North Pole season is ON: Borge and Mike on the ice and back

Posted: Jan 21, 2006 09:14 am EST

"Borge and Mike are on the move, reported Borge Ouslands home team yesterday. The helicopter was able to lift off from Sredny and dropped the team on the western side of Cape Arktichevsky, just 1 km from its northern point.

Ice touching land open water ahead

Fortunately, the ice was touching the shore, so they are already walking northward. Ahead of them are leads of open sea, so the next hours and days will be critical. At the moment, it is -5ÂşC in the area, which is probably a heat record for January.

Borge and Mike hit the ice immediately. However, they didnt get very far on their fist journey.

After 700 meters, Borge and Mike realized it was unwise to continue, Borges team updated. The ice was unstable, slushy, and moving too fast. They returned safely to land and set up camp on the Cape.

Bear visiting for dinner!

The two of them had just settled into their tent when they received an unexpected visitor a polar bear! He broke the zipper with his foot trying to enter the tent, before turning around to explore their sleds. A surprised Borge and Mike got out of their tent as the polar bear was walking away with a packet of their food. As they reacted quickly and lit a flare gun, the bear dropped the food and ran onto the sea ice.

Borge has already fixed the zipper. Most likely theyll be sleeping by turn tonight. The wind is blowing so hard that it is difficult to hear a bear.

Waiting for better winds

The warm westerly wind is blowing hard. A cold northerly wind or no wind at all would be far preferable, as it would provide better ice conditions. For now, all they can do is to wait patiently.

Norwegian Borge Ousland and South African Mike Horn have joined forces for a bold North Pole expedition during the pitch black arctic winter.

We will try to do the entire trip during the dark period, and arrive before the 23rd of March, which is the first day of Spring and when the sun begins to appear above the horizon at the North Pole, Ousland told ExplorersWeb in a previous interview.

Norwegian Borge Ousland is a remarkable polar explorer. He was the first to do an unsupported expedition from Russia to the North Pole in 1994. Borge was solo and fast, and beat the second runner up team of 8 Russian skiers by two weeks. Among his feats are a solo kite crossing of Antarctica from Berkner Island to McMurdo in 96/97 and a solo Arctic kite traverse in 2001 (March 3 to April 23, Russia-Canada, one resupply).

He has also attempted Everest and done an unsupplied, kite-supported crossing of the Patagonian Ice Cap: Borge and Thomas Ulrich completed that expedition at top speed (49 days), but at an earlier exit point than the Chilean pioneers on the route it is thus not considered a complete crossing.

South African Mike Horn, traveled around the equator in 2000. In August 2002 he launched Arktos expedition, a multi-disciplinary voyage around the Arctic Circle. The adventure was covered by professional photographers and an extensive support team. Mike completed the circumnavigation by the end of October, 2004, after a number of legs accomplished by boat, kayak, ski sail, bicycle and on foot. Starting and Finishing point was North Cape, Norway.

#Mountaineering #Polar

It took us 10 hours to cover 8 km and we still have 894 km to go," reported Borge. "This is the toughest degree of latitude Ive ever walked." File image of Borge (left) and Mike (right) at Norilsk, Siberia right before departure, courtesy of Borge Ousland (click to enlarge).

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