Chaos, Once More

Published on 30.04.2007 - The Arctic Arc

On the ice

On the ice

© International Polar Foundation

They were hoping the flat ice found at the North Pole would foreshadow what they were to encounter on their way down to Greenland. But no. Not at all.

The expediiton has just received the fuel that Boyarsky had forgotten when he first resupllied the two men, three weeks ago (April 8th).

While, during the two or three days following the departure from the Pole, the terrain on which Alain and Dixie progressed was more or less acceptable, yesterday, however, was another dive into an indescribable hell. Judge for yourself: they struggled during 8 and a half hours to cover only 8 km!

"It was horrible", explained Dixie on the phone yesterday. "Naturally, it should be reminded that we are about 70 kilos heavier since the re-supply of our goods. But also, several passages of fallen ice were really hard to cross. As a matter of fact, the sea ice was often so broken apart and shattered that both Alain and myself had to climb huge ice blocks to see which way was best to follow. Also, we often had to work together in order to get the sledges to pass. And, when a couple of squared decimetres of flat land finally came up, we would sink into the snow up to our knees. As a matter of fact, as we are speaking now, it is still snowing on the campsite. There is no telling what tomorrow will be made of. But we know that we are rather tired this evening..."

"The fact that we have encountered such broken up ice so close to the Pole is incomprehensible," clarifies Alain. "On the other side of the Pole, on our way up, it was the same story. Normally, this close to the Pole, the sea ice should be less scattered and less cracked. So why do we have such a terrain then? Probably due to a succession of heavy storms having taken place here several weeks or months ago. I do not see any other explanation..."

Other information

  • Night time drift: 2.68 km
  • Distance covered: 8 km
  • Progression time: 8h 30
  • Distance from the North Pole: 82 km
  • Temperature: -12°C
  • Visibility: cloudy, the sun is visible from behind the clouds
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