Hard time for both Johan & Harald
Published on 11.05.2011 - Climate Neutral Pole 2 Pole
Unpredictable icedrift, numerous open waters, thin and dangerous ice, heavy walls, broken skis, a fall into the ocean... The hard time has come for pair Nilson/Kippenes.
On the first May, Johan E. Nilson is categoric when he writes in his expedition blog : "This is not an expediiton", he writes in the daily communiqué. "... Today we had it all," he continues : "strong winds", many open leads and walls of ice. Despite the 10 hour day we only got 12 km. Very irrritating! We had the moving ice against us all day. Probably we will float backwards all night and end up at the same position as this morning. Tomorrow has better weather forecast... "
Breaking ice leads to many questions
In fact, since more than a fortnight, the expedition has a hard time. First difficulty : the white out which continuously hides the surfaces of the ice pack. Second, the ice drift which often slows down the adventurers because of course most of the time it moves towards the bad direction (opposite their progression). Third, the ice is beginnig to crack up more and more each day ; that forces Nilson and Kippenes to zigzag between the open waters and consequently do more miles each day.
" What is happening with all the ice? ", writes Nilson on 06 May. " The day was beautiful, but we had to go around for hours to find the right way. We are very worried now if we can make all the way to Greenland or if we will get stuck on the ice due to breaking ice... "
In addition, on 05 may, Nilson fells into the water : "After about seven hours I fell through the ice. When I felt the ice breaking up under my feet my heart stopped. Its very complicated to swim with all the gear, skis and a sled in ropes behind you. Especially in ice water. Harald came skiing beside me and I managed to grab his sled and we moved slowly until we reached hard ice. Now we have been trying to dry up everything and get some sleep. We are very worried by the fact that the ice is breaking up so far north. ..."