(Correne Coetzer) UPDATED April 14, 2016, 09:40 EDT
The runway has cracked again. Only one flight with marathon runners flew in. The second flight with runners was in the air and had to return to Longyearbyen. The Russians are extending the runway to the one side. Barneo expedition leader, Victor Serov, said to the staff in LYB that all the skiers are well and the divers are happy at the North Pole, reported Irina Orlova. Temperature is -17ºC, wind 5m/s, and light snow.
Just as the Russians got the 4th runway attempt ready for the flights to continue to Barneo Ice Camp, the Norwegian bureaucracy stepped in, again.
As updated in the previous story yesterday, the Antonov-74 in Longyearbyen (LYB) got the green light from Barneo staff to land on the newly prepared runway.
Plus expert advice about ice conditions for Reverse Full Route Ski.
The first AN-74 flight to Barneo was yesterday afternoon; a technical flight, delivering only supplies to Barneo. The second, scheduled for last night, was booked with skiers. Irina Orlova accompanied the plane. ExCited about the good condition of the runway, she returned to LYB late afternoon to meet the skiers, ready to leave on the next flight. Unfortunately, she also met news from the Norwegian authorities.
The Norwegians decided to allow only one flight to the North, while the other eleven flights, which the Barneo organizers declared well in advance, were forbidden.
Irina today explained, "The reason is the flight to Murmansk* (which we were begging for, at least for two days in advance, telling we have people on ice in need of food, fuel, etc). Now we were suggested to start from the scratch - apply for the next flight 48 hours in advance (mind that today [April 12] they cannot accept it being finishing work). It means that tomorrow we send application, and, in the best case, get the permit for the evening 14th or morning 15th of April. How, do you think, we may bring on the ice, for example, the group of Richard Donovan's marathoners, all 55 guys? Only this requires two flights! Or, those long-suffering tourists, who are, for ten days, awaiting the beginning of their programs, how to help them?”
After negotiations, today the Norwegians gave permission for five flights to Barneo. Irina said Richard Donovan and Terje Aunevik helped with the acquisition of the permits. The Antonov is ready for departing tonight with two flights, 20h00 and 02h00.
*”The flight to Murmansk” refers to the AN-74 that flew from Longyearbyen to Murmansk to get the needed supplies to the Ilyushin-76, so that it could be airdropped at the Ice Camp that was cut off from the outside world.
The only planned full route team for the season, Mark Langridge, Paul Vicary and Mark Wood reported to be on the ice. "They were lucky to get there last night, before Norwegian authorities temporary stopped flights from Svalbard,” reported their home team today.
They added the team "has 12 to 15 days to get to the North Pole".
This is a change in route plan. It is logic that the three men can’t try to ski from the North Pole to Canada, 775 km, this late in the season. 12 to 15 days give them enough time to do the last two degrees of latitude to the Pole, 220 km in a straight line.
Advice: Ice conditions for reverse full route ski
Arctic ice and weather expert, Trudy Wohlleben, explained to Explorersweb about ice conditions this time of the year.
"Starting in April, the ice between Canada and the North Pole is starting to loosen and move more freely. By May, you are often swimming more than skiing, especially north of 85ºN. I know the skiers are tied to when Barneo opens if they want to start from the Pole, but ideally, they should start a month earlier based on climatological ice conditions.”
Barneo is a drifting ice base in the Arctic, which is annually established under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society expedition center "Polyus" Russian Association of Polar Explorers.
It is a temporary Ice Camp, built by the Russians every North Pole ski season. The camp is built on a suitable ice floe inside 89 degrees North. Primarily the ice floe should be suitable to build a runway of at least 1200m long for an Antonov-74 to land from Longyearbyen, Svalbard. They, therefore, need a floe of at least 2km long and at east 40 meters away from the nearest open water (lead).
This year when the ice floe was found on March 25, an Ilyushin-76 flew from Russia, dropped two tractors by parachute, as well as staff and other equipment to start clearing the runway. The tent camp that is built every year, serves as a base camp for skiers, tourists, runners and scientists.
On March 27, a Boeing-575 from Moscow Vnukovo Airport landed at Longyearbyen (Svalbard) with special cargo for Barneo (gear not intended for airdrops, like scientific equipment) and two team members who for the storehouse, sorting and preparing things for the season.
The town of Longyearbyen is situated on the biggest Island of the Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen, inside the Arctic Circle, and under Norwegian rule. Svalbard had a total of 2,654 residents on January 1, 2016.
The Geographic North Pole is at 90 degrees North.
A degree of latitude is 110 km / 70 miles / 60 nautical miles.
Follow updates in the Daily Dispatch Streams on Explorersweb and pythom.com (teams with RSS blog feeds).
Check Polar Jargon as explained on ThePoles.com
Barneo Ice Camp:
http://rgocenter.ru/blog/ RGO = Russian Geographical Society
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Irina Orlova Facebook
The Arctic (Russian) with the Support of the Russian Geographical Society
The Arctic (English) with the Support of the Russian Geographical Society
Previous/Related on Explorersweb/Pythom.com
Breaking news from Barneo UPDATED
Grounded flight could thwart Barneo runway work; Check fractured ice map - UPDATED
North Pole area turned into Rubble and Lead Field - Barneo update UPDATED
The New Barneo Runway Has Cracked
Barneo runway damaged beyond repair
North Pole 2016: Ice runway cracked, skiers grounded
North Pole 2016: Barneo ice floe found - Updated
North Pole 2016 update: News from VICAAR
Heads up: Yasu Ogita’s 2016 Arctic expedition
Kenn Borek stops supporting North Pole expeditions (Nov. 2014)
Dixie Dansercoer investigates Arctic survival skills and gear:
Arctic Ski Survival: Testing drysuits and skis (Part 1/3)
Arctic Ski Survival: Testing Flotation and Skis (Part 2/3)
Arctic Ski Survival: Protocol and Results (Part 3/3)
Russian Arctic Cars: Great North Route Expedition 2016
New-design Russian Amphibious Vehicles to attempt North Pole return drive (2016)
Modified Hybrid Hummers in the Arctic (2016)
Russian amphibious cars crossed the Arctic Ocean (2013)
Full Route (reverse) - Geographic North Pole to Canada (Ward Hunt Island) 775km:
UPDATE: team is not doing full route anymore, they ran out of time to get to startpoint
Mark Wood, Mark Langridge and Paul Vicary (all UK)
Weather and Ice
Arctic Weather Map
Canadian Ice Service
The Arctic Weather products link on the Canadian Ice Service IPY Legacy page
Canada Weather Office satellite image
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
University of Illinois cryosphere images
Wayne Davidson’s Extremely High Horizon Refraction
Wayne Davidson’s EH2R blog
Arctic Sea Ice Blog (streaming in Dispatch Feeds)
#polar #northpole2016 #arctic