UPDATED Barneo: Russians’ first airdrop near North Pole (2017 season)

Ilyushin-76 and MI-8 helicopters coordinate fuel and people airdrop by parachute

Update March 26, 2017: The two Mi-8 helicopter crews located a suitable ice floe to build Barneo’s runway, Irina Orlova reported on March 26. The coordinates are N89° 50′ and E103° 08′. Temperature is -24ºC and fine weather. In Murmansk the crew prepared the Ilyushin-76 for airdropping the two tractors with parachutes at the above coordinates. UPDATE 2: The tractors were dropped successfully on March 26. Visibility is good. Work on the runway has started.

March 24, 2017:

“It is a great day! And the guys did excellent work!” reported Irina Orlova and the Barneo organizers. “Everything was very quickly (for us): at 2:40 am Moscow time the helicopters flew to the Zhalyuzi-1 point (86º45’N 095º57’W) and the Ilyushin-76, with the fuel for them, started from Murmansk for the same destination. The airdrop was a success and the IL-76 set off to the Zhalyuzi-2 where nine men parachuted together with fuel.”

“Having refueled, at 1:30 pm the helicopters also went to the Zhalyuzi-2 (89º24’N 135ºW), and at 3 pm the IL-76 returned to Murmansk.”

“Today the [helicopter] guys have to gather all barrels of fuel, settle down and rest. Tomorrow they will start the search for the ice floe suitable for Barneo.”

In Murmansk tomorrow, the IL-76 will be loaded with more cargo and the two Tractors DT-75.

Temperature: -20ºС, no wind, clear sky. Dmitriy Glagolev reported from Murmansk, the ice conditions near the North Pole are good. There are lots of ice floes, and also some leads (open water) but generally, the conditions are favorable.

Cargo route – Moscow/Krasnoyarsk to inside 89ºN

On March 15, a truck with landing equipment set off from Moscow to Murmansk and arrived at the destination on March 19.

On March 17, another truck and a trailer with loaded platforms and tractors started out from Moscow to Tver (Migalovo airport). The landing party also arrived there.

On March 18, the skydivers with platforms and tractors flew to Murmansk by IL-76. They prepared the platforms for airdrop at the Zhalyuzi points.

On March 19, two helicopters of the AeroGeo a/c flew from Krasnoyarsk and followed the route Krasnoyarsk – Podkamennaya Tunguska – Igarka – Khatanga – Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago; where they arrived on March 22.

On March 24, the two MI-8 helicopters flew from Severnaya Zemlaya to Zhalyuzi 1 & 2, and the Ilyushin-76 flew from Murmansk to the same destination and the back to Murmansk.


Check the following two videos of today’s fuel dispatch, from inside the Ilyushin-76 and parachuting onto the Arctic ice. Videos by Dmitriy Glagolev, courtesy Irina Orlova. Plus, the skydivers who will construct the ice runway.

Barneo is a drifting ice base in the Arctic, which is annually established under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society Expedition Center “Polyus” Russian Association of Polar Explorers. It is a temporary Ice Camp, built by the Russians every March-April. The camp is built on a suitable ice floe inside 89 degrees North. Primarily the ice floe should be suitable to build a runway of at least 1200m long for an Antonov-74 from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to land. They, therefore, need a floe of at least 2km long and at east 40 meters away from the nearest open water (lead). Barneo serves Last Degree skiers, marathon runners, scientists, divers, fly-ins to the Pole, and more.

Previous about Barneo

Barneo: Russians and Norwegians reached agreement

Previous 2017 North Pole full route

North Pole: Martin Murray talks to Exweb/Pythom

North Pole: Sebastian Copeland talks to Exweb/Pythom

2017 North Pole skiers not moving – cancelled expeditions UPDATE

North Pole Interview with Sky, the Dog: “Things might get bloody”

North Pole Interview: Martin Murray with dog, Sky

Interview: Sebastian Copeland, North Pole attempt despite grave notes

2017 Ski North Pole Expedition List by Explorersweb/Pythom

Dixie Dansercoer: North Pole Gear and Antarctica kiting

KK6PGW to RW0BG: Messages From Russia (Interview)

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