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

Posted: Sep 17, 2013 11:52 am EDT

(Newsdesk) In an interview with ExplorersWeb, street-kid-turned-adventurer Jelle Veyt said, "it's worth it to push through with things, even if you fail."  


Last year December, Brit Alex Hibbert set off from Qaanaaq in Greenland to on the first phase of his dream expedition, a Winter North Pole sledge-haul. Due to an emerging medical problem on the part of his team mate, they had to abort right after the start. Alex writes in his blog, "the disappointment of a setback to an expedition, and especially one where a retreat enforces a delay of a whole year, is a bitter pill."


Despite the setback, Alex is "pushing through with things" and will be back in December for another attempt. This time with three team mates, James Weldon, 23 from the UK, an outdoor instructor who worked on an expedition across Lake Baikal, Anastasia Kim, 24 who grew up in Siberia, studied Art and Design in England, did a Last Degree North Pole and crossed Greenland from Isortoq to Point 660, and 24-year-old Anders Rasmussen from Denmark, who has a physical training background. Alex is 27 and has extensive experience on Greenland.


A Greenland dog, named Dave, will accompany them as their watchdog against Polar bears.


Game plan


Alex's plan has changed somewhat from last year. Last month Alex has worked with a small team to lay gear depots by boat up the Nares Strait on the Northwest rocky shoreline of Greenland (last year all this gear was to be sledge-hauled.)


In December 2013 the main Phase Two journey will take place by hauling sledges north onto the sea ice out of Qaanaaq and the Thule region. The team plans to 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 will lay a final depot on land, before heading across the Arctic Ice to the Geographic North Pole (90°N).


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.


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.




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




The Dark Ice Project website


#polar #winternorthpole #darkiceproject #alexhibbert

Alex Hibbert, August 19th, "organizing a metric ton of depots, food and supplies. The dull side of polar travel!"
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
"200 litres of clean-burning stove fuel in Qaanaaq ready to be shuttled up the coast." The team plans to start in the Thule Region, cover the Nares Strait and head to the North Pole, and weather/ice permitting, back.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
Alex: "Eric's ship, the Vagabond, behind Dark Ice's second main supply depot in the Nares Strait region of the Arctic." Time span of the expedition, December 2013 to June/July 2014.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
Alex, August 29th, "The spectacular coastline of the extreme north of Greenland as we rumbled south via Upernavik today." The expedition route will cover up to 1800 miles over fractured and mobile sea ice between the cliffs and glaciers of Ellesmere Island and North-West Greenland and then the vast, frozen Arctic Ocean, states Alex.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
The sea ice at Qaanaaq in August.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
Qaanaaq in summer end of August.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE
A Greenland dog, named Dave, will accompany them as their watchdog against Polar bears.
courtesy Alex Hibbert, SOURCE

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