North Pole wrap-up: Last skiers via Barneo off the Arctic Ocean

Posted: Apr 26, 2011 04:06 pm EDT

(By Correne Coetzer) Two months ago, April 26 was a time bomb date for long distance skiers from Canada to the North Pole. The date, that was the last pick-up day up by the Russian helicopter, has arrived, but none of the skiers; due to a too long weather delay at the start point they didnt set off.

Barneo is closing down and all the last degree, last two degree and science teams are off the ice and back in Longyearbyen. A snowstorm kept the last skiers tent bounded at Barneo as the Antanov-74 couldnt fly in.

The two ski teams heading for Greenland are well on their way.

Barneo Ice Camp

A snow storm kept the last skiers tent bounded in Barneo, but the sun got out again and the skiers and dogs were flown out to Longyearbyen, Svalbard. No tourist and skiers will be flown in to Barneo this season any more. Only technical flights picking up the camp equipment will fly in. The remaining staff at Barneo started dismantling the tents.

Three skydivers jumped from a helicopter at Barneo. The group of young 15-18 year old Russians got a plane from Barneo to Nagurskaya and Moscow. It is the fourth season that winter North Pole skiers, Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin, are taking young Russians to ski the last degree to the NP.

Latest reported coordinates of the drifting camp:
April 25: N89° 31', E133° 13'
distance from the pole 52 km
Drift 0,6 - 0,7 km/h
The weather is excellent: the temperature -20°C, wind 5 m/sec, sunny, the visibility of 10,000 meters.

Russian Mi8 helicopter picking up skiers from the Arctic Ocean:

Barneo flight over the Arctic Ocean:

AN-74 landing on the ice runway:

Last skiers flown from Barneo back to Longyearbyen:

North Pole Ski teams

Johan Nilson and Harald Kippenes are now doing 10 hrs per day and had a rest day yesterday. We have approximately 25 days left and we are so looking forward to some warm weather, writes Johan in his latest update.

A seal popped up at the Catlin Arctic Survey 2011 Ice Base science sampling hole yesterday. Tyler Fish explains the ski teams daily routine. Ann Daniels wakes them up in the mornings. They get the stoves going and at seven have a scheduled call to the office. At seven thirty they have a filming session with Phil Coates. At eight oclock they have breakfast and at 8.30 they get dressed to get out of the tent at nine and break up camp. Most of the day they spend on their skis until it is time to camp again at the end of the day.

Ann described the ice types that they cross every day in a voice report. Lately they crossed rubble fields, leads and floe-bergs.

Prince Harry, attending a Walking With The Wounded team homecoming reception today: if you get off your arse you can achieve anything:


The 26-year-old prince was reunited with his team mates in London for the first time since he left them on their way to the North Pole three weeks ago. He will be the best man for his brother, Prince Williams wedding with Kate Middleton on Friday, April 29.


A degree of latitude is 110 km.

Johan Ernst Nilson From the North Pole to the South Pole 2011-12, only human and wind power
Johan Ernst Nilson dispatches over Contact5
Pat Farmer From the North Pole to the South Pole 2011-12, air and vechile support

Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry (Pittarak Expedition) Canada, kite-ski Northwest Passage 3000km

Nicolas Peissel and Edvin Buregren, Canada and Sweden, NWP Hallsberg-Rassy Monsun 31
Sebastien Roubinet and Rodolphe Andre France, NWP hybrid catamaran
Jon Turk, Tyler Bradt and Erik Boomer Ellesmere kayak circumnavigation
Jock Wishart (leader), Mark Delstanche, Rob Sleep, Billy Gammon UK, row 1996 Magnetic North Pole

Catlin Arctic Survey
A team of four skiers will be travelling up to 350 miles (560 km) across the Arctic Sea Ice during March to May.
Their mission is to gather oceanographic and ice data for Dr Boxall and the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.
Their ski plan according to their website:
Phase 1: a short transect across Prince Gustav Adolf Sea towards the Catlin Ice Base in Deer Bay.
Phase 2: a longer trek from near the Geographic North Pole to Greenland.
They will be assisted with resupplies.

