The teams reported another great day of travel with bright blue skies, nice open pans of ice, some areas of rubble but very manageable, minimal wind, and cold temps (-25°). Team Yellow led by Keith & Andrew is at N 89° 44, E 102°. Super Combined Team (Cool Running and Polaris) is at N 89° 41.6, E 111°. They did not run across any significant leads- a few cracks in the ice where they could look down at the water but they were only 4-6" wide.
Love this kind of traveling! (photo from a previous expedition)
Guide Taylor Sweitzer from Team Cool Running observed Arctic fox tracks along the way. Team Yellow also observed Arctic fox tracks a short distance before camp. But no sign of bear all through the night and all through the day which was a great relief! Obviously, they are all being extremely vigilant and will continue to be. They are hoping for a more restful night tonight. Both teams are drifting north which is a blessing. Few things are more frustrating than the "Arctic treadmill" when southerly drift makes you lose all the forward momentum you make. It's so disheartening to wake up in the morning to have lost everything you worked so hard for the previous day! But now, the teams are actually gaining a bit of ground overnight and can only hope that will continue.
Toward the end of the day, the clouds moved in and there was little contrast, making travel more challenging. Hoping the skies will clear again by morning.
"Super Combined Team" were in such great spirits they decided to play a prank on lead guide CP. What's wrong with this picture???
Not sure how many miles CP skied before he realized his sled had gained A LOT OF WEIGHT!!! But knowing CP, it could have been miles and miles...
Listen (or read) the audio updates from both teams below:
Hello friends, family and followers. This is Eric calling in from the North Pole last degree Super Combined Team. We are sitting at just over 18 nautical miles away from the North Pole. And I am happy to report that we have not seen any additional sign of polar bear since two nights ago. We did set up a watch around camp last night so we had people awake throughout the night making sure that, if we did have another encounter, we would know about it. We had a beautiful day today. We covered 10 nautical miles toward the Pole and we are snuggling in for hopefully the first really good night’s rest in a few days. So thanks a lot for following along and we will see you at the Pole in probably a couple of days!
Hi, it's Niall here from Team Yellow just checking in on Tuesday evening. Apologies we missed Monday, but we were a little busy. As most of you will know by now, we had a visit in the camp on Sunday night 3:30 AM from a polar bear which we heard walking around the camp. Luckily we woke up and Keith fired the weapon and the bear ran off. We managed to get 3 photographs of him running away- quite an exciting night. Last night we set up camp in a kind of defensive position, and we all took watches. Tonight we're doing the same. We've made very, very good progress over the last 2 days. We've made 20 nautical miles. We're now around 16 nautical miles from the North Pole, and we hope, weather permitting and ice conditions staying good, that we should be able to make the Pole by Thursday. So that's it for me, and talk to you again tomorrow. Bye-bye.