The Gods really need to stay with us

Published on 08.06.2007 - The Arctic Arc

About 100 km to go

About 100 km to go

© International Polar Foundation

Yesterday, Alain and Dixie were back in a zone more dangerous than ever. The challenge is back...

Since we did not receive any pictures from the sea ice yesterday, our idea on what Alain, head of expedition, and Dixie are currently going through is based on one single piece of information: the fact that they progressed 11 hours but only covered 6 kilometres! Above this, another piece of information concerns their sledges (we haven't talked much about them these past few days), which now only weigh sixty kilos...

An accident can happen any time

Yesterday evening, Alain Hubert explained by satellite telephone around 8 30pm: "One hour after we had left, we were back in a very dangerous ice zone. It was completely crazy. There was water everywhere. We had to cross hundreds of leads and some of the compression zones were several metres high (up to 4 or even 5 metres high). We had to clear our way through, just like the day before yesterday. On this type of terrain, an accident can happen anytime because each time you put a foot down, a trap could be hiding under the snow. Furthermore, since the temperature is now positive (1.8°C), the snow is sticking to our boots. Each time we start moving again, in order to get the man-sledge team moving, we must give an incredible thrust forward with the small of our backs. Thank goodness the sun turned up today. Even though it was a little hidden by the clouds, it was present enough so as to give us excellent visibility. But Gosh, it's difficult! Of course, we're going to make it, especially now that we are taking a direct south direction and that we only have 100 kilometres left to do. But the gods really need to stay with us..."

The Website of the day

An article published on March 24th, 2007, by and Associated Press ("Resource race heats up in melting Arctic") explains that while the world is worrying about the Arctic ice's fact melting, others see in this an opportunity for doing business. The author takes the example of a small northwest island in Greenland (Hans Island, upon which no one has claimed territorial rights so far) now the centre of a diplomatic struggle over sovereignty between Canada and Denmark. It must be said that, according to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic has, beneath its ice, over 25% of the world's undeveloped gas and oil deposits.

Photo: In July 95, the Canadian Northern Territories' army hauled up the flag on Hans Island. Courtesy: Canadian Forces.

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