The North Pole flight team flew this morning from Longyearbyen to Barneo, then on to the North Pole! They had a great celebration and spent quite a long time at the Pole, taking photos, drinking champagne and Aurora Borealis and soaking in the stark beauty of being at the top of the world. They returned to Barneo for the overnight and were treated to special performances by a rock band of locals from Longyearbyen.
The ski teams spent the day packing up all their gear and sleds, taking them to the airport for the weigh in to get them loaded on the Antonov to head to Barneo on the morning flight tomorrow. The teams will fly on the afternoon flight around 5 PM.
Driving the sleds to the airport, the teams saw this seal on an ice floe
The flight to Barneo takes about 2.5 hours so they hope to be able to hit the trail for a short time in the evening probably starting around 10 PM, maybe earlier. They hope to ski a few kilometers, make camp and be ready to start their expeditions in earnest the following day. They are all very eager to get going for real. Each team is to choose a name- most are still working on that challenge but Chris and Taylor's team have chosen "Cool Running".
Listen to today's audio updates from the teams (or read the transcriptions if on a mobile device)
Hi my name is Jim Holliday. I'm with the PolarExplorers Last Degree Expedition. We're currently in Longyearbyen making final preparations for leaving for the North Pole tomorrow. Today we packed our sleds up, loaded all our gear, did a check out of our ski equipment and this evening we are having our team dinner in preparation for leaving tomorrow. Everybody's in great spirits. We're all healthy and strong. We're chomping at the bit wanting to get on the ice. We're tentatively going to fly tomorrow at 5 in the evening and arrive probably somewhere between 7:30 and 8 o'clock in the evening at Barneo, and then we'll decide at that point what we'll be able to do. I’d like to make a shout out to friends and colleagues at the Bettis and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory especially my friends Karen, Eric, Cindy and Vince and our friends and colleagues at the Bettis and Brentwood Volunteer Fire Company. Friends Deanne, Jill and Louise. Thank you all for thinking and sending good thoughts and prayers our way and continue to do that for us. We would really appreciate it. Thank you.
Hey, it's Chris Paustian calling in for the Last Degree Team of me, Taylor Qobin, Shahrom, Boiy and Dexter. I think we decided to go by “Team Cool Running” so that will be us from here on out- Cool Running. This was our last full day in town here in lovely Longyearbyen. We packed up all our sleds today and drove them out to the airport where they'll be loaded onto the Antonov and flown up to Barneo on tomorrow morning’s early flight and on the afternoon flight, which we will be on, we think we'll be departing here about 4 or 5 p.m.. And it'll be about 2 1/2 hours on up to the ice cap and hopefully we're able to hit the trail by about 10 for a little while, and then the next day, we start the trip in earnest and make our way up to north until there's no more north to go, on up to the Pole. So we're super excited. We can't wait to get out of town and and get moving, we've been here long enough. And yeah, we're all just jazzing and all good feelings here. Thanks so much for following along and someone else will call in for us tonight. You guys have heard enough from me. Bye.