Arctic Wrap-up: Norwegians made it Cecilie's story live from the NP

Posted: Apr 25, 2006 05:40 pm EDT

( After only 48 days and 22 hours on the ice, the Norwegian trio Cecilie Skog, Rolf Bae and Per-Henry Borch reached the Geographic Pole last night. Cecilie called ExplorersWeb over sat-phone from the Pole with details from her astonishing trek. The teams final days were anything but easy; Cecilie says she wept while skiing - an unsupported expedition to the North Pole is tough - on men and women alike.

Meanwhile Conrad, Richard, and the Finns are giving it all - and then some - on their final push.

Unsupported NP teams from Canada

Cecilie Skog: "It was a wonderful experience"

Conditions were terrible the last days before the Pole, Cecilie told ExplorersWeb. Mostly open leads and strong wind. The ice broke up and changed around us very quickly. The day before yesterday I fell in the water and my ski got trapped under the ice. The guys couldnt get me out and I spent ten minutes in the drink, it was extremely cold!

We pitched the tent and put the gas on, so I could dry up and recover. But it wasnt over yet. When I finally started to relax in the tent, hell broke loose around us. A lead was opening right under the tent, pressure ridges crashing and building all around! We had to literally get out and run as fast as we could, dragging the tent and our stuff 500 meters out of the way.

The next morning I was crying whilst skiing - it was tough. But now that everything is over, I can ensure I am the happiest girl on Earth. It was a wonderful experience.

Weather conditions were improving today, so that the team hoped a chopper could pick them up and take them to Borneo base.

The lady skier is a shooting star in Norway and the rest of the world. Her accomplishments need no bs pitches to media - the stats speak for themselves: Cecilie represents the new breed of cross-over explorers; those who manage to survive in conditions both high and far. She is only the second woman in history to manage an unsupported North pole trip without resupplies and to have climbed Everest and walked to both poles. As if that wasn't enough - she too made both poles unsupported and back-to-back - in a time when no one, man or woman, have done a successful unsupported expedition to the NP from Canada in years.

Airborne Rangers: No sleep until Spitzbergen

Today is the Beginning of the End. It is also a fine start to our final push to the Pole, reported the Finns. No surprise obstacles before us; we could ski all day in good conditions. Result: a new day-record of 34.9 km.

These days we are skiing 13 legs a day. This means 13 hours of active trekking, plus hourly breaks and lunch break. That makes 15 hours from camp to camp. We are sleeping about 4 hours a night. But never mind; we will sleep in Spitzbergen.

North Pole Classic: Exhaustion and encounters

After only one rest day in 30, our bodies are tired. Snowshoes definitely require more energy than skis, sapping even more strength. In addition today we faced horrendous miles of ice rubble with deep, soft snow between the ice blocks. We also faced some very broken-up areas with open water leads.

Today was a really new and unusual occasion. Richard's wife, Josee, is leading a supported trip from the North Pole to Canada and we crossed paths. It was a very special occasion for Richard, meeting Josee and his son Tessum, who was also on the expedition. It was surreal to come upon their tent in a blizzard.

With only 29 miles to go, as the crow flies, the next 2-3 days are going to be the big push.

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)

Cecilie Skogs blog on Dagbladet (Norwegian)

Thailand team's website (Thai)

It was a triumphant day for the golden oldies. Richard Weber and Conrad Dickenson, both 50, reached the North Pole at 01:30 GMT on Thursday April 27 after only 52 days and 12 hours. The two explorers knocked 10 days off the British record for the fastest unsupported 775 km (482 miles) trek from Ward Hunt Island, Canada, to the top of the world. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of the team (click to enlarge).
After only 48 days and 22 hours on the ice, Norwegians Cecilie Skog, Rolf Bae and Per-Henry Borch reached the Geographic Pole yesterday. The teams last days on the ice were anything but easy. Image of the team at the beginning of the trip, courtesy of Matty McNair / North Winds (click to enlarge).<br><br>

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