning, then calm the remainder of the day. The temperature was around 20° F (by the way, yesterday's "below zero" temp was Celcius- it was around -10°C (14° F) whereas today was -6.7° C, 20° F). A lot of the day was downhill with areas large enough to sled down on their sleds (a bit of team competition arose per Eric Rutherford's audio update below...). They traveled 28 km in total. They enjoyed their dinner outside and had a fabulous evening. They reported clear skies with sunny views. They are well rested and ready for tomorrow.

Inside the Grimsfjall Hut on Vatnajokull

Cozy in the hut

Our outdoor kitchen on Vatnajokull

Eric sitting in the outdoor kitchen

Eric Rutherford's audio update for those following on mobile devices:
Hello, this is Eric Rutherford from the Polar Exploration Iceland Expedition. May 19th about 8:30. We left the Grimsfall Hut this morning around 9:45. We had a super fantastic day. This morning, I raced my friend Rob. We got on the sleds and were laughing like little kids. And then we had a beautiful day. We drank a lot and couldn't ask for a better time. May 19, 2017. We did about 28 km. Thank you\

Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

 

The expedition begins!  The team met in Reykjavik and spent the day reviewing their kit, practicing making camp, discussing their daily itinerary and getting to know one another.   When they phoned in, they were getting ready to head out for dinner and their official welcome festivities.  They are excited to be heading out early in the morning for Jokulheimar on the western edge of Vatnajökull.

Stay tuned for updates from the trail.

Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

The team awoke to hard driving rain which started around 4 AM and did not let up all day.  They broke camp around 8 AM and had an extremely challenging day descending the glacier in the driving rain.  They were only able to ski for the first 200 metres, then had to switch to walking.  The first 2 hours they had snow, then it changed to bare ice for the remainder of the descent.  The conditions were such that their sleds were either sliding ahead of them or hitting them in the ankles.  If they put the brake on the sled, it would get stuck in the ice or cause so much friction that it was nearly impossible to maneuver.  They were able to enjoy some incredible landscape, having a lateral moraine on their right for much of the descent and seeing a number of moulins (a moulin or glacier mill is a roughly circular, vertical to nearly vertical well-like shaft within a glacier or ice sheet which water enters from the surface. The term is derived from the French word for mill, per Wikipedia)  Everything and everyone was soaking wet- whenever the sleds tipped over, water poured out.  Imagine trying to control a water filled sled on solid ice on a steep descent while trying to maintain one's own balance...   Needless to say, when they reached the bottom, everyone was absolutely elated- as well they should be!!  

They were picked up near the bottom of the glacier and had a spectacular 4 wheel drive from the edge of the glacier onto Highway 1.  When they reached their lodging, everyone thoroughly enjoyed a hot shower and a celebratory dinner.  Their rooms are draped with soaking wet clothing on every available surface and hanging area.  The theme for the day was "wet, slippery and exciting"!  They were too tired to call in an audio update for the blog but promise that they will leave a group update tomorrow so be sure to check back.

The forecast for tomorrow is for more rain...  But they'll be getting a protected ride to Reykjavik for their final night of well deserved celebration before heading home.

The last day of our ski trek across Vatnajökull

The photo does not capture the driving sheets of rain but does give a sense of the challenging conditions

Skiing down the last bit of Vatnajokull Glacier

Eric Rutherford's smile definitely captures the sense of accomplishment!

Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

Our guide team of Annie and Eric are off to Iceland to prepare for our crossing of the Vatnajökull Icecap.

The team will be on the trail for nine days, giving regular updates along the way. Follow along for stories and pictures from the land of fire and ice!

Camping on Vatnajokull

Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.

Page 1 of 11

Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328


Email Us
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

Blog Posts by Date

« June 2017 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

Select Language

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
Facebook Twitter YouTube Vimeo

Looking for Something?

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletters