NORTH POLE EXPEDITION 2006  Days 31-35

HOME  BIOLOGY  CREW  GEOGRAPHY   HISTORY   INDEX  MUSIC  THE BOAT  SOLAR CELLS  SPONSORS

 

 

 

 

 

FOLLOW THE EXPLOITS OF MIKE HORN AND BORGE OUSLAND AS THEY NAVIGATE THE NORTH POLE

 

 

 

PROGRESS DAY CHART

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

DAY 32: THINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD!
Wed, 22 Feb 2006 // 18:54

Quote of the Day:
'With 32 days done and another 38 days to go until the end of the winter we are feeling positive that we will make it...'

DATA LOG
Latest position: N8410'01' E10346'
Distance to go: 650km
Ice drift: Northwest

'After another 9.5 hours walking we are 20kms further north, that is 650kms away from the Pole. Things are looking good. With 32 days done and another 38 days to go until the end of the winter we are feeling positive that we will make it.

We drifted south 2kms during the night but now the ice drift is in a NW direction. It's strange that as soon as the drift is in our favour the wind suddenly dies down to nothing. We are wondering if this might not be the calm before the storm. We think the bad weather will effect us tomorrow or perhaps Friday. We are expecting winds of 15 metres per second (33mph) and very cold temperatures once again. The problem with strong wind is that waves are formed on the ocean creating pressure under the ice and causing it to break up. Water becomes exposed and huge blocks of ice are pushed up onto the surface creating more obstacles for us to get over.

The ice conditions were great today. There were still a lot of leads to get over but we were lucky to find a path most times and only needed to swim once.

For now we'll carry on as usual and stick to the same routine. When we leave the tent in the morning we walk 2.5 hours without stopping to put a bit of distance behind us and while our oatmeal breakfast is still giving us lots of energy. After that we take turns leading, switching every 80 minutes, so in the course of the day we have five breaks.

The sledges are gradually getting lighter. We are strong and our equipment is working well. Things must continue like this and we'll soon be at the Pole!

Best regards,'

Mike

 

 

 

DAY 33: MIKE FALLS IN THE WATER!
Thu, 23 Feb 2006 // 17:21

Quote of the Day:
'The ice started splitting, the crack between my legs was getting wider and wider and then I fell in...'

DATA LOG
Latest position: N8417'41' E10249'09'
Distance to go: 637km
Temperature: -15C (without windchill)

Mike called earlier than usual today from campsite: 'We didn't stop early because of the wind. We were forced to stop because I fell in the water - not once, but twice!!! We left the tent early this morning and walked a half hour in very strong northwesterly winds. As we expected these strong winds are breaking the ice and many openings are appearing. The snow is flying in all directions and the visibility is so bad that you cannot even see the front of your skis.

The first lead we came across, my foot broke through the ice. I quickly corrected myself but my foot was wet. We had no choice but to pitch the tent and get the cooker alight to dry out my shoe before I froze my toes. This held us back this morning but as soon as my shoe was dry and I had changed my sock we decided to get going again. I was fine.

We walked 11 - 12 kms and came across another lead. This time Borge had found a nice passage to cross or at least this is what we thought! He walked first with no problem and then it was my turn. The ice was fine but when I took my next step and I saw the ice start cracking underneath me. The ice started splitting and this time I was unable to correct myself. The crack between my legs was getting wider and wider and then I fell in. I fell in the water up to my waist and managed to pull myself out by getting a grip on the ice edge. I immediately rolled myself in the snow. The snow sticks to my clothing and has the effect of soaking up the water, which then immediately freezes and I can brush off. This takes away a large proportion of the outside moisture but does not help for the moisture in my underwear. Borge, in the meantime was already pitching the tent. This time we had a big drying job to do!

I am fine now. The cooker is still going. We have extra reserves of fuel for this reason. We have managed to dry the clothing out 80%. I think that it'll be fine by tomorrow and we will be able to walk again as usual.

I was fortunate that the temperatures had risen to about -15 today (without wind). We'll have to be very careful the next few days. That's enough swimming for the meantime!

637 kms to go to the Pole!'

Mike

 

 

 

DAY 34: A FUNNY START FOLLOWED BY A DIFFICULT DAY...
Fri, 24 Feb 2006 // 20:04

Quote of the Day:
'In difficult conditions and reduced visibility, we crossed an average of one lead of seawater every hour. When they're covered with snow, they can be deadly...'

