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North Pole: Norwegians evacuated due to frostbite

Posted: Mar 19, 2014 03:48 am EDT


(By Correne Coetzer) Both Lars Flesland and Kristoffer Glestad got off the ice with frostbitten feet, reported home team member, Lars Ebbesen to ExplorersWeb. "The day was -47°C + wind, but they thought they did well, although their feet were cold. They thought they had control, but in the tent they were shocked to see the result.”


The next morning the toes were turning blue and the two skiers were stopped by Ebbesen, who asked Ken Borek to evacuate them, as the Twin Otter was in the vicinity to resupply the Irish team. 


In the mean time the Irish team, Clare O’Leary and Mike O'Shea, asked to be evacuated as they got injured when lowering a sled over a large block of ice, which tumbled and got the sled falling on them. Mike’s back got injured and Clare’s knee. Clare is a medical doctor.


To get a pick-up, Lars and Kristoffer speeded back south to their drop-off point to get to flat ice so that the Twin Otter could land. They covered 9 km in 5 hours. Big was their surprise when they saw Clare and Mike in the plane, added Lars