An Improvement in the Terrain

Published on 21.05.2007 - The Arctic Arc

Things are starting to get better for the two Belgians of The Arctic Arc expedition. Even though the sky is still cloudy, the ice, on the other hand, is now flatter and the ground clearer.

Since the two men from the re-supply team (Arnaud Tortel and Didier Goetghebuer) have been asked to turn around and return to Thulé, the weather conditions have slowly been getting better for Dixie and Alain.

But, let's put aside the weather conditions, which are still very bad and are probably not going to get better any time soon, and look more closely at the changes in ice conditions. "We are in the Canadian part of the Arctic", explains Hubert. "We have now passed – for good this time, I hope – the awful ice conditions we had encountered around degree 87. For several days now, we have been progressing on ice which is clearly older and probably a lot thicker than that which we had on the other side. Also, it is distinctly flatter. This means that the landscape is clear and that there are fewer compression ridges. Less chaos too. When the sun is around, it is absolutely divine to walk on this ice. But, unfortunately, the bad weather seems to keep plaguing us..."

A Ten Hour Walk Every Day

As proof that the conditions on which the men progress have changed, Dixie and Alain have been able to speed up to a ten hour daily walking regime and their pace is now of 15 km a day. Luckily, they are feeling both physically and mentally in top form. Furthermore, we know that the sledges are getting lighter by one kilo every 24 hours and that, soon, this progressive change will, according to Hubert, really start making a difference. We can thus expect the expedition to progress a lot faster now over the next few days.

As of yesterday, 399 kilometres still separated them from land. We can therefore predict their arrival in Greenland around June 20th.

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