Friday, 14 April 2017 15:22

North Pole Flight - Reflections about the trip; North Pole Last Degree - Heading out

A day of comings and goings... the North Pole flight team return to Longyearbyen from Barneo today and reflect on the experience of standing at the top of the world.  The ski teams have taken off from Longyearbyen, heading to Barneo. 

Boarding the Antonov in Longyearbyen, next stop Barneo.

Flight to the North Pole, departing Longyearbyen

Once they reach Barneo, they will most likely sort their kit and ski for a few kilometers before making camp.  As they will be quite busy, they may or may not call in again this evening.  If they do, the blog will be updated.  In the meantime, listen to (or read) the reflections from the North Pole fliers and the excitement of some of the ski team members below.

Combined ski teams dinner in Longyearbyen

North Pole Flight 2017 team

Eric, Annie, Jim, Dean, Pia, Tamas, Mike and Joel

North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition team


Chris Harrop I’m with PolarExplorers.   We're just about to leave Barneo 89 degrees North Yesterday (we came in) on the same plane and at 3 o'clock we took off in a helicopter for about a 45 minute journey to the North Pole, flying over broken ice with leads and ice compressions.  When we got to the Pole, we were about ½ mile from the actual 90°.  We got off and had a fantastic walk around.  Everybody had GPS’s as we were all looking for 90°.  Suddenly the cheer went up as everybody started to find 90°.  And then it was such a disappointment as we lost 90° cause the ice was moving so fast.  Found it again and we all took out flags, took photographs, and then Rick and the great guys from PolarExplorers got out the Polar champagne and vodka, we had a toast and more photos and a chance to explore.   Absolutely glorious day.  Full sunshine.  Everywhere we looked was south.  Standing right on the top of the world looking down south everywhere.  Then back on the helicopter and back to Barneo.  So from 90° back down to 89°.  And then this morning, we got to walk around and had a good chat from the guys at Barneo about how the ice camp was formed, how it is created, how long it’s open for.  We saw some of the Russian military leave for some of their activities.  And now we’re back on the plane just about ready to go back down to Svalbard.  A fantastic trip and a HUGE thank you to everybody at PolarExplorers.

Yes, hi, this is Bill McCarthy. I'm just about to leave ice camp Barneo about 70 kilometers south of the North Pole. I just completed my journey with PolarExplorers to the North Pole.  Earlier in January, I went with PolarExplorers to the South Pole, so I'm now officially bipolar all in the good sense.  PolarExplorers have looked after us very, very well and are very detail focused and oriented.  The North Pole and South Pole are very different but very connected obviously. The trip up here was very enjoyable.  The ice camp with the Russian hosts is very, very rural. It's not the Four Seasons, but you wouldn't expect that.   I’ve enjoyed the time up here very, very much. I don't think you can do any better clearer thinking than if you're at one end of the earth or the other.  So it's been a great experience, and I've enjoyed it, and I would encourage anybody who's thought about something like this before, to think it through. I'm an endorser now of PolarExplorers because they gave me good value.  That’s their plug, they’ve earned it.  But again you do this type of trip for yourself so I hope anybody who is thinking about it, give it a really hard think.  You won’t regret it.  Thank you and good bye from Barneo just south of the North Pole.  Bye.

Hi, my name is Stuart Clark. I'm calling on behalf of myself and my family, my sister Karen and my father Alan.  We’re currently in Svalbard waiting for our flight to go up to Barneo for our North Pole expedition.  A mixture of nerves and excitement feeling pretty sick but kind of desperate to get there at the same time- it’s quite a hard feeling to put into words.  But first of all, we did this incredible thing yesterday which was a snowmobile safari on ski-doos and you head off from Longyearbyen about 80 kilometers to the east side of the island, Spitsbergen, looking for polar bears.  On the way you cut in between all of these gorgeous valleys and fjords, and then you drive up onto the glacier and follow it all the way to its edge which is where the sea ice begins, and it's something we've never seen before in real life, and it's just the most spectacular thing, virtually impossible to be able to be able to photograph or film in a way that shows its magnitude and its scale.  The guides were fantastic, really knowledgeable, but also really fun cause these ski-doos are serious bits of kick and they’ve got mega power and I think as the day went on and they saw we were all fairly good on them, they let you have a bit of fun and open them up.  It’s kind of like being on a jet ski, and you feel like you can’t hurt yourself, but if you went off you'd be in serious trouble. You could almost kind of half-pipe through the valleys on the way back, cutting up the sides and then curling down, and there's lots of a little jumps you can take on as well. Coming in the opposite way because it’s the holiday weekend, we could see all sorts of families, local families driving themselves out into the wilderness with guns and food and the kids to set up camp and spend the weekend out there which is just so epic. Other than that, yeah, we're here waiting, very anxious and desperate to get going really.  Hoping for good weather and can’t wait to experience something as amazing as getting to the Pole.  If you’re listening to this, come here. It's an amazing place and ciao for now. See you next time.

Hey, this is Keith Heger with the team of Martin and Mark, Niall, Patch, Henry, Andrew and myself.  That noise in the background is the Antonov.  The next time you hear from us we will be on the Arctic Ocean.  Stay tuned for more.

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 December 2017 20:42

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