Our guides are busy cleaning, sorting and organizing gear for next year. And there is a LOT of gear! Not to mention catching up on sleep as especially the last few days of their expedition were anything but restful!
The highlight of the day was participating in the March for Science in Longyearbyen. They joined with the Norwegian Polar Institute, UNIS (the University Centre of Svalbard), local residents of Longyearbyen and others to march down the main street of Longyearbyen and through the pedestrian mall to a gathering where they listened to presentations on the importance of science in our lives and policy. It was dramatic to take part in this event in an area that has been so dramatically altered by climate change.
The landscape and polar pack ice are changing significantly and it is important for science to tell us why. Our teams experienced significant changes this year. One example was having to use ice screws to set up their camps each night whereas in the past they were able to use ice stakes and skis. There was not enough snow pack this year which is an indication that they were on much younger ice. There is less and less multi-year ice so it is more susceptible to disappear each summer. Tom Skilling, THE weather guru in Chicago, has called the Arctic our "canary in the coal mine".
See photos from the march below.
We would like to give a final shout out to all of our team members this year and congratulate all on a job extraordinarily well done!! So very proud of each and every one of you!
Last Degree Ski Team Members
Muhammad (Boiy) Irwan
Muqharabbin (Qobin) Mokhtarrudin
Led by guides extraordinaire:
10 Km Ski Team Members:
Karen (Clark) Ashton
David (Chimu) McGrain
Led by Nancy Moundalexis
North Pole Fliers with Overnight Barneo:
Led by Rick Sweitzer
And and extra special shout-out to our newest official members of our "Bi-Polar Club" (they have now been to both the North and South Poles with PolarExplorers):
Photos from today's March for Science in Longyearbyen: