Portrandolfo’s turn to give up

Published on 20.04.2010 - The big Nail

Once he had calculated the distance he had already travelled and the distance still left to do, the Italian Michele Portrandolfo finally came to the conclusion that he wouldn't be able to make it to his goal.

It was really only a matter of time before Portrandolfo took the decision to abandon his quest. Because on 15th April, after 44 days out on the ice (he set out on 2nd March), he still hadn't passed through 85 degrees North.

So it was, on 13th April, Michele finally had the guts to face up to the facts and figures of his adventure. The calculations were there in black and white: to reach the pole in time, he would have average 30 to 33 kilometres a day, whereas in fact he was only doing 5 or 6! Which, of course, was impossible. Hence the wise decision to give up his trek and call in Ken Borek's logistics people to come and collect him.

But even there things have not been straightforward, because the conditions are far from ideal. On the evening of 19th April, as these lines were being written, Michele had been waiting for the twin-engined plane for six days.

His final coordinates from 16th April: 85° 31.179' N / 71° 47.222' W.

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