"We are always up and down mentally here since it is a hard place," Ryan Waters said during the trek. "Now throw in the literal ups and downs of trying to ski across ice in a whiteout over the peaks and valleys of the countless wind features, which you can't see until you already into the side of one or over. This has a tendency to shift your mood into that downward spiral.” Image: Ryan crawling forward.
courtesy Eric Larsen, SOURCE
Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen's route from Cape Discovery to the Geographic North Pole (click to enlarge)
SOURCE
Cape Discovery route to the Geographic North Pole.
courtesy Arctic Ice Drift Maps 2013 : Image from http://www.arctic.noaa.gov / Mike O Shea and Clare O Leary, SOURCE
Bernice Notenboom: "It took us all morning to find a safe route over the pressure ridge and it took the three of us to pull the sleds across a mountain of ice and slide it off to the other side." (click to enlarge)
SOURCE
Eric Philips: "[...] both Martin and I fell into on different occasions. Some narrow leads are also almost completely hidden and the snow pack inside collapses when skiing over them." Image, swimming a newly frozen lead. (click to enlarge)
courtesy Martin Hartley, SOURCE
North Pole success: Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen arrived at the 90ºN!

Posted: May 06, 2014 08:09 pm EDT

 

(By Correne Coetzer/AdventureStats, story edited May 7, 04:29 EDT to reflect correction of a statistic. Edited May 28, 16:52 EDT to clarify a statistic) The American duo, Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen, arrived at the Geographic North Pole on May 6, 7.49 pm Pacific time. They left the coast of Canada at Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island (83ºN), 53 days ago on March 15, with hardly any sun to warm them. 

 

The two men were unassisted (no resupplies) and unsupported (no kite, dog or vehicle support). Ryan and Eric are the first skiers since 2010 to complete a successful expedition from Land to the  Geographic North Pole. 

 

Right from the start at the coast the team encountered endless fields of pressure ice. Their fully loaded, 144 kg / 317 pound sleds with food, fuel and gear for 55 days were too heavy for one person to pull across the high ridges and required relaying. Route finding and navigation were a nightmare. It took them 21 days to complete their first degree of latitude. 

 

Although they had their fare share of open water (leads) this year, it seems as if pressured ice or rubble were more of an issue most of the way than the leads. Unstable ice blocks also posed a danger. Yesterday though, a very emotional and tired Eric sent a voice dispatch, reporting about lots of open water and thin ice hampering their progress in the final miles to the Pole. Even up to the end the Arctic threw its best at the men, requiring them to swim, raft and crawl in flat light. 

 

During the expedition several blizzards pushed the men in a northeast direction, which required them to correct their navigation. The last few days Ryan and Eric decided to divide their ski days in 6 hour-long shifts around the clock, with food and rest breaks in their tent in between.     

 

Tracker: 06 May 2014 22:15 GMT

Latitude: 89.967 | Longitude: 78.712

Dist To Pole: 2 Nautical Miles / 2.3 Miles / 3.6 Kilometers

 

Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen polar facts
as per
AdventureStats:

 

First unsupported unsupplied (and skiing overall) North Pole in 4 years. 

 

Less than 200 people have skied from land to the North Pole. Less than 50 did it without resupplies.

 

Ryan is the first American to do the North Pole and South Pole unassisted and the first American to do the "Three Poles" with the South Pole and North Pole unassisted unsupported [Editor's note May 7, 04:29 EDT, not “Three Poles" unsupported unassisted as previously reported.]

 

In 2010 Ryan, with Norwegian Cecilie Skog, was the first to do an unsupported unassisted crossing of Antarctica.

 

Ryan is a veteran of 14 mountaineering expeditions on 8000 m peaks and has climbed Everest from both Tibet and Nepal. [Editor's note May 28, 16:52 EDT, not 10 x 8000m as previously reported and Ryan clarified: "I have been on 14 expeditions to 8000 meter peaks, I missed the summit on a few of those but that is part of big mountain climbing. Several of the trips were to the same peak because I have guided on a lot of those. It seems important to clarify that since that magic 14 number happens to be special in the 8000 meter world..."

 

 Eric has done two expeditions to the South Pole and two previous expeditions to the North Pole. This was Eric's first unsupported unassisted polar expedition.

 

In 2010 Eric summited Everest with a small team of Sherpas during the autumn season.

 

In a straight line, Ryan and Eric covered a distance of 770 km. What is not added to this distance are all the detours around high ridges, the ice blocks, the rubble and leads (open water). Also not added are the negative and sidewards drift and relaying of the sleds. 

 

 

Teams Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

 

Trudy Wohlleben at Canadian Ice Service sent out a blizzard warning to solo Bengt Rotmo and Eric Philips’ team, with an ice drift to the north and east (they are skiing south), as well as new and changing lead patterns due to the ice movement.

