Only A Hundred Miles To Go

Published on 23.05.2007 - Mars North Pole Solo

Rosie Stancer has passed the point of the last 100 nautical miles (1.852 km) to go to reach the North Pole.

After having passed the point, on May 17, of 300 miles accomplished (555.6 km), Rosie Stancer has just crossed another border: the last 100 nautical miles to go.

What this British woman is in the process of achieving - all alone, don't forget - amounts quite simply to a superb feat. Because when you read the bulletins posted virtually every day on her website, you can only remain open-mouthed in admiration.

Rosie is indeed facing the same conditions as those experienced by Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer when they were crossing the hellish Degree 87. But she is alone and is therefore unable to benefit from the presence of a companion for help at the time of any particularly difficult passage. And it would seem that the conditions that she has to endure are even more difficult. On Saturday May 19, you can read on her website that, according to one of the most experienced Arctic pilots (whose name unfortunately she doesn't give but it must be a question of one of Ken Borek's employees), the conditions of the ice in this spring of 2007 were the most frightening that he had ever seen.

Confronted By The Great Wall Of China.

How many times has Rosie had to put on, then take off, then put on again, then take off again her waterproof coverall in order to swim across one of the many leads? How many times did she find herself in front of a crest that was too high or too difficult for her? On May 10, she found herself in front of an insuperable wall of ice. The obstacle extended from east to west in such a way that it was like the Great Wall of China plus the fact that, if the Mongols had seen this wall, they would undoubtedly have gone back home...

How many frights has she had? On May 17, an area of ice blocks broke away beneath her feet to fall into water of the lead that she was crossing, leaving the explorer on one side of the blocks and her sledge on the other.

To these difficulties inherent to the terrain should be added the stress that must be caused by the solitude, especially in such conditions of extreme danger and the fact that, now already for several weeks, Rosie Stancer has been progressing at a heady rate of 15 hours per day.

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