2013 North Pole: Last Degree ski expeditions

Posted: Apr 08, 2013 09:26 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) The Russians at Barneo Ice Camp, the Base Camp for the Last Degree skiers, report that 6 ski teams are already on their way to the Geographic North Pole.

Last Degree ski Expeditions - 89°N start, 110km

Australian veteran polar explorer Eric Philips is leading the Greenpeace Save the Arctic expedition to the North Pole. Eric explained to ExWeb, "Greenpeace will lower a flag and specially-constructed capsule to the sea bed beneath the North Pole, containing more than 2.7 million signatures in support of preserving the Arctic Ocean as a sanctuary; and a message to the future - did we act in time? The capsule will remain on the sea bed for a few decades until it is released and eventually found."

The team consists of 16 persons. Other two guides who are with this team are Russian Lyudmila Korobeshko, who did the
Seven Summits in a female record time of 293 days last year, and Audun Tholfsen, who skied and kayaked with Timo Palo from the North Pole to Svalbard in 2012. The team flew in on April 5 and plans to be finished on the 14th.

Among other polar guides on the ice this year are American Doug Stoup from Ice Axe Expeditions, Norwegian Inge Solheim, Belgain Alain Hubert, Norwegian Bengt Rotmo guiding for Borge Ousland Expeditions, and PolarExplorers, with well known guides Keith Heger and Nancy Moundalexis (dogsled team), Brit Philip Hayday-Brown and Russian, Mikhail Lamakin.

The first British Scout team, Scouts on the Pole, will also be heading to the Pole. They are trained by Antony Jinman.

News sources report about a British-America woman, Vanessa O'Brien, who is getting ready to ski the last degree to the North Pole and will then claim the world record for, according to her, competing the Explorers' Grand Slam in the fastest time ever. She has climbed the Seven Summits and skied the last degree to the South Pole. The last degree ski covers 10% of the full route and the rest she flew by plane. With the North Pole again the same. Compare "climbing" Everest to Base Camp and climbing it to the top.

The claim has no ground, as according to the Rules of Adventure, first of all it requires a full South Pole route (coast to 90°S) and a full North Pole route (land to 90°N) - as it requires climbing mountains to the top - and secondly it should be the 14 highest mountains, not the Seven Summits. This has only been achieved by Park Young-Seok from Korea.

Ice Camp Barneo

Coordinates April 7: N 89˚ 37' and W118˚ 16'.
Weather: Temperature -27°C, wind southwest, 10m/sek, visibility over 10 km.
Distance from the pole 42 km, drifting northeast.
32 tourists in camp
On route 6 groups.

See photos here of the Russians' construction of Barneo tents.

Barneo Ice Camp is a temporary camp that is build by Russians near the Geographic 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 (if any).

Expeditions/ adventures/ projects with RSS feeds can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone/iPad and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb Expedition List

Expedition links:

North Pole to Greenland

Fyodor/Fedor Konyukhov's website

Fyodor/Fedor Konyukhov on Facebook

MLAE-2013 website

MLAE on Facebook

Barneo Ice Camp


Ice Camp Barneo 2013 is open

Cars and dogsled departed from the North Pole

Art Mortvet and the Polar Pumpkin made it to the North Pole

Heads up: Gavin Bate and team to 1996 Magnetic North Pole


These shoes are made for walking.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp, SOURCE
An AN-74 coming in for landing on the ice runway.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE
Unloading skiers' gear.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE
Twelve-year-old Russian girl, Katya Popova, getting ready to ski to the North Pole.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE
Drop-off at 89°N by Mi-8 helicopter.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE
Scientists at work at Barneo.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE
Barneo Ice Camp 2013.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp 2013, SOURCE

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