Arctic wrap-up: Shuttling sleds through rubble and sleeping with electronics

Posted: Mar 06, 2009 12:45 pm EST

( John and Tyler were in a rubble field and shuttled their sleds back and forth walking triple the distance. They saw the sun for the first time when it peeped over the mountains in the south. Martin explained how he sleeps with his electronics and they crossed a newly frozen lead very cautiously.

Unsupported, Unassisted

John Huston and Tyler Fish (USA)

On Day 2 Tyler reported, We saw some very jumbled ice basically right next to our camp so we decided not to ski and instead pull our pulks just on foot. And as it turns out, within 50 feet of camp with our first lead. It was frozen. It actually was the lead that indicates the separation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf from the Arctic Ocean.

After crossing the lead they continued through rubble. Tyler explained, The rubble was quite a labyrinth, really. It was impossible to tell which way is the best way to go. There really is no best way. So we just make our way as we can. More or less in the direction we want to go sometimes more and sometimes less with some zig-zags here and there.

They reported doing only .87 nautical miles through the rubble that day. Fortunately the weather was good.

John said on Day 4 that they used their snowshoes and covered 1.4 nm in 6 hours. We had quite varied terrain from gigantic ice boulders, some of them 20-30 feet high that we just felt like we were in the mountains. We had a few fields of really tricky ice as far as it was really challenging on the ankles.

They first take their big sled North for 20-30 minutes, drop it, go back and get the smaller sled, repeating it 4-5 times a day reported John.

Unsupported, Assisted

Lonnie Dupre, guide, (USA), Max Chaya (Lebanon) and Stuart Smith (USA)

The team is produced and guided by the company PolarExplorers a division of The Northwest Passage.
No new news from the ski team.

Christina Franco (Italy/UK)

As reported yesterday, Christina had to withdraw because of a double failure of her stove.

Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley (UK)

After the night that the team spent to get away from ice that was breaking up, they slept in the next day.

Martin explained what he puts in his sleeping bag at night, As result of the freezing temperatures my sleeping bag is lined with cables, cameras, batteries and other technological gadgetry, which are all benefiting from my body heat as I try and slip into slumber each night.

Ann described how they ski across newly frozen ice, As Im the navigator out in front and also the lightest of the bunch, I have to go across first to test the stability. Of course you start very tentatively, with each small step you nervously anticipate the worst. But, as you find your feet and realize that youre still upright, you have more confidence and once you see its good to go you can really whizz along on this smooth, fresh ice, which is really fantastic.

An chiropractor explained what happens when a person subject his/her body to the pressures of polar travel. Read more on their website.

Links to Arctic 2009 expeditions

Unsupported, Unassisted Geographic North Pole
John Huston and Tyler Fish (USA) - Victorinox North Pole '09 Expedition

Unsupported, Assisted Geographic North Pole
Christina Franco (Italy/UK)
Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley (UK) Catlin Arctic Survey Expedition
Lonnie Dupre (USA), Max Chaya (Lebanon) and Stuart Smith (USA) Peary-Henson Centennial North Pole Expedition 09

Christina reported on her website, "Very sadly I sustained a double failure on my Stove and I was no longer able to heat the tent or to heat water to make food and drink." Image of Christinas stove over Contact 4 courtesy of (click to enlarge)

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