 

Unassisted, Unsupported

Bengt Rotmo, NO (solo)

(started April 21 at 90ºN)

 

Position on May 4:

88.49N,  72.13W 

 

Assisted, Unsupported

Eric Philips, AU, Bernice Notenboom, NL/CA, Martin Hartley, UK

(Start April 4 at 90ºN)

 

After slow going, 3 km, in pressure ice, the team is tent-bounded in the blizzard, which is forecast to last till May 9.

 

Position May 6: 

85.0N,  79.0W  (May 06) 

 

 

Previous:

 

Ryan Waters, Eric Larsen and a Polar Bear closing in on the North Pole

 

ExWeb interview with Ryan Waters, "an unwritten and unexplainable mental edge” (pre-expedition)

 

ExWeb interview with Eric Larsen, "a mix of poetry and hell to the North Pole” (pre-expedition)

 

The Hunger Game: Yasu Ogita recaps his North Pole attempt

 

Sean Chapple's insights: Laying the Foundations for Success

 

 

AdventureStats successful expeditions:

 

Land to Geographic North Pole 

2013: 1x car team from Russia (did a crossing)

2010: 1x unassisted ski team from Canada

         3x assisted ski teams from CA

2009: 1x unassisted ski team from CA

         1x assisted ski team from CA

2008: 1x assisted ski team from Russia (winter exped)

2007: 1x assisted ski team from CA

 

Geographic North Pole to Land

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 

         Josef Land

         1x assisted ski team to Greenland

 

assisted = resupplied

 

 

A note on the North Pole daily ski distances: They are calculated in a straight line from where the skiers start in the mornings and end in the evenings. What is not added, are all the detours around high ridges, ice blocks, rubble or leads (open water). Also not added are the negative drift and relaying sleds.

 

A North Pole expedition covers the full distance between land and the Pole (90ºN).

The Cape Discovery route (Canada) to the Geographic North Pole is 780 km. 

Ward Hunt Island (Canada) start point calculates at 775 km.

A Degree of Latitude is 60 nm / 110 km. 

 

Geographic North Pole is at 90ºN

1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole: 

78° 35'42.00"N, 104° 11’54.00”W 

Resolute Bay: 74° 41.808N, 094° 49.402W

 

 

Ski Teams starting from Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island, to the Geographic North Pole (90ºN)

 

Unassisted, Unsupported:

Team Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters

Last North Expedition:

(Start March 15 at 83.043627N, 077.374263W)

 

Ryan Waters, USA

Website

Facebook

Mountain Professionals

Mountain Professionals Facebook

 

Eric Larsen, USA

Website

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Tracker

 

 

Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Unassisted, Unsupported

Bengt Rotmo

(started April 21)

Website

Twitter

 

 

Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Assisted, Unsupported

(Start April 4)

Eric Philips, Australia

Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada

Martin Hartley, UK

Website

 

 

Greenland

 

Kite ski circumnavigation:

 

Eric McNair-Landry (CA) and Dix”e Dansercoer (BE)

Blog Greenland Ice Expedition

Tracker

Facebook (Polar Circles) 

Twitter (Polar Circles)

Facebook (Pittarak Expeditions)

 

Michael Chavarin (FR) and Cornelius Strohm (DE)

Website

 

Yuri Klaver (USA to Greenland via CA)

Website 1

Website 2

Facebook

Spot Location

Twitter

 

 

Follow blog posts (with RSS feeds) in the live News Stream on ExplorersWeb.

 

 

Previous/Related

 

 

Sean Chapple's insights: Laying the Foundations for Success

 

North Pole: Irish team injured and evacuated - update: Norwegians also off

 

North Pole Norwegians and Americans flying to Cape Discovery - updated landed and skiing

 

NASA: Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt

 

Norwegian North Pole team talking to ExWeb from the high Canadian Arctic

 

North Pole 2014: first skiers flying to their start point

 

Dmitry Shparo's Top 5 North Pole Tips

 

Irish North Pole team checking in at ExWeb from Resolute Bay

 

The cost of Arctic travel: Jerry Kobalenko talks to ExWeb

 

Yasunaga Ogita talking to ExWeb from the high Canadian Arctic

 

North Pole 2014 full route ski expedition list

 

ExWeb interview with Ryan Waters, "an unwritten and unexplainable mental edge”

 

ExWeb interview with Eric Larsen, "a mix of poetry and hell to the North Pole”

 

ExWeb interview with Bernice Notenboom, the Arctic and the world’s climate

 

Dixie Dansercoer and Eric McNair-Landry to kite-ski 5000+ km around Greenland

 

AdventureStats

 

Ray Zahab and team Baffin Island run 2014

 

 

Weather links:

 

Canadian Ice Service

 

The Arctic Weather products link on the Canadian Ice Service IPY Legacy page

 

Two-day sea ice drifts for the whole Arctic Ocean on the Danish DMI website

 

ENVISAT ASAR images on the Polarview website

 

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 

 

 

#polar #northpole2014  #ryanwaters #ericlarsen #northpolesuccess