It appears that the operation to pick up Bardout and his team has been a success

Published on 12.05.2010 - Under the Pole.com

We still haven't received the very latest news about how things went, but by yesterday afternoon, the Twin Otter from Kenn Borek Air Ltd had managed to collect half of the team.

One certain thing is that by tomorrow, Wednesday, we will have all the latest news from the Bardout expedition, which gave up on its attempt to travel from the North Pole to Ward Hunt at 88 degrees North.

In the meantime, this is what they published in their blog the evening before last:

"The day began very early for everyone today: 4 o'clock for the team to go and mark out the landing strip clearly, and 5.30 in Resolute to wait for the first weather report. At 6 o'clock, the team explained that there was 8/8ths cloud cover and little contrast. After consulting numerous specialists, the pilots decided to wait and see how things developed. Then, by 9.00 am, the cloud cover had lifted a little and the sun began to peep shyly through the clouds and the contrast became more marked. It was far from ideal, but in May there are virtually no totally fine days out on the pack-ice. In fact, the ice is melting so much that it releases vapours, then leads open up and disrupt the temperature, all of which creates clouds. In any event, the cloud cover is much more tenacious at the moment. 'It's all about the available windows at this time of the year,' Wayne tells us. 'The trick is to find a small one – just the time to fly in and out – and make the most of it. You never know when the next window will open up. It's also not so much about the high and low pressure systems hovering over the Arctic, but local air and water flows, hence the melting of the ice. You can't beat the team's own weather report from on the spot.'

"10.30: the pilots decided to take off from Eureka and head for the pick-up location, hoping that the break in the weather would hold. 15.30: the Twin Otter was now 90 minutes' flying time from the team's position, with the pilots in direct contact by satellite phone.
"17.00: The Twin had made a successful landing and 4 expedition members were on board (Clément, Pascal, Alban and Benoit) along with half of the equipment, heading for Cape Discovery.

"For once, the weather was in our favour a bit and a few bright spells appeared 'at the right time', according to Ghislain.
"20.15: The Twin Otter arrived back at Cape Discovery, dropped off the team and left again immediately to go and pick up the other half of the expedition (a round trip of approximately 5 to 6 hours). The DC3 then left from Resolute at 22.00 to fly back to Cape Discovery."

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