Skog and Gjeldnes: North Pole summer expedition

Posted: May 24, 2011 08:42 am EDT

(By Jon Amtrup) Norwegian polar adventurers Cecilie Skog and Rune Gjeldnes have teamed up to do a summer expedition to the North Pole. The will be using foldable canoes, skies and snowshoes to get there, and theres only one-way home: Via the North pole.

Both Cecilie Skog and Rune Gjeldnes are well known for their cold and long expeditions.

- I have 260 winter days in the area and Cecilie has 50 days, so its not exactly a unknown area for us. But the time of the year is different. We will be traveling in June and July so it is a all summer expedition. As far as we know there never has been a pure summer expedition to the North Pole, says Rune Gjeldnes to ExWeb.

- Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen did the same trip from Ward Hut Island in 2006, but it wasn't an all summer expedition as they started May 1st and reached the North Pole June 30th or May 1st, Gjeldnes adds.

Cecile Skog has just returned from a Greenland crossing where she brought double rations to make sure she was ready again as soon as she came back.

- I ate as much as I could and only lost a few kilos, so Im ready, says Cecilie.

The coming Friday she joins Rune on a flight to Canada, and then on board a small plane that will take them to Ward Hunt Island, off the North Coast of Ellesmere Island. This is where they will start their unsupported push to the North Pole between June 3rd and 5th weather permitting.

The two adventurers took the final decision just after Christmas.

- It was Cecilies idea and it will be the first time I do an expedition that isnt my own brainchild. It will also be the first time Cecilie and I do a trip together, says Rune.

- Rune and I have talked about doing an expedition together for years, and this idea came to me during one of my latest expeditions with Ryan, says Cecilie.

ExWeb:Both you and Cecilie are known to finish what you start. Will this be one of these?

- Yes. There is only one way home and that is with the Russian Icebreaker, Rune says with a laughter and a reference to Nansens The West coast or death philosophy from his Greenland crossing.

The two decided on June and July to have the security of the on board long distance chopper on the Russian icebreaker. The ship will pick them up in the end of July. This gives Skog and Gjeldnes 55 days on - and off - the ice.

- The ice conditions changes from year to year. We have done extensive research and talked to a lot of scientist and experts, but no one can tell us what conditions we will meet, says Gjeldnes.
-We are expecting rain and fog in June, but hopefully we will see the sun in July. It will be a very different expedition than what we are used to, says Cecilie.
They will start with 115 kilos in their pulks from day one. And it is not the ordinary pulk they have chosen. They are expecting to paddle part of the way, one being more pessimistic than the other, and have decided to use Ally Canoes as combined pulk and canoe.

The Ally Canoe are foldable and made of thick canvas. Previous expeditions have proven them to be very strong and durable.

- We have dragged them over ice and rivers, and they stood up to the test in a remarkably way. Hopefully we will paddle maybe 70 percent of the way, says Cecilie, and laughs when she hears that Rune expects a lot less paddling.

- We hope to paddle maybe 10 percent of the trip. The rest will be on snow shoes and skies. We are expecting the have temperatures between 5 and -5 degrees Celsius, says Gjeldnes.

- It is going to be some hard days, but we are also going to have fun. It has been a while since I had so many butterflies before an expedition, says Rune.

The two will use Contact 5 on their expedition.

About Cecilie Skog
Arriving at the Ross Ice Shelf on January 21,2010 nearly a century after Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in December 1911, American Ryan Waters, 36, and Norwegian Cecilie Skog, 35, have achieved the first unassisted crossing of Antarctica. They skied 70 days from Berkner Island to the Axel Heiberg Glacier via the Geographic South Pole.
Cecilie Skog was born in 1974 and lives in Oslo, Norway. When not on expedition she is involved in lots of outdoor related activities. Her hobbies are buying shoes, drinking coffee with the girls, climbing, sailing, yoga and more. Cecilies favorite movie is Dirty Dancing and she likes Band of horses, dolly parton and Pink Floyds music. As for food she likes to eat anything spicy.

Cecilie has written two books. The latest is about Rolfs expeditions and adventures, Til Rolf, Tusen fine turer og en trist.
She is a trained nurse by profession and studied outdoor education at the high school in Volda. Cecilie has many years experience as a mountain guide both in Norway and abroad working as a glacier expert. She also climbed the Seven Summits.
greenlandcrossing x 4.

On August 1st 2008, Norwegians Cecilie Skog and Lars Naesse summited K2 at 5.20 pm and hurried down to Cecilies husband Rolf Bae, who had stopped 300 ft below the summit. Three hours later a serac broke off. Cecilie watched the light of Rolf's head torch disappear. Rolf and the fixed
rope were gone.

It was a shock: Rolf was very well known in the Polar community for a spectacular Antarctic crossing he made with Eirik Sønneland from Toll Base (Dronning Maud Land) to Scott Base. Cecilie joined in for unsupported trips to both poles and the couple also began to frequent Himalaya before disaster struck.
Rolf is gone. But not my dreams and I hold on to those dreams really tight. I still dream about sleeping in tents, journeys, blowing wind, and moments that make me feel really alive, Cecilie told ExplorersWeb last year before she left for Antarctica..

Rune Gjeldnes, living in Hell, just 40.
He is a Polar Explorer, adventurer and an ex-Navy Seal. Rune is the only person in the world who has crossed the three biggest ice pans. First and only Greenland length ways, 3000 km unsupported. First and only crossing of the Arctic Ocean unsupported, from Siberia to Canada in 109 days.

In 2006 he did the longest ski expedition ever, 4804 km across Antarctica, solo and unsupported. Arctic Ocean is his second home with 260 days on the ice through three expeditions and last three years guiding people up on the Arctic Ocean. He also was the leader of the Amundsen team on BBC reconstruction of the Race to the South Pole between Amundsen and Scott. Has been on several jungle and river expeditions. Rune uses his experiences and knowledge from both his professional life, the military, a life led in the cold with a physical and psychological strain. Beside he is professional lecturer and book writer. Consultant, photographer and film photographer and happy.

#Polar #Oceans #topstory

They will be paddling in foldable canoes when possible, and...
...pull them when not. Each weighing 115 kilos when they start.
...Cecilie Skog who completed the first unassisted and unsupported traverse of Antarctica in Rolf's honor.
courtesy Ryan Waters (over Contact), SOURCE