The Wizard of Oz

Published on 31.03.2007 - Mars North Pole Solo

Dry suit for crossing the leads

Dry suit for crossing the leads

© International Polar Foundation

Big troubles for Rosie who's been blocked by a storm and whose progress is too slow.

In recent days, Rosie has had to cope with an enormous storm that has struck this area of the Arctic Ocean. Even Richard Weber, who is guiding the "North Pole Quest" expedition, and who is now with his clients just a few short miles from it, had never seen anything like it in the twenty years of his polar career. Blizzard, violent winds, alarming gusts, moving pack ice, disrupted ice, and so on and so forth.

In short, Rosie has had to stay in her tent for two whole days. This is what her website was relating on March 25th: "A frustrating day for Rosie as the storm continues to rage all about her. At one point yesterday she said that she felt like an "Arctic version of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz" as her tent kept on trying to take off — with her inside it. The wind direction has shifted and is no longer pushing her south, which is some good news. Instead, it is pushing her east where Rosie risks getting caught in the strong current taking the ice down towards Greenland."

On March 27th, she set off again heading North, with a drift that had become negative again, causing her to lose a mile and a half out of the five that she had put under her belt on that particular day. But the Britisher had to go on because she had to look for ice on which the Twin Otter, which was going to bring her first supplies, could land. That was no easy task as the storm had completely disrupted the pack ice and Rosie couldn't find a sufficiently large area on which the plane could "ice". Result: Ken Borek's twin-engined plane had to be content with passing over Rosie's head at low speed and dropping her supplies from the air.

Since her departure on March 7th, Rosie has covered 67 miles, which is an average of 3.1 miles per day. She still has some 416 miles to go.

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