(ThePoles.com) Rune wants to finish his solo Antarctic crossing as soon as possible; Borge and Mike whish to start their northern quest today. However, a crevassed glacier stands in Runes way, whilst bad weather keep Ousland and Horn grounded in Siberia. In addition, the pair must hurry up, if they want to reach The north Pole before the sun rises for the first time in six months.
Antarctic crossing teams
Rune Solo Antarctic crossing: Proceeding to Priestly Glacier
Whiteout conditions kept Rune in his tent most of the time yesterday, according to the explorers home team. Rune took advantage of the mandatory break to let his right knee rest, and to study maps in order to find out a way across the tricky Priestley glacier, which leads from the Antarctic plateau, down to the coast. By the evening, Runes ARGOS beacon showed he had set off for the last leg to the top of the glacier which, wind permitting, he could reach today.
South Pole teams
Proyecto Cumbre SP team:
Yesterday we went to bed really late, about 3.00 in the morning. Today, logically, we started skiing pretty late.
The plateaus surface has changed. It is completely flat and smooth even its white color has a certain shade of grey. Snow is soft and with no sastrugi. In fact, it was a great day and we felt so well, we even marched for an extra hour. In the end, we had covered 25,5km. Weve skied 1010km since we started our ski-trip.
Our strategy now is, trying to reach the pole in 6 days, by skiing an average 23km a day.
North Pole teams
Ousland and Horn: Ready to paddle away, as soon as weather permits
Borge and I are still standing by to leave to the starting position, reported Mike Horn yesterday. The weather and temperature has not been too great, strong winds and very high temperature. We have inflated our rubber boats and hope to leave today. The visibility is not good enough for the pilot to fly so we have been stranded at Golomiyanniy for two days now.
The race against the rising sun is on. We have only 65 days of food to make it North before the sun rise. Very thin and broken up ice will be our biggest challenge. The first couple of days will be very interesting. Another problem will be to find drinking water on the salty sea ice. There are many unknown factors at this stage but we are ready and waiting for Mother Nature to decide our time to leave; we will be in the starting blocks.
Classic North Pole expedition: Waist-deep snow and willow scrub
Really good training day for the North Pole, with conditions nobody expected, reckoned Conrad Dickinson from Vetabu, Norway. As we set off visibility was virtually zero with a very strong headwind. The snow conditions were very tricky for skiing on; calf to knee-deep, unconsolidated snow. The only way we could make headway was to rotate the lead every 15 minutes.
Worse was yet to come though! We encountered willow scrub covered with waist-deep snow- a total nightmare to try and get through, with no alternatives. Two people got a couple of white patches on cheeks and noses with the wind and cold, but quickly covered up with no damage.
After lunch we hit our worst obstacles; a patch of shoulder-high scrub; it took an hour to progress 100m. We then came to a couple of steep sided rivers, and despite shovelling snow on them to try and get across I ended up with 2 wet skis that instantly froze to solid ice, weighing about 6 pounds each.
Finally we found the hut nestled in the trees in a beautiful location. Clothes were tricky to get off as they had frozen around the zips, but we soon had the hut warmed up and a great 3 course meal cooking.
Spanish Trans-Antarctic expedition Larramendis site (Spanish/English)
Norwegian Hvitserks SP teams dispatches
Hvitserks expeditions (Norwegian)
Proyecto Cumbre SP expedition (Spanish/English)
Numis Polar Challenges website
Omega Foundation - Antarctica 2005
Slovak Trekland team
Borge Ouslands website
Mike Horns website
North Pole Classic 2006 - Conrad Dickinsons website
Arios Alone Across Alaska (Italian)
Airborne Ranger Club of Finland NP expedition (Finnish)
Alpine Ascents International
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
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