(Correne Coetzer, this story originally appeared in the Expedition List on Pythom.com)
The three Brits, Mark Wood, Mark Langridge and Paul Vicary announced that they are not going to sledge-haul from Russia to the Geographic North Pole (90ºN) as originally planned, but from the Pole to Ward Hunt Island at the Canadian Coast, a distance of 775 km, in a straight line.
Instead of starting late February, the team will now start their expedition the first week of April (weather permitting). On April 1st, they will fly by airplane from Longyearbyen, on the Svalbard Archipelago, to the temporary drifting Russian Ice Camp, Barneo. Every year this camp is set up on a stable ice floe inside the last degree of latitude. From there the trio will be transported by helicopter to 90ºN, where they will be heading South on foot. Their last pick-up date at the coast of Canada is May 5th.
This route is about 200 km shorter than the route from Russia. Skiing from the Pole has the advantage of a positive ice drift, which means, the skiers could drift towards their destination, while skiing or sleeping. Also, as they start later in the season, the sun is always above the horizon and temperatures should be warmer.
Apart from that, the men will still face temperatures well below freezing, high humidity, rough ice, pressure ridges, rubble ice, thin ice, time-consuming route finding, possible eastward drift, polar bears, storms and leads (open water).
They plan to be unassisted (no resupplies) and unsupported (no kites/cars/dogs), as stated in The Rules of Adventure at AdventureStats.
Statistics According to AdventureStats:
Successful Geographic North Pole to Land teams:
2013: 1x assisted dog team to CA
2012: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Svalbard
2011: 2x assisted ski teams to CA
2009: 1x unassisted ski team to Greenland
2007: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Franz
1x assisted ski team to Greenland
See AdventureStats.com for the teams who skied from Land to North Pole.
All three men have skied full routes to the South Pole. Mark Langridge did a solo, unassisted unsupported, from Hercules Inlet in the 2008-09 season. In 2011-12, he led two men, one of them Paul Vicary, from Cape Evans to the South Pole to commemorate the Centenary of Scott's expedition. This was also an unassisted unsupported expedition. Mark Wood did a solo, unassisted unsupported, from Hercules Inlet in 2011-12.
Interview with Paul Vicary: North Pole 2016 attempt
Interview with Mark Langridge: North Pole 2016 attempt
North Pole breaking news: Konyukhov and Simonov reached land (2013)
Top North Pole Tips: Eric Philips, veteran polar explorer (2014)
ExWeb interview with Eric Philips, I look back at my first polar expedition and think how beautifully antiquated it was (2011)
North Pole 2012 ExWeb interview (part 1 of 3): Timo Palo and Audun Tholfsen, “Conditions didn’t look promising and the risk too high”
North Pole 2012 ExWeb interview (Part 2 of 3): Timo Palo and Audun Tholfsen, “Mentally the most exhaustive was to walk on the rotten ice floes"
North Pole 2012 ExWeb interview (Part 3 of 3): Timo Palo and Audun Tholfsen: “We were hunted by a polar bear"
Geographic North Pole to Canada ski wrap-up: Nilson and Kippenes on land (2011)
North Pole to Greenland new route, more to the story (2009)
112 years after: Nansen's and Johansen's North Pole quest retraced (2007)
112 years after: Gentlemen explorers - ExWeb interview with Borge and Thomas
112 years after: Gentlemen explorers - ExWeb interview with Borge and Thomas, part 2
112 years after: Gentlemen explorers - ExWeb interview with Borge and Thomas, part 3
112 years after: Gentlemen explorers - ExWeb interview with Borge and Thomas, part 4
112 years after: Gentlemen explorers - ExWeb interview with Borge and Thomas, part 5 final
Best of ExplorersWeb 2007 Awards: Thomas and Borge - in Nansen's footsteps, North Pole
AdventureStats.com for Polar Statistics
North Pole 16 website