Arctic Wrap-up: Hungry explorers

Posted: Apr 04, 2006 02:26 pm EDT

( One team member's illness has forced the Finns to take a rest day, while Conrad and Richard are making steady progress. But despite both expeditions' challenges, nothing can keep the explorers' minds off their food cravings. Their report is a gastronomic chronicle of their daily diet.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Passage teams, heading for a last degree trip to the North Pole, will transport the ashes of American polar explorer Norman Vaughman to his final resting place.

One world expedition, aiming for a summer Arctic crossing, has changed itineraries due to logistical problems. Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larsen have decided to forgo Russia and cross from Canada to Greenland instead.

NP teams from Canada

North Pole Classic: Gastronomic report

A clear sign that we are working hard is that we are each consuming 7000 calories a day & still tightening our waist bands a notch or two, reported Conrad. Our diet consists of pasta and pemmican. The pemmican is a mixture of suet, ground meat and wheat grain, based on an ancient Antarctic recipe for SLEDGE DOGS! Our pemmican mix was made more palatable by a French chef.

During the day for our 3 breaks we eat high fat raw bacon, nuts and an aptly named "Zero" chocolate bar (best eaten cold!). We also eat our special secret recipe chocolate truffles that give off 700 calories each. For fiber we use a powder that expands alarmingly when mixed with water and is designed for old people (very appropriate for us!). Although the label warns of possible choking if eaten dry, it seems to do what fiber is meant to do. The most disturbing factor of our diet is that both Richard & I crave our 125 grams of pure butter eaten neat daily.

To aid digestion and help the body transfer the fat content to energy we are taking an enzyme called Lipase. The evening cocktail of hot whole milk and maple sugar is a well looked forward to treat. Tomorrow marks the end of our high-octane whiskey.

Airborne Rangers: Unplanned rest day and hunger

The morning began quite normally. We filled our thermos flasks and ate our porridge. Just as we were about to don our Jalas ski-boots, we received new orders: Today was unexpectedly declared a day of rest. One of the Expedition members woke up with a slight fever, and so we decided to bring forward the scheduled rest day by two days.

Once we got into rest-day mode, the day progressed like any other rest day. The only sounds to be heard in camp: Seven men gently snoring. Later on, the sounds changed. There were gentle sighs and various rumblings as we serviced and repaired our gear. Our favored hobby for today, on the other hand, is eating crumbs and scraps from the bottom of old lunch bags, and scrambling around the tent floor hunting for tasty-looking morsels. Nowadays, we are so hungry that we find ourselves humming Christmas carols, just to remind us of roast ham, potato casserole, smoked fish and, of course, Finnish sausage and beer.

OneWorld Expedition: Changing directions Starting point in Canada

With nearly everything set for our departure in Russia, we were dealt a devastating blow. Our Russian logistics coordinator informed us of a 50% rate increase that essentially eliminated our ability to travel to the start at Cape Arctichesky and, even worse, helicopter support, should a worst case scenario happen, reported the team.

That was one week ago one week! We agonized over logistics and routes for several days until finally realizing the best option.

The One World Expedition will now be departing from Ward Hunt Island in northern Canada on May 1. We will travel to the North Pole and return to land at Cape Morris Jessup, Greenland, a total distance of 921 statute miles.

NP and crossing teams from Russia

The Northwest Passage: Norman Vaughmans last expedition

Polar explorer and adventurer Col. Norman Vaughan will meet his final resting place at the North Pole. His ashes will travel by dog sled with The Northwest Passage expedition, led by veteran Polar guides Rick Sweitzer and Paul Shurke, departing from approximately 88 degrees North latitude on April 13. Vaughans wife, Carolyn, is scheduled to fly to the Geographic North Pole to meet the team on April 26 to commit his ashes to the polar ice. (Check link to The Northwest Pasage team at the end of the story).

A member of Admiral Richard E. Byrd's 1928-1930 Antarctic expedition, Vaughman achieved remarkable feats and led an adventurous life, always following his motto Dream big and dare to fail. When he died on December 23, 2005 in Anchorage Alaska, he was 100 years old. Read more on Vaughman in a previous story.

Magnetic North Pole teams

PolarQuest: Training while waiting

We are still waiting for a clear weather window to enable us to fly into Melville Island, the team reported yesterday. We have made the most of our time and conducted some long hauls in the Northwest Passage and spending a couple of nights on the ice. We are on standby from 8:00 am tomorrow (today) to fly.

Borge Ouslands website

Mike Horns website

North Pole Classic 2006 website

Michele Pontrandolfos website (Italian)

Airborne Ranger Club of Finland NP expedition (English / Finnish)

Polar Quest expeditions website

Arios Alone Across Alaska (Italian / English)

One World NP summer crossing website

Top of the Worlds expedition website

Landrys website

Canadian Arctic Holidays

Bettina Aller & JG Leynaud website (Danish / English)

Northwest Passage Polar Expeditions (dog-sledding NP teams)

Karl Bushbys Goliath expedition

Cecilie Skogs blog on Dagbladet (Norwegian)

A clear sign that we are working hard is that we are each consuming 7000 calories a day & still tightening our waist bands a notch or two, reported Conrad. The pair crave for food they would probably choke at when at home. Live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of North Pole Classic / Conrad Dickinson (click to enlarge).
The Finnish team took a rest day due to one team member's illness. "Once we got into rest-day mode, the only sounds to be heard in camp: Seven men gently snoring," they reported. Image courtesy of Airborne Rangers Club of Finland team (click to enlarge).
While waiting for a plane to take them to Melville Island, the Polar Quest team have trekked along the Northwest Passage and spent a couple of nights on the ice. Live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Polar Quest expedition (click to enlarge).

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