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North Pole 2015 Expedition List

Posted: Mar 28, 2015 04:14 pm EDT


(By Correne Coetzer) One solo skier alone on the ice, in 2015 season.


The skiers who planned to ski the full distance from land to the North Pole this 2015 season were stopped in their tracks when Canadian logistics operator, Kenn Borek Air announced that they will not be air-supporting any skiers on the ice in the foreseeable future. Back to the drawing board, several teams told Explorersweb they are now full steam busy with new plans for 2016. Russian logistics operator, Victor Boyarsky, told Exweb he expects some to start from Cape Arcticheskiy.


This season, only one skier will be on the ice, solo, attempting the distance between the Geographic North Pole (90ºN) and Canada.

Two divers will attempt a free dive at the Geographic North Pole (GNP) and several guided teams will attempt last degree of latitude (partial) expeditions.

Solo skier, Thomas Ulrich


One of the skiers who plans a 2016 expedition is Swiss Thomas Ulrich. He plans to ski solo, unassisted (no resupplies) across the Arctic Ocean; from Russia to Canada via the Geographic North Pole. If successful, he will be the first to do so [solo]. 


In 2006 Thomas attempted this feat from Russia but was thwarted by the thin ice that broke up underneath him in a storm. He lost most his gear and it took another four days before the helicopter could reach him. Russian logistics operator, Victor Boyarsky, played a crucial role in the rescue. 


In preparation for this huge crossing in 2016, this season Thomas will be skiing from the Geographic North Pole to Canada. In the light of Kenn Borek’s announcement, the first question that comes to mind is, who will pick him up when touching land at the Canadian side? “Kenn Borek,” Hans Ambühl told Explorersweb earlier this week. Hans is Thomas’ expedition manager in Switserland. Closer to the Pole, Thomas will rely on support from the Russian helicopters at temporary Ice Camp Barneo, if needed. For more details about this, check in for an interview with Thomas.

He will be the only skier attempting a full route, that is from a land start point to the Pole or from the Pole to land. Thomas told Exweb over Skype he will first be guiding a last degree team and at the Pole when the Barneo helicopter picks up his clients, he will turn his compass south to Canada. Weather permitting, Thomas and his team fly to Barneo Ice Camp on April 3rd.


Previously the Swiss skier and mountaineer had done two challenging polar expeditions together with Norwegian Borge Ousland; one on the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap and one from the GNP to Frans Josef Land





Under-ice free-dive champion, Christian Redl from Austria, and his team mate from Australia, Markus Fillinger, will be diving at the GNP. Redl will reportedly attempt to free dive to 80 meters and Fillinger will be filming him under the water. 



Barneo Ice Camp


Every year the Russians set up a temporary ice camp, Barneo, near the Geographic North Pole to support the skiers. Victor Boyarsky told Explorersweb, "if everything goes as planned, we expect to have the first commercial flight with skiers from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, on April 3rd. This year Barneo camp will be closed on April 25th.”


For additions and corrections, contact Explorersweb. Godspeed everybody on the Arctic Ice.





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ExWeb interview with Eric Philips, innovation and North Pole expedition


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Only one solo skier alone on the ice this 2015 Arctic season, Thomas Ulrich. Image: Thomas on the ice during 2006 Arctic crossing attempt from Russia.
courtesy Thomas Ulrich, SOURCE