Ski/Explorer Team:
Ann Daniels (UK) co-leader third Catlin Arctic Survey.
Tyler Fish (USA) co-leader
Adrian McCallum (Australia) - Scientist
Phil Coates (UK) - cameraman

The temporary Catlin Ice Base will be off the western coast of Ellef Ringnes Island in the territory of Nunavut, Canada. The scientists will undertake on-site experiments during the 2011 Spring season.

Catlin Ice Base team
Catlin Operations team

Walking With The Wounded
Start around 85° to 86° N, which is approx 240 nm to 300 nm (300 nm being 555 km or 345 miles).
Inge Solheim, Polar Guide
Henry Cookson, Logistics & Training
Martin Hewitt (Captain) Wounded (Paralyzed right arm)
Steve Young (Sergeant) Wounded (Fractured vertebra)
Guy Disney (Captain) Wounded - Amputee (Right leg below knee)
Jaco van Gass (Private) Wounded - Amputee (Left arm through elbow)
Simon Daglish (Founder)
Edward Parker (Founder)

Steffen Dahl solo, website
Steffen Dahl solo, diary

Charlie Paton (guide), Nick and Ed Bonnar, Ian Beaton and David Juster (all UK), ski last Two Degrees

Doug Stoup (USA) guide for
Parker Liautaud (16), ski Last Degree
PolarExplorers / NorthWest Passage Expeditions Several expeditions (dogs, ski)
Borge Ousland / Lars Ebbesen
Mike Thornewill
Borge Ousland / Lars Ebbesen
Richard Parks
Pax Arctica
ADI South Africa
Wendy Booker
Wendy Booker homepage

Dmitry Shparo and a Russian youth expedition,
ski last degree.

Mike Horn and Pangaea 1996 Magnetic North Pole
78° 35'42.00"N, 104° 11'54.00"W.


Alex Hibbert and Andrew Wilkinson (UK)
Georg Sichelschmidt and Ondrej Kotas
Robert and Heidi Clover (UK) website
Robert and Heidi Clover (UK) dispatches over Contact 5; guide Ronny Finsaas
Weather4Expeditions Robert and Heidis weather router


BSES expeditions (UK)
BSES expedition blog

Ultima Thule 2011 Kari "Vaiska" Vainio (leader), Jaakko Heikka and 12 team members (Finland)
Jaakko Heikka blog
Jaakko Heikka Twitter
Ultima Thule 2011 expdition website
Ultima Thule 2011 expedition website
Svalbard weather

Greenland 2009 Timo Stenros, Kari Kossila and Raimo Västinsalo (Finland)

Doug Stoup (USA)
Jim McNeill (UK)

Baffin Island:

Tessum Weber, Conrad Dickinson, Hillary Dickinson, Anthony Baird, Ben Haywood Smith, David Pearson and Nigel Porter

Antony Jinman homepage
Antony Jinmans Education Through Expeditions
Antony Jinmans Tracker

Other links:

Barneo Ice Camp
Russian Geographical Society
Canada Weather Office satellite image
Canadian Ice Service

CONTACT 5 expedition technology
CONTACT Augmented route map
HumanEdgeTech expedition technology

Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?


The South African mountaineers who skied the last degree of latitude (110km), made it to the North Pole.
courtesy Sean Disney (live over Contact 5), SOURCE
Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin took another 15-18 year old Russian team to the North Pole; skiing the last degree.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp, SOURCE
16 year old Alexander Laurent, from the Pax Arctica team, also reached the North Pole this season.
courtesy Luc Hardy / Pax Arctica, SOURCE
PolarExplorers negotiating open water.
courtesy PolarExplorers, SOURCE
Johan Nilson and Harald Kippenes crossing pressure ridges.
courtesy Johan Nilson (live over Contact5), SOURCE

courtesy Johan Nilson (live over Contact5), SOURCE

courtesy Johan Nilson (live over Contact5), SOURCE
Near the North Pole.
courtesy Luc Hardy / Pax Arctica, SOURCE
The Pax Arctica team in a Barneo tourist tent waiting for a plane out.
courtesy Luc Hardy / Pax Arctica, SOURCE
Last skier pick-up at Barneo by the AN-74.
courtesy PolarExplorers, SOURCE