(By Correne Coetzer/AdventureStats, story edited May 7, 04:29 EDT to reflect correction of a statistic. Edited May 28, 16:52 EDT to clarify a statistic) The American duo, Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen, arrived at the Geographic North Pole on May 6, 7.49 pm Pacific time. They left the coast of Canada at Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island (83ºN), 53 days ago on March 15, with hardly any sun to warm them.
The two men were unassisted (no resupplies) and unsupported (no kite, dog or vehicle support). Ryan and Eric are the first skiers since 2010 to complete a successful expedition from Land to the Geographic North Pole.
Right from the start at the coast the team encountered endless fields of pressure ice. Their fully loaded, 144 kg / 317 pound sleds with food, fuel and gear for 55 days were too heavy for one person to pull across the high ridges and required relaying. Route finding and navigation were a nightmare. It took them 21 days to complete their first degree of latitude.
Although they had their fare share of open water (leads) this year, it seems as if pressured ice or rubble were more of an issue most of the way than the leads. Unstable ice blocks also posed a danger. Yesterday though, a very emotional and tired Eric sent a voice dispatch, reporting about lots of open water and thin ice hampering their progress in the final miles to the Pole. Even up to the end the Arctic threw its best at the men, requiring them to swim, raft and crawl in flat light.
During the expedition several blizzards pushed the men in a northeast direction, which required them to correct their navigation. The last few days Ryan and Eric decided to divide their ski days in 6 hour-long shifts around the clock, with food and rest breaks in their tent in between.
Tracker: 06 May 2014 22:15 GMT
Latitude: 89.967 | Longitude: 78.712
Dist To Pole: 2 Nautical Miles / 2.3 Miles / 3.6 Kilometers
Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen polar facts
as per AdventureStats:
First unsupported unsupplied (and skiing overall) North Pole in 4 years.
Less than 200 people have skied from land to the North Pole. Less than 50 did it without resupplies.
Ryan is the first American to do the North Pole and South Pole unassisted and the first American to do the "Three Poles" with the South Pole and North Pole unassisted unsupported [Editor's note May 7, 04:29 EDT, not “Three Poles" unsupported unassisted as previously reported.]
In 2010 Ryan, with Norwegian Cecilie Skog, was the first to do an unsupported unassisted crossing of Antarctica.
Ryan is a veteran of 14 mountaineering expeditions on 8000 m peaks and has climbed Everest from both Tibet and Nepal. [Editor's note May 28, 16:52 EDT, not 10 x 8000m as previously reported and Ryan clarified: "I have been on 14 expeditions to 8000 meter peaks, I missed the summit on a few of those but that is part of big mountain climbing. Several of the trips were to the same peak because I have guided on a lot of those. It seems important to clarify that since that magic 14 number happens to be special in the 8000 meter world..."]
Eric has done two expeditions to the South Pole and two previous expeditions to the North Pole. This was Eric's first unsupported unassisted polar expedition.
In 2010 Eric summited Everest with a small team of Sherpas during the autumn season.
In a straight line, Ryan and Eric covered a distance of 770 km. What is not added to this distance are all the detours around high ridges, the ice blocks, the rubble and leads (open water). Also not added are the negative and sidewards drift and relaying of the sleds.
Teams Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada
Trudy Wohlleben at Canadian Ice Service sent out a blizzard warning to solo Bengt Rotmo and Eric Philips’ team, with an ice drift to the north and east (they are skiing south), as well as new and changing lead patterns due to the ice movement.
Bengt Rotmo, NO (solo)
(started April 21 at 90ºN)
Position on May 4:
Eric Philips, AU, Bernice Notenboom, NL/CA, Martin Hartley, UK
(Start April 4 at 90ºN)
After slow going, 3 km, in pressure ice, the team is tent-bounded in the blizzard, which is forecast to last till May 9.
Position May 6:
85.0N, 79.0W (May 06)
Land to Geographic North Pole
2013: 1x car team from Russia (did a crossing)
2010: 1x unassisted ski team from Canada
3x assisted ski teams from CA
2009: 1x unassisted ski team from CA
1x assisted ski team from CA
2008: 1x assisted ski team from Russia (winter exped)
2007: 1x assisted ski team from CA
Geographic North Pole to Land
2013: 1x assisted dog team to CA
2012: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Svalbard
2011: 2x assisted ski teams to CA
2009: 1x unassisted ski team to Greenland
2007: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Franz
1x assisted ski team to Greenland
assisted = resupplied
A note on the North Pole daily ski distances: They are calculated in a straight line from where the skiers start in the mornings and end in the evenings. What is not added, are all the detours around high ridges, ice blocks, rubble or leads (open water). Also not added are the negative drift and relaying sleds.
A North Pole expedition covers the full distance between land and the Pole (90ºN).
The Cape Discovery route (Canada) to the Geographic North Pole is 780 km.
Ward Hunt Island (Canada) start point calculates at 775 km.
A Degree of Latitude is 60 nm / 110 km.
Geographic North Pole is at 90ºN
1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole:
78° 35'42.00"N, 104° 11’54.00”W
Resolute Bay: 74° 41.808N, 094° 49.402W
Ski Teams starting from Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island, to the Geographic North Pole (90ºN)
Team Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters
Last North Expedition:
(Start March 15 at 83.043627N, 077.374263W)
Ryan Waters, USA
Eric Larsen, USA
Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada
(started April 21)
Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada
(Start April 4)
Eric Philips, Australia
Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada
Martin Hartley, UK
Kite ski circumnavigation:
Eric McNair-Landry (CA) and Dix”e Dansercoer (BE)
Blog Greenland Ice Expedition
Michael Chavarin (FR) and Cornelius Strohm (DE)
Yuri Klaver (USA to Greenland via CA)
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