All teams reported good progress today as their systems become more refined. The learning curve can be steep in terms of camp set-up and breakdown, maximizing travel efficiency, maintaining good body temperature, etc. Typically, each day on the trail gets more efficient.
We've heard from each of the teams today and their dispatches are posted below.
The Last Degree Ski Expedition team is at 89°11.431 N, 165°55.777 E. They traveled 10 miles north today- an excellent start for first tull day of travel. The reported winds around 15 mph and temperature around -30° C...
Today our ski and dogsled expeditions met at 8:30 AM and transferred to the airport only to have the flight called off due to low visibility at Barneo. Our experienced team of expeditions took the delay in stride, knowing that delays are often part of the expedition experience. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing day in Longyearbyen and they await the next chance to fly tomorrow at 10 am. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather allows for the flight!
It was a busy day in Longyearbyen with our two ski teams and one dogsled team doing final preparations for their expeditions. They finalized their kits, organized their meals, packed the pulks and dogsleds and sent everything off to the airport for pre-loading of the plane.
Today was a wonderful day all around. We have a team sleeping at the North Pole after skiing a short distance (special congratulations to 5 year old Gwendal Hauser for skiing almost 3 kilometers!). They report beautiful weather with sunny skies, -25 C temperatures and no wind. When they called in they were just wrapping up a fondue dinner with both cheese and chocolate fondue.
Today we welcome back our Polar Shakedown team who spent the last three days "on the land" preparing for their expedition. They had a great time practicing their daily routines and getting ready for their departure on April 11. They had temperatures ranging from -15 C to -20 C and enough wind to make them appreciate their face masks. Everyone did a great job. Right now we are all enjoying a hearty well-deserved meal. The favorite dish is the reindeer burger. They will sleep well tonight!
Our first team, the North Pole Flight Expedition has reached the North Pole and they report it was a beautiful day. After departing Longyearbyen this morning on board a charter flight they reached the Barneo Basecamp, a temporary camp with runway located approximately 70 kilometers from the North Pole. From there they took advantage of the good weather and flew a helicopter the remaining distance to the North Pole.
It's been a sunny day in Spitsbergen and we are enjoying the beauty of this incredible island. The last couple of days have been busy with the arrivals of our team members including all of our last degree skiers who are currently on their Polar Shakedown Training.
The Wilmette Life, A Chicago Sun-Times Publication
By Jackie Pilossoph
WILMETTE — Just off the beaten path in downtown Wilmette sits a yellow house marked by a totem pole and two signs that read "Polar Explorers" and "The Northwest Passage."
By LEN GILLIS
Dale Shippam, a Timmins native, is today preparing for his ski trip to the South Pole as part of a Canadian team to show the importance of how organ donors can save the lives of others.
Antarctica: Way South on Skis
2011 Tours of a Lifetime
By Margaret Loftus
New this year; physically challenging
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's arrival in the South Pole on December 14, 1911, by skiing