DATA LOG
Latest position: N8420'12' E10130'
Distance to go: 632km
Wind: Strong NW winds 20-26mph
Conditions: Snowing, poor visibility

Today started with a comical accident with the pepper spray, as Borge explains, 'Mike was a tad bit careless and released pepper spray, which gave us a rather hilarious start! Pepper spray is intended as a defence or last resort when you're standing eye to eye with a polar bear, and it's extremely effective. Well, it worked. Shortly after breakfast, our tent was suddenly full of it, and we could hardly breathe - we lay next to each of our vents gasping for air, struggling to catch our breath. That episode certainly did get our blood circulation going!'

The weather conditions were borderline this morning, with 20-26mph northeast winds and almost zero visibility in the snow, so Mike and Borge decided to stay in the tent to see how things developed, Mike listened to his music and Borge listened to the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Throughout the morning conditions outside the tent seemed to be improving slightly:

'Around noon the wind had abated a bit, so we packed our equipment and broke camp. It was still a miserable day. Even so, it did us good to get out of the tent. It is so easy to just remain there once you've settled into your sleeping bag. Hence it feels like an even greater victory when you get it together and brave the elements.

In difficult conditions and reduced visibility, we crossed an average of one lead of seawater every hour. When they're covered with snow, they can be deadly. We have to always be scanning, looking left or right, trying to read the terrain. Sometimes a snowdrift will run straight across the water. But we managed to cross each lead safely.

At the end of our day, we came to a huge lead that was newly frozen and started walking. We were fine, but discovered that the ice was very varied, with patches of very thin, dangerous ice that looked almost the same as the thicker ice. Here and there the ice had cracked, and was obviously moving, forming pack ice a number of places.'


At this point, Mike and Borge decided it was best to withdraw, retreating several hundred metres on to solid ice, as Borge explains: 'By tomorrow we expect the lead to have frozen, so that we can continue without taking undue risks. The wind is supposed to come from a more southerly direction tomorrow, and the weather forecast calls for good weather the next few days. We don't mind it so much when the wind is at our backs.

We're in the tent once again and our dinner is waiting for us. Tomorrow we're going to cross that lead.'


Mike and Borge battled in these difficult conditions today, and coupled with the southwards drift only managed to walk 4km in 6 hours, leaving them 632km to go. Hopefully tomorrow the southerly winds will return, and help them progress north.

 

 

 




For latest news on Mike and Borge go to: www.mikehornnorthpole.com


WEB LINKS

Sign up for updates on Mike's progress on his North Pole Winter Expedition at www.mikehornnorthpole.com

Click here to view Mike & Borge's latest position on Google Earth. To download Google Earth click here ( PC and Mac OS X 10.4 only).


For further information on Mike Horn contact:
Josie Robinson
T: +44 (0)870 063 0210
E: josie.robinson@ocgroup.com



MIKE HORN PERSONAL DETAILS


Age: 39
Nationality: South African resides Switzerland
Status: Married to Cathy, two children aged 11 and 12

 

 


MIKE HORN'S PHILOSOPHY:


'The drive to go beyond our physical, mental and spiritual limits is an internal attitude that transcends global borders. It tests our personal limits and opens the way for new levels of achievement in all aspects of life. This philosophy is the driving force behind every endeavour.

Although I find myself in the most extreme circumstances, I always use caution. My philosophical approach is to live the endeavour as an expression of my being. Alone, immersed in nature, with no creature comforts, to surpass the limits imposed by man and nature itself. With faith and determination, one can embody the purest expression of this philosophy.'

 

 

 


 

 

 

ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC EXPLORATION LINKS:

 

 

Ernest Shackleton

Roald Amundsen

Scott of the Antarctic

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Nelson Kruschandl:  We're with you all the way.

 

 

 


 

 

This page contains links to educational sites around the world under the headings provided.  Content on those sites may be the subject of author copyright, which is hereby acknowledged.   Please note the Solar Navigator project is not associated with the featured project.  We provide information on this expedition as publishers of similar material and expeditions that the public may know.

 

 

This website is Copyright 1999 & 2006  NJK.   The bird logo and name Solar Navigator are trademarks. All rights reserved.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.       Max Energy Limited is an environmental educational charity.

BLUEBIRD ELECTRIC    CAR MANUFACTURERS    ELECTRIC CARS    ELECTRIC CYCLES   SOLAR CARS