Ousland and Horn Near Finish

Arctic Poles
Borge Ousland, Mike Horn, Aleksander Gamme and Bengt Rotmo, as seen from the ship around midnight. Photo: Jørgen Braastad

After 87 days alone on the ice, Borge Ousland and Mike Horn finally reached some semblance of civilization, when they paddled over a lead in their packrafts and joined their support crew of Bengt Rotmo and Aleksander Gamme.

Shortly before that meeting, Mike Horn went for an unscheduled dunking in the icy ocean. “He stepped over a small ridge… and got totally wet,” Ousland reported.

Paddling to reach Rotmo and Gamme. Photo: Borge Ousland

The air temperature was -25°C, but the wind made it feel much colder. “I helped him out and quickly put the tent up and started all the stoves we had,” said Ousland. “Thankfully had enough spare clothes.”

After drying boots and pants, the stoic pair started moving again and met their support crew shortly after. At this point, Ousland and Horn have refrained from dipping into the fresh supplies, trying to make it all the way to the ship on their remaining fumes of food and fuel.

One Norwegian source places the foursome within four kilometres of the ship, although the lead photo, above, suggests that they are even closer. The lights of each party are visible to the other. They will likely reach the Lance shortly.

“We have worked so hard, and stuck to our routines all the way, and never gave up,” said Ousland.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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