A thrilling end to their expedition…

Published on 27.04.2009 - Victorinox North Pole 09 Expedition

The two young Americans, John Huston and Tyler Fish, did everything they could to reach the Pole in time. In fact the final days of their adventure were really thrilling to follow.

Before getting down to brass tacks, we would like to start by saying that despite more and more expeditions or polar tourists going to the Pole, the trek from Ward Hunt to the North Pole (or the route from Cape Arktichewski in Siberia, even though this particular route appears to be out of fashion at the moment) is and will always remain an immense challenge to accomplish. In fact, you could say every year, given the effect global warming is having on the sea-ice (more jumbled, chaotic ice and compression zones, less old ice and hence fewer flat surfaces), that conditions for travelling are becoming increasingly difficult. Which makes the task more and more daunting.

Now let's talk about the triumph of the two Americans. We should start by saying that they never doubted their ability to succeed what they had undertaken -which is a plus point in itself and certainly one of the reasons they achieved their goal. Then, throughout their adventure, they always weighed up the pros and cons of the decisions they had to take. There was always the feeling in their dispatches that when a decision had been taken, they both totally agreed with what they had decided to do. The reason we mention this is because they have had to take a lot of decisions in the past few weeks. The final major one was to completely change the way their routine was organised. As we reported in our last update, the men had said that they were introducing a 27-hour day. But even that wasn't enough. In the final week before arriving, they were on the move for 12 hours, resting for 3 and then marching again for 12 hours. In the end, during the final days as their supplies ran out, they decided to stop for just 2 hours at a time. One: the "Rest Stop": which was a break of about 15 minutes, wolf down a few biscuits or nuts, drink a little hot tea or soup -and then get back on their way. Two: the "Pit Stop": put up the tent quickly, heat some water, quickly make a meal, rest for an hour, then roll up the tent and set off again. It was a pace that they would not have been able to sustain for a long period, but they had to reach the Pole before the 27th, which was the day Barneo base was closing for the season.

In the end, John and Tyler arrived at the North Pole on Saturday 25th April at 5.30 pm, after a trek of 55 days. As they did not publish an update during the final three days of their trip (they had told HQ that there was no time to write or phone), we are not entirely aware of the details of their arrival.

More information will follow in a few days' time.

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