Alex Hibbert’s Winter North Pole project kicks off

Posted: Dec 16, 2013 04:33 pm EST

 

(By Correne Coetzer) Alex Hibbert and his three team mates, James Weeldon, Anastasia Kim and Anders Rasmussen, are in Qaanaaq, Greenland, where they are doing their final preparations for their Dark Ice Project, a return ski / sledge-haul attempt from there to the Geographic North Pole (90ºN) and back. According to Hibbert, an 1,800 miles expedition over 210 days.

 

The game plan

 

The expedition starts in Qaanaaq in the darkness and will continue through the Polar Winter until the North Pole is reached by March 21. 

 

The first Phase will take them up the length of the Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. In August, Alex and local Greenland boatmen spent a couple of weeks pre-laying gear depots by boat up the Nares Strait on the Northwest rocky shoreline of Greenland. 

 

They plan to sledge-haul north onto the sea ice out of Qaanaaq and the Thule region. The team will use the depots to reach the northern extent of the Nares Strait, where it meets the Lincoln Sea and Arctic Ocean, in February 2014. There they plan to lay a final depot on land, before heading across the Arctic Ice to the Geographic North Pole.

 

Their goal is to reach the North Pole in winter, before the equinox on March 21. A decision will then be made based on the ice conditions to the south, to return to the entrance of the Nares Strait, to their depot. From there they plan to ski back to Qaanaaq, either on the sea ice or on the icecap.

 

Latest news

 

Alex tweeted today, “Yesterday was a long one! We set out to lay a few supplies in disused hunting hut 6/7 miles down coast. Completed in 11hrs (13 miles total).”

 

Anders reported that they were trying to find all their stuff amongst thousands of things and spares.  And they “went for a wander out of town to test one of our bear protections, our guns.”

 

The team

 

Brit Alex Hibbert (27), completed 2210 km return journey on Greenland. James Weeldon, 23 from the UK, is an outdoor instructor, who worked on an expedition across Lake Baikal. Anastasia Kim, 24, grew up in Siberia, studied Art and Design in England, did a Last Degree North Pole and crossed Greenland from Isortoq to Point 660. 24-year-old Anders Rasmussen from Denmark has a physical training background. A Greenland dog, named Dave, will accompany them as their watchdog against Polar bears and they have reportedly 80 kg dog food in their supplies.

 

In 2006 the Norwegian and South African duo, Børge Ousland and Mike Horn, attempted the North Pole in Winter, unassisted, unsupported; starting January 22 and arrived at the North Pole March 23; after 61 days on the ice and only two days after sunrise/equinox. They did it unassisted, unsupported by pulling all their food, fuel and gear with them from the start at Cape Arktichesky, the northern point of the Zevernaya Zemlya Archipelago, Russia. Distance, 980 km in a straight line.

 

The Russians, Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin, started their Winter expedition on December 22, 2007, the day of winter solstice, from the Arktichesky Cape. They reached the GNP on March 14, 2008, after 84 days of traveling and one week before sunrise, the beginning of the Polar Day. They received one resupply by air.

 

Previous/Related:

 

North Pole: Alex Hibbert's Dark Ice Project continuing in 2013-14 

 

2012 ExWeb interview Alex Hibbert and Justin Miles: two-phase winter Arctic expedition

 

AdventureStats

 

The Dark Ice Project website

 

#polar #winternorthpole #darkiceproject #alexhibbert

 

 

 

 

 

"Dave got his new collar on so he is looking sharp and we are ready for the trip", reports Anders Rasmussen.
courtesy The Dark Ice Project, SOURCE
Final packing in Qaanaaq.
courtesy The Dark Ice Project, SOURCE
Route.
courtesy Dark Ice Project, SOURCE

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