Vanco Arctic Survey

Official Website

From 15.02.2008 to 15.06.2008 - Status: postponed

A new crossing of the Arctic ice pack

A new crossing of the Arctic ice pack

© International Polar Foundation

Next spring, the Vanco Arctic Survey Team consisting of the renowned british explorer and guide Pen Hadow, the equally famous polar explorer Ann Daniels and the photographer Martin Hartley, will be setting out on a 120-day crossing of the Arctic pack-ice, covering 2000 km. They will leave in February 2008 from Point Barrow in Alaska and aim to reach the North Pole by June.

In spring 2008, a new page will be turned in the history of exploration of the Arctic Ocean. It will be the first time that a group of three well-known explorers (Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley) undertake an unprecedented 2000-km trek from Point Barrow in Alaska to the geographic North Pole.

As has been the case with most of the expeditions to the Arctic in recent years, the awareness campaign to promote this new adventure focuses mainly on the alarming melting of the Arctic pack-ice. These days, it has become standard for polar explorers and adventurers to pit their physical and mental capabilities – not to mention their courage and teremity – in the name of science.

It's the same this time around, too. "We simply have to help science," said Pen Hadow in London on 16th October at the press conference to launch the expedition officially. As part of their tasks, the threesome will be taking scientific readings along the entire route, including measurements of the sea ice thickness and that of the snow covering the pack-ice, as well as the density of the ice and the snow. The expedition will also be observing and taking notes on the configuration of the compression zones, as well as gathering samples of ice, snow and water along the way.

"If we find out that the pack-ice is melting as quickly as some experts fear, what we are doing will serve as an urgent wake-up call for the worldwide's political decision-makers," added Hadow.

One thing is certain in any event: with all these explorers setting off to take measurements and readings out on the Arctic pack-ice, scientists will soon be spoiled with choice when it comes to gathering data for studying this extremely fragile environment...

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