(Correne Coetzer) April 22 was set as the cut-off date for all ski expeditions to the Geographic North Pole (90°N). Barneo staff flew the last scientists and Last Degree skiers back to Longyearbyen and has started to dismantle the camp. No skiers from land (Canada/Russia) to the Pole have completed the full distance journey this year.
The last group of skiers that was picked up at the North Pole was the Russian LD youth team of winter North Pole skiers Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin. Some of the other polar guides who guided Last Degree expeditions were Doug Stoup (USA, 2x), Bengt Rotmo (Norway), Marc Cornelissen (Netherlands), Eric Philips (Australia), Keith Heger and Rick Sweitzer (USA).
Also on the ice skiing the last degree was South African Sibusiso Vilane who has summited Everest North and South sides and has skied from Hercules Inlet (coast) to the South Pole. Swiss Thomas Ulrich was out on the ice kite-skiing, while a few brave men skydived at the NP.
Barneo also supported several science projects, one of them the Russian Arctic science camp, SP-39. The BBC made a documentary about Barneo.
Video of a kite skier practicing:
Antanov-74 taking off from Barneo ice runway:
On April 21 the drift from the North Pole was 0.1-0.3 km/h.
Coordinates April 22:
N 89° 01'and W002° 06'
Distance from the pole: 109 km
Weather: Temperature -22°C, wind north-west 5 m/s, visibility 10 miles.
Barneo Ice Camp is a temporary camp that is build by Russians near the North Pole every year. It serves as a drop off point for Last Degree (110km) and partial route skiers as well as scientists and other high Arctic ice visitors. The Barneo helicopter also picks up the full distance skiers upon arrival at the Geographic North Pole.
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