Ousland and Horn Approach Ice Edge

Borge Ousland and Mike Horn notched 29km yesterday — impressive even during long spring days, let alone during the Dark Season.

Meanwhile, the former research ship Lance battles to find a route through the frozen Arctic Ocean to them. It entered the pack ice north of Svalbard on Sunday and steamed north until the lead they were following veered west. “They turned around and got stuck on the way out” says Lars Ebbesen. “It took two and a half hours to get loose. They will enter a new lead as soon as they are in open water.”

According to Ousland, it was a good day, although they came across fresh polar bear tracks, the first since hitting the North Pole last month.

At the moment it looks like there are leads going from the ice edge and well inside the 82nd degree,” the Norwegian said. “We are pushing hard to get south, and at the moment, everything is according to plan.”

Ousland’s previous post showed again the taxing conditions both men are under:

“It is -30°C and our fingers are so sore and [Mike] has to go on his second antibiotic treatment due to frostbite on his thumb, which got infected and never really heals. He also broke two teeth chewing on those chocolate bits that tastes so good but become hard as small stones in the cold. We repaired [the tooth] with temporary filling material. We are a determined team and work well together.

“It was a windy day but good drift south. Our goal is to reach around 82°30′, which is close to where the ice starts to break off and…becomes too unstable for skiing. Hopefully, Pangaea [Horn’s ship] will be able to reach us there. Still 11 days of food left.”