Resignation on account of frostbites ...

Published on 12.03.2007 - Arctic Ocean 2007

Together with female explorer Rosie Stancer, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen took advantage of a favourable frame as they say in meteorological jargon, which opened up on March 6th, to be dropped off at the starting point of their trip.

But, they had barely set up their first camp site when a huge open water line of a couple of kilometres wide opened up just north of the path they were planning on taking. Both explorers are quite familiar with these kinds of obstacles. They thus had no difficulty in surmounting this one. However, our latest news from the ice announce terrible progression of conditions, the mercury having dropped to -50°C. Then suddenly, a press release arrived dated March 12th which stipulated that the two women were renouncing the project and that they were returning to Resolute! They will have stayed on ice 7 days in all!

Here is their official press release: "Here's why we decided to come back: our gear was damaged last week on the first day of the expedition. We thought our repairs were sufficient, but in recent days Liv began suffering frostbite in some of her toes. She'll be fine, but all indications were that if we continued onward, she would have suffered permanent damage and may have even lost one or more of her toes. The deep cold here only made matters worse. One night, outside our tent, we think it might have gotten as low as -103 F (-75 C). Even during the day, we measured –58 F (-50 C). We've each had 20 years' experience in the Arctic and Antarctic, and are fully aware of the dangers that can arise when you don't make safety your greatest concern."

"The goal of this expedition is to help you learn more about global warming; we realize that it is ironic that frostbite and the cold temperatures contributed to our return. But, please know that global warming is real, and with it can come extreme unpredictable changes in temperature. Evidence abounds within this region and in our few days here we already observed some of its evidence. Our commitment to helping you learn more about global warming remains stronger than ever. ... "

"Right now we are focused on returning to our home countries, but in the weeks and months ahead we'll be sharing our plans for our next adventures. Whether it's on the ice or in the classrooms, we look forward to speaking with you soon. Best wishes, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen."

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