They reached land
Published on 30.05.2011 - Climate Neutral Pole 2 Pole
After having changed their route, the pair Nilson / Kippenes have finally made it to the canadian coast. The last week has been a true hell.
If the pair Nilson / Kippenes had continued their itinerary towards Greenland (wich was the primary objective), they would not have succeeded to reach land. First the ice conditions were completely not negotiable, second, there were leads and open waters everywhere on their way. With only nine food days left, they simply would not have made it.
The nature is working against them
That's why the norwegian team has changed route.
Excerpts of their 19 May blog : "... The beginning of the expedition at the North Pole the ice-drift was very strong and it pushed us towards the West. We have since been trying to compensate the ice-drift with moving towards our goal the North coast of Greenland. This has been a difficult task since the nature is working against us. According to the scientists the ice-drift is caused by the new-ice that was created during the extremely cold winter and is now melting and moving with the winds. Unfortunately for us it was a strong westward direction in the beginning.
We have been recommended by our Safety Manger and our Meteorologist that the area between us and the North coast of Greenland has too much open water and leads. That makes it very unpredictable and very unlikely that we will be able to go with our skis and sleds along the planned route. Therefore we are working hard on reaching land but on the Canada side. ..."
Not a pleasure party
This does not mean that their route towards canadian coast and Ward Hunt has been a pleasure party. During the last days of their trek, Harald and Johan had to face huge hummocks, climb heavy ice walls, zigzag between a real chaos... But, finally, on 24 May, they reached land.
Excerpts of their 24 May blog : "... After almost 50 days we made it to land, the Northern most part of Canada. Because of the current extreme changes in the climate with the weak and unpredictable ice conditions we had to aim for Canada. If we had continued on our origianl route we would have run out of food and got stuck out on the ice because of the big open water leads between us and Greenland."
"The last day on the ice was very hard, 16 hours straight, and now I am resting. I have lost 17 kilograms and my feet are sore plus I suffer from a bit of snow blindness on one eye."
"Harald and I were very relieved that we made it to land alive. We had minimum food left and the last few days were really something else with the change in terrain. His part of the first part was crucial. I would not have made it without him.
I will now rest a few days before I continue the expedition. ..."