“We’re enjoying each other’s company more and more…”

Published on 30.03.2009 - Victorinox North Pole 09 Expedition

In a word, things are going really well for the Huston-Fish team. They are also making faster, more consistent progress. And happy to be there...

This expedition, or at least the way it is going, is best compared with the smooth operation of a well-oiled, high-precision machine. One of the reasons for this wonderful harmony is without doubt the fact that as the days and weeks pass, the two men are getting on increasingly well with each other. Which is rarely the case in an adventure such as this. We can't usually talk much about good feeling in teams out on the ice when things are not going very well. Any disagreements and misunderstandings generally take place in silence. In fact, based on our experience of reporting polar expeditions over the years, we know that all too often, expedition members can't stand one another after a week or two of being underway.

But this is not the case here. Far from it. The two men seem to like each other more and more with each passing day. That's because the routine they have fallen into over the past few weeks has been a joint effort, with equal contributions, and it appears to be working well. As a result, the pair's interdependence is perfectly balanced, with each man relying on the other's opinion before taking a decision. They are both counting on the experience and honesty of their companion to take action one way or another and to make all their decisions together.

For example, increasing the amount of time they are on the move each day from 8 hours to 9œ was a joint decision that they both thought about long and hard. As a result, they have an increasing level of confidence in one another and particularly in the other man's ability to succeed in the challenge they have embarked on. It is rare to see two men complement one another like this when it comes to a feat of endurance. It's as though each of them is working with a mirror image who thinks and acts along the same lines.

All of a sudden, their strength seems to have increased tenfold. And when they feel they are not progressing fast enough, they work together to analyse the situation in a detached and intelligent way, telling themselves when they have finished talking that there is no way they could do any better than they are. And so there is no need to worry about it. To sum up, it's harmony across the board.
As we can see from the table below, the two men have just passed 85 degrees North and are moving at a rate of almost 17 kilometres a day.

Here are their progression table :

  • March 02, D 01, N 83° 08 096' / W 74°005.863', 2,3 hours walk, 1.7 NM, -37°C
  • March 03, D 02, N 83° 08.900' / W 74° 04', 5,5 hours walk, 0.87 NM, -41°C
  • March 04, D 03, N 83° 10.321' / W 74° 02.344', 6 hours walk, 1.4 NM, -41°C
  • March 05, D 04, N 83° 12.927' / W 74° 4.66', 7 hours walk, 2.63 NM, -41°C
  • March 06, D 05, N 83° 14.665' / W 74° 03.906', 7 hours walk, 1.7 NM, -51°C
  • March 07, D 06, N 83° 15.629' / W 74° 03.727', 7,5 hours walk, 0.97 NM, -50°C
  • March 08, D 07, N 83° 19.526' / W 74° 02.124', 7 hours walk, 3.9 NM, -39°C
  • March 09, D 08, N 83° 23.071' / W 74° 05.560', 8 hours walk, 3.6 NM, -37°C
  • March 10, D 09, N 83° 26.482' / W 74° 07.548', 8 hours walk, 3.4 NM, -37°C
  • March 11, D 10, N 83° 31.109' / W 74° 12.118', 8,3 hours walk, 4.7 NM, -33°C
  • March 12, D 11, N 83° 34.625' / W 74° 16.487', 8,3 hours walk, 3.6 NM, -37°C
  • March 13, D 12, N 83° 39.210' / W 74° 18.240', 8,7 hours walk, 4.6 NM, -39°C
  • March 14, D 13, N 83° 42.946' / W 74° 16.704', 8,5 hours walk, 3.7 NM, -41°C
  • March 15, D 14, N 83° 46.166' / W 74° 18.091', 8,5 hours walk, 3.2 NM, -38°C
  • March 16, D 15, N 83° 50.895' / W 74° 13.882', .8.5 hours walk, 4.8 NM, -41°C
  • March 17, D 16, N 83° 56.895' / W 74° 10.629', 8.5 hours walk, 6 NM, -38°C
  • March 18, D 17, no data
  • March 19, D 18, N 84° 09.479' / W 74° 21.600', 9 hours walk, 5.8 NM, -31°C
  • March 20, D 19, N 84° 14.691' / W 74° 34.747', 9 hours walk, 5.4 NM, -38°C
  • March 21, D 20, N 84° 19' 47" / W 74° 43' 42", 9h30 hours walk, 5.2 NM, -37°C
  • March 22, D 21, N 84° 26.564' / W 74° 40.361', 9h30 hours walk, 6.8 NM, -26°C
  • March 23; D 22, N 84° 26.564' / W 74° 40.361', 9h30 hours walk, 6.8 NM, -26°C
  • March 24, D 23, N 84° 39.114' / W 74° 35.147', 8h hours walk, 6.5 NM, -63°C
  • March 25, D 24, N 84° 46.801' / W 74° 29.952', 9h30 hours walk, 7.3 NM, -34°C
  • March 26, D 25, N 84° 54.501' / W 74° 30.444', 9h30 hours walk, 7.9 NM, -40°C
  • March 27, D 26, N 84° 03.187' / W 74° 37.884', 9h30 hours walk, 8.7 NM, -41°C
  • March 28, D 27, N 85° 12.012' / W 74° 30.144, 9h30 hours walk, 8.9 NM, -39°C
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