A HUGE congratulations (!!) to our North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition for reaching the North Pole today despite very challenging conditions. They reached the North Pole at 8:53 PM local time after spending 12 hours on the go and covering a total of 15-16 miles. The team (Abdullah Alsaeed, Peter Cardwell, Abdulla Al Alahbabi, Zdenek Chvoj, Harvey Oyer and Keith Heger) are thrilled to have reached their goal. Here's a quick update of their day:
They awoke to warmer weather (they estimate around +5 degree F) and poor visibility of only 1/2 mile. They had "the worst rubble of the entire trip" for the last 10 miles of todays difficult push. That is a LONG distance of pulling over bumps and blocks - and extremely tiring. They made 9 or 10 pushes over the course of the day with short breaks in between each march. These 10 minute breaks are vital for staying hydrated and energized, especially on such a long day. Their plan is to check in with the basecamp at 9 AM tomorrow. They hope to get picked up by helicopter, brought back to the Barneo Basecamp and then return to Longyearbyen. Our fingers are crossed, though any number of factors could prevent that from happening. Tonight they are fast asleep - with grins on their faces no doubt :) Happy to be done skiing and very proud of their achievement.
Listen to today's audio dispatch from the team and check back again tomorrow for an update and hopefully some photos!
Below: The North Pole!