” Persevere we shall, with patience, we must…”

Published on 20.04.2011 - Polar Flight 90

Still stuck in Ulukhaktok

Still stuck in Ulukhaktok

© Art Mortvedt / IPF

Pilot Art Mortvedt has no chance with the weather : because of too strong winds he is still stuck in Ulukhaktok.

Unlike other polar expeditions that usually have a deadline to respect, Art Mortvedt has time to wait. The flight between the place where he is waiting these last days (Ulukhaktok) and the North Pole via Resolute Bay with his Cessna should not last more than 24 hours, return trip and weather permitting of course.

But precisely, this is THE problem : apparently the weather does not allow Art to take off yet. In his las update, he comments on 16 April : "... The Polar Pumpkin was ready to fly.  All my gear was loaded, I had the airplane turned for taxi amid the snowdrifts; and all I needed to do was get the latest weather update from Flight Service.  This I did; and discovered that for approximately half of my planned route, I could expect north winds at 25 knots.  Also, one of the Resolute Bay hourly weather reports noted lenticular clouds - symbolizing strong winds aloft.

" So . . . unfortunately, I had no choice but to tie the Pumpkin down once again, put my "freezables" back in warm storage, and catch a ride back into Ulukhaktok.  Shortly after I canceled for the day, winds locally here in Ulukhaktok picked up also - in the 20 knot to 30 knot range from the north.

Traditional dancing at Ulukhaktok school

Traditional dancing at Ulukhaktok school

© Art Mortvedt

Dancing at the Ulukhaktok School

And to explain how he spends his time in this remote place, he adds : " ... This evening, at 7 PM, I was able to attend a community event of traditional Eskimo dancing at the Ulukhaktok School.  Many folks attended - young and old - and all of us - natives and non-natives - were encouraged to participate.  I enjoyed this very much; and once again appreciated the similarities and differences in style of dancing and music between this area and home in Alaska.  Costumes of many of the dancers were exquisite - hand made no doubt - with many utilizing the fur of wolverine and wolf.

" As I walked down the hill from the school, I noted that the visibility here in Ulukhaktok has come down while I was inside - snow grains in the air, with drifting snow. I'll be checking the weather again first thing tomorrow morning...."


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