Tracks on the ice…

Published on 29.03.2010 - Northpolechallenge.co.uk

Expeditions' positions

Expeditions' positions

© International Polar Foundation

Dan and Amelia are doing everything they can to try and advance ten or so nautical miles each day. But they're having to battle against negative drift, whiteout conditions and fierce winds. It's a David and Goliath situation, but they are still managing to make headway.

When we look at the map we have produced to visualise the position of each team out there on the ice, we can see that Dan and Amelia are among the best placed on their approach to the Pole. Which means that their efforts to try and cover 18 kilometres a day are paying off  -despite the adverse forces of the drifting ice that we don't need to detail here.

One interesting footnote is that on 28th March, the two adventurers happened to come across the fresh tracks of another expedition. Looking at our map, these were no doubt tracks left by the group with Richard Weber and his son Tessum. Even more interesting is to see how the tracks came to an end where there had just been a big split in the pack-ice. Putting the dates and the progress coordinates together, we can see that the tracks found by Dan and Amelia were just a few days old, at most. Cut off where the ice had cracked, the tracks were visible again twenty or so metres away to the west. Which goes to show the distance the ice can move in just a few hours. And if the pack-ice is on the move, this year it certainly seems to be shifting at an unprecedented speed!

On 27th March, a fuel can managed to start leaking in the couple's luggage, which made the atmosphere intolerable in the tent in the evening and made them both feel sick the following day when they realised that the rations they were eating as they went along had an aftertaste of petrol. Bleahh...

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