Eric Philips: "It was a very technically challenging expedition and many of the mechanical items we brought with us to complete the original capsule deployment failed, such is the nature of this extreme environment.. [...] Equipment fails up here, regularly, and that's reason enough to ban oil drilling where the consequences of a systems failure could mean catastrophic damage to this fragile environment."
courtesy Greenpeace, SOURCE
"At the North Pole we cut a hole in the ice and manually lowered a glass and titanium pod to the seabed."
courtesy Grenpeace, SOURCE
Eric: "If only I could be around in 50 or so years when the capsule is released and eventually found."
Image by Eric Philips courtesy Eric Philips, SOURCE
"This year a team of 16 made up of young ambassadors, Greenpeace campaigners and specialists, film-makers and photographers and guides skied for 5 days towards the North Pole, experiencing first-hand both the brutality and beauty of the Arctic Ocean.
Image by Eric Philips courtesy Eric philips, SOURCE
The team was tent bounded just north of ‘Polar Bear Pass’, a polar bear migratory route.
Image by Gavin Bate courtesy Gavin Bate, SOURCE
Sarmilla Rai and the school children that she teaches. She is just one of Gavin Bate's Moving Mountains' many beneficiaries.
courtesy Gavin Bate, SOURCE
Greenpeace time capsule and flag lowered at the North Pole

Posted: Apr 19, 2013 09:02 pm EDT
(Newsdesk) The Greenpeace Save the Arctic team lowered a glass and titanium time capsule and flag to the seabed at the Geographic North Pole (90°N) containing 2.7 million signatures. The capsule will float back to the surface in around 50 years with a message to the future.

Russian boys and girls, including disabled and orphans, skied to the North Pole with Matvey Shparo.

Onto the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole (78°35'42.00"N, 104°11'54.00"W) Gavin Bate and his team were tent bounded in a freezing storm for 60+ hours.

Greenpeace Save the Arctic

August 2nd, 2007 veteran Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov, then 67, descended 14,000 feet below the NP ice cap in a deep sea submersible and dropped a Russian tricolor cast in titanium onto the seabed, staking a claim to the oil and gas riches beneath the Arctic Ocean.

This season a team of 16 people lowered a glass and titanium time capsule and flag to the seabed at the Geographic North Pole. Australian Eric Philips, the leader, posted the following report on Facebook yesterday:

"I'm back in Svalbard after 10 days on the Arctic Ocean with Greenpeace. A few years ago a Russian flag was planted on the seabed below the North Pole, an ill-placed claim of sovereignty over the high Arctic. Together with oil drilling and commercial fishing it seems the Arctic can't be left alone by greed-mongers."

"This year a team of 16 made up of young ambassadors, Greenpeace campaigners and specialists, film-makers and photographers and guides skied for 5 days towards the North Pole, experiencing first-hand both the brutality and beauty of the Arctic Ocean. This component of the campaign was crucial - in order to know and respect the Arctic ice one must live on it for a while."

"At the North Pole we cut a hole in the ice and manually lowered a glass and titanium pod to the seabed, a time capsule containing 2.7 million signatures, a message to the future and a flag to claim the Arctic region around the North Pole as a sanctuary. It was a very technically challenging expedition and many of the mechanical items we brought with us to complete the original capsule deployment failed, such is the nature of this extreme environment. And it's a reason why the oil and fishing giants need to stay out of the Arctic. Equipment fails up here, regularly, and that's reason enough to ban oil drilling where the consequences of a systems failure could mean catastrophic damage to this fragile environment."

"It was a real honour to work with Greenpeace on this project and a privilege to have been part of this historic event. If only I could be around in 50 or so years when the capsule is released and eventually found."

"I hope the world acts in time to save the Arctic."

The guides who assisted Eric were Lyudmila Korobeshko from Russia and Audun Tholfsen from Norway,

Video of the ceremony:



Russian kids

"They did it again!" says Nikita Shparo on Facebook. His brother, Matvey Shparo, and 7 Russian teenagers arrived at the North Pole. "They skied, swam, almost missed the Pole because of severe drift and wind, but they won! It's the 6th time that Russian boys and girls, including disabled and orphans, made this journey to the top of the world."

"Our next Big Dream is to bring kids from all Arctic regions - from Greenland to Russia - so that it will cement their friendship for years to come. Arctic needs peace - not war!"

1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole

Hannah Rollings from Gavin Bate's home team sent over news to ExplorersWeb, "On the 10th April Gavin had a 24hr stopover at Polaris Mine. The once functioning mine produced 21 million tonnes of lead-zinc worth over $15 billion before closing in July 2002 after 20 years of production. At one time 250 people lived and worked there. Although the site is now closed and de-constructed, it still serves as a convenient checkpoint and re-supply point for adventurers and expeditions on this classic Polar route."

"As of 1pm (GMT) 18th April, Gavin set off from the east coast of Bathurst Island after waiting out a snow storm for 60+ hours. His tent had iced over solid and his sleeping bag and clothing had become wet. The team was trying to keep warm in -40 temperatures and gale-force winds by keeping a lit stove, in turn causing condensation and dampness. As of Thursday morning, the wind had died down enough for him to make tracks northwards, snaking up the coast of Bathurst Island. "

"The time Gavin spent static in the storm was particularly worrying as he was camped just north of ‘Polar Bear Pass’, a polar bear migratory route. The island is much more fertile than others in the area, attracting a lot of fauna, including caribou and muskoxen. This large prey attracts polar bears, usually from March to November. "

Gavin is heading towards the Berkeley Islands, a group of uninhabited islands.

Expedition links:

Eric Philips

Eric Philips on FB

Save the Arctic

Greenpeace slideshow of the flag planting

Sharpo / Adventure Club website

Nikita Sharpo on Facebook

Alan Bate's Race Me To The Pole website

Race Me To The Pole on Facebook

Alan Bate's Moving Mountains Trust on Twitter

North Pole to Greenland

Fyodor/Fedor Konyukhov's website

Fyodor/Fedor Konyukhov on Facebook

MLAE-2013 website

MLAE on Facebook

MLAE on Facebook

Barneo Ice Camp

ExplorersWeb Expedition List

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