They reached half way and have been successfully resupplied

Published on 29.04.2011 - Pole to Pole Run

Numerous leads on their way

Numerous leads on their way

© Farmer's website

Farmer's team has been successfully resupplied by Ken Borek's Twin Otter on 27 April for another four weeks of food and fuel.

Batteries, ski bindings, Easter eggs, two kettles, a thermos flask, 8 cans of Guinness and two bottles of vodka : that's another 28 days food and fuel for the rest of their trekking towards North Canada. "... We ate all we could and sipped between belches and groans", writes Eric Philips. "Matty McNair prepared our food and we thank here for the love and care she put into it. Clark and I just feasted on home cooked lasagne, as did Jose and Pat we guess. To aid our gluttony I declared a rewind of our watches by four hours, both to creep towards Canada time and to give our stomachs time to sleep so that we might fill them again...."

"Step, scrape, step, scrape, plunge..."

On 29 April, Farmer and his three companions have reached half way of the distance between North Pole and the shore of North Canada ; notwithstanding a serious negative and daily drift, they manage to cover an average of 19-20 km per day. Even if they hace to cross many leads (open waters), even if they plunge into the ocean once in a while. Eric writes on 27 April : "... With a stomach still loaded with fare, I advanced on the thin lead, scraping away snow with every step to check ice colour. Step, scrape, step, scrape, plunge. With no warning I was up to my bloated stomach in the Arctic Ocean and scrambling for a nearby floe. Out in seconds but both boots filled, mittens soaked, sodden to my belly button. Damn! After a bout rolling in the snow to soak up the salt we moved on to clear the area where we are now camped in the badlands, amongst the wind, water, blowing snow and a hole in the ice that matches my profile. Strung up inside the tent are all my clothes, slowly drying over the purring stove. There was only one thing for it, fill my belly, and so I did. The photo (photo above) is of a newly opened lead we crossed yesterday. We connected two sleds together to form a raft to ferry everybody across safely, using the snow shovel as a paddle. But three hours after departing we found ourselves in an area full of menace and foreboding, the epitome of all that is unnerving about the Arctic. Freshly frozen leads newly opened, brittle rubble, rafted ice, all coated in a rime of snow and cloaked in a dank fog. After emerging from a rubble section on boots, I continued on a small section of new ice. And so came the retribution. ..."

In a word, they are not yet out of the white hell.


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