The team successfully reached the Grimsfall Hut today after 10 long hours of travel! They started at 8:45 AM and arrived at 6:45 PM. They traveled 28 km in a series of 6 pushes with 15 minute breaks in between each push. Though a long day, they were on a mission to reach the hut. Everyone is obviously very pumped and excited that they reached their goal! (Click on today's blog title to see the full dispatch including audio update)
The team was picked up at their hotel in Reykjavik at 5 AM today to drive to the glacier. They traveled for about 6 hours to Jokulheimar where they ran into a river that they weren't able to cross due to high water levels. They found a protected spot to camp about 1.5-2 km from the edge of the glacier. They were glad to find a protected area as the forecast is for gale force winds tonight. (Click on today's blog title to see the full dispatch including audio update)
The expedition begins! The team met in Reykjavik and spent the day reviewing their kit, practicing making camp, discussing their daily itinerary and getting to know one another. When they phoned in, they were getting ready to head out for dinner and their official welcome festivities. They are excited to be heading out early in the morning for Jokulheimar on the western edge of Vatnajökull.
Stay tuned for updates from the trail.
Want to join our 2018 Vatnajökull Expedition? Read more about it here.
Our guide team of Annie and Eric are off to Iceland to prepare for our crossing of the Vatnajökull Icecap.
The team will be on the trail for nine days, giving regular updates along the way. Follow along for stories and pictures from the land of fire and ice!
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.
Welcome back to Terra Firma!!! Wish we had been able to be there at the Longyearbyen airport as official welcoming committee for our most amazing North Pole team members and guides! We (representing all of us around the globe following your epic exploits) are so extremely proud of each and every one of you!!! Hoping you felt all the positive Polar energy that has been coming at you for the last week, getting stronger in the last few as you faced your biggest challenges.
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO SUPER COMBINED TEAM (aka Team Cool Running/Team Polaris/Maniacs/Car Ramrod) made up of Qobin, Shahrom, Boiy, Dexter, Jim, Dean, Pia, Tamas, Mike & Joel led by super guides Annie, Eric, CP and Taylor!!! They reached the Pole at 5:15 PM Norwegian time after an epic journey. What an awesome birthday present to Qobin turning 35 today and to Mike's daughter Lauren turning 5 today!! They displayed amazing determination and drive to not be thwarted by the massive open water, putting one ski in front of the other all night and all day till they reached their goal. They are obviously exhausted but elated!
The helicopters will be picking all the teams up in about 1.5 hours and shuttling them back to Barneo. They will then board the Antonov straight away and head back to Longyearbyen, anticipating arriving around midnight tonight.
Major kudos to all team members!!
Listen to the audio updates below (transcriptions to be added shortly)
TEAM YELLOW JUST CALLED IN FROM THE NORTH POLE!!!!
A very hard won victory, making the prize that much sweeter. The team of Niall, Patrick (Patch), Henry, Martin, Lindsay, Mark, Keith and Andrew is knackered but very, very happy! They traveled for 7.5 hours, searching and searching for a way to get around this massive lead which was more like a lake. They finally found a small pinch area and guides Keith Heger and Andrew Leary built an ice bridge. They carefully assisted each team member cross to solid enough ice to finally head North to the Pole. The accomplishment is especially appreciated by team member Niall Carton from the UK traveling with his 15 y.o. son Patrick.
Super Combined Team just phoned in. They are at N 89° 58.006, E 119° 23. They have met up with Team Yellow, confronting the same large lead lying between the teams and the Pole. Team Yellow has been seeking an end to this lead since their last check in. They have been camped here for several hours and are now ready to hit the trail again, determined to find a way to the Pole if at all possible. Super Combined Team (who have now dubbed themselves Cool Running/Maniacs/Car Ramrod- still having a sense of humor!) will rest for a while, then head out again. All are still safe and focused on their mission. We will keep you posted whenever further word comes in. Knowing they have family, friends and followers all over the world in many different time zones, please continue to send out positive Polar energy to help them reach their goal!
The teams just called in with an update, but it won't be the last one of the day... All teams are on a mission to reach the North Pole! There have been no further signs of bear- no tracks, no bears- great news! Current positions are: Team Yellow N 89° 57.30, East 111° 58 Super Combined Team N 89° 53.9, East 110° 58. Team Yellow has been confronted by a large lead so they are heading East in hopes of finding a way around it and making the last 2.5 nautical miles to the Pole.