(By Correne Coetzer, updated Feb 20, 14:30) Passionate about the Arctic, Yasunaga Ogita from Japan is back to attempt to ski from Canada to the Geographic North Pole (90º) again. He is booked on the March 5 Kenn Borek Air flight out of Resolute Bay to the start point at Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island. Yasu plans to sledge-haul, ski, snowshoe, crawl, swim, climb over ridges, kayak across big leads, and all the actions it takes to get to the North Pole on foot, in 50 days.
He is currently in Iqaluit, preparing and acclimatizing, already sleeping outside in the cold in his tent, and repacking and sorting food and gear. ExWeb checked in.
ExplorersWeb: Any improvements that you have made to your gear this year?
Yasu: I brought a folding kayak for crossing big open leads. My friend, who is a Japanese kayak builder, made that with a very easy setting-up system and light weight. Setting up time is 10-15 min.
I will also put on a drysuit during on the kayak.
ExplorersWeb: How much food will you take and how heavy will your sled be?
My food plan is based on 1kg 5000 kcal per day. First 10 days 850 g per day. And each 10 days plus 50 g.
I am planing to get the Pole in 50 days, last 41-50 day is 1050 g per day.
My supplies total weight might be 105-110kg for 50 days including kayak also.
ExplorersWeb: What is on you to-do list for the last days?
Yasu: I’m currently acclimatizing my body for cold air first. Yesterday I had a dog sledding trip around Iqaluit with Matty [McNair], that was so nice!
Checking my kayaks in cold temperature, unpacking gear and choosing which I am taking or not.
pulks - Acapulka 160, 130
skis - KARHU 160cm
bindings - army style (old style, just straps on boots)
snowshoes - MSR
boots - Sorel
sleeping bags - vapor barrier, down sleeping bag, synthetic sleeping bag
down jacket - Japanese made
[Ed note: Update Feb 20 14:30 added question]
ExplorersWeb: Do you have S&R / Medical insurance? If yes, with who?
Yasu: I have a contract with Japanese insurance company for covering medical care and emergency charter flight fee for expedition; Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
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
Yasu Ogita’s pages:
North Pole solo website
North Polo solo Facebook
2011 Japanese expedition retraced doomed Northwest Passage Franklin expedition
2011 ExWeb interview with Yasunaga Ogita: From the Arctic ice to the tundra
2011 Ogita and Kakuhata finished Canadian tundra expedition
2012 ExWeb interview with Japanese solo NP skier Yasu Ogita: after 11 years the ultimate
North Pole 2013: Ogita Yasunaga to return for solo ski; and Arctic video
2013 North Pole skiers thwarted by 2012 record minimum sea ice
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 #ogita #yasuogita