Arctic wrap-up: Indians and Japanese abandon North Pole ski; 100 yrs ago: Scott determined to fight it out till the last biscuit

Posted: Mar 14, 2012 06:36 am EDT

(Correne Coetzer) The leader of the Indian Army team, Anand Swaroop, told ExplorersWeb they have decided to abort their expedition this year “due to adverse ice and weather conditions further compounded by late arrival of sledges.” The Colonel added, “Hopefully, we will come again next year with better luck.” The team and their Norwegian guides haven’t left Resolute Bay.

According to Anand and other info received by ExplorersWeb, the solo skier from Japan, Yasunaga Ogita, is turning back from the ice to Resolute Bay.

See below some Antarctica news, now as well as hundred years ago, where Scott reported truly awful weather outside the tent and mid day temps of -43°C.

Antarctica: Excellence in Remote Medicine Award

ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions), ANI's logistic provider, has been nominated for the "Excellence in Remote Medicine Award - Remote Medicine Company of the Year” for their logistical and expedition support in Antarctica.

The award will be decided by public vote and presented at the inaugural International World Extreme Medicine Conference in London on April 17, 2012. Votes can be cast here.

Further information can be found on the Adventure Network International (ANI) website and on the at the World Extreme Medicine Conference website.

ALE provides logistical support for ski, climbing and science expeditions as well as other adventures on Antarctica. ANI pioneered private flights to Antarctica in 1985 with an ascent of Mount Vinson. ALE/ANI’s gateway to Antarctica is Punta Arenas, Chile.

Antarctica 100 years ago

No diary entry on March 13, but on March 14 Robert Falcon Scott wrote:

Wednesday, March 14.— No doubt about the going downhill, but everything going wrong for us.

Yesterday we woke to a strong northerly wind with temp. -37°. Couldn't face it, so remained in camp till 2, then did 5 1/4 miles. Wanted to march later, but party feeling the cold badly as the breeze (N.) never took off entirely, and as the sun sank the temp. fell. Long time getting supper in dark.

This morning started with southerly breeze, set sail and passed another cairn at good speed; half-way, however, the wind shifted to W. by S. or W.S.W., blew through our wind clothes and into our mitts.

Poor Wilson horribly cold, could not get off ski for some time. Bowers and I practically made camp, and when we got into the tent at last we were all deadly cold. Then temp, now midday down -43° and the wind strong.

We must go on, but now the making of every camp must be more difficult and dangerous. It must be near the end, but a pretty merciful end.

Poor Oates got it again in the foot. I shudder to think what it will be like to-morrow.

It is only with greatest pains rest of us keep off frostbites. No idea there could be temperatures like this at this time of year with such winds. Truly awful outside the tent.

Must fight it out to the last biscuit, but can't reduce rations.

The British polar team with Robert Falcon Scott as leader set off from Cape Evans on November 1, 1911 on their quest to discover the South Pole. The polar party who arrived at the already discovered South Pole on January 17, 1912 was Henry R. Bowers, Edward A. Wilson, Lawrence E.G. (Titus) Oates and Edgar Evans (Evans died February 17, 1912 on the way back).

Links to 2012 Arctic expedition teams:
Canada (Cape Discovery) to North Pole 90°N
Yasunaga Ogita – Japan (solo, unsupported, unsupplied)

Mike O'Shea and Clare O'Leary - Ireland (supplied)

Indian Army and Norwegian/Newland guides Ivar Hoel, Bjorn Moa. Indian team: Anand Swaroop (leader), Jit Kumar Limbu, Khilap Singh, Shaukat Ahmed Mir, Arjun Kumar Thapa, Sonam Thinlas, Yountan Takpa and Kamal Purja Pun. (supplied)

Weather links courtesy of Canadian Ice Service:
The Arctic Weather products link on the Canadian Ice Service IPY Legacy page

Two-day sea ice drifts for the whole Arctic Ocean on the Danish DMI website

ENVISAT ASAR images on the Polarview website

Other weather links:
Canadian Ice Service

Canada Weather Office satellite image

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

University of Illinois cryosphere images

Wayne Davidson’s Extremely High Horizon Refraction

Other links
Polar Adventure Rules and Definitions
Polar Statistics

The Indian Army team practicing in Resolute Bay two weeks ago.
Image by Yasunaga Ogita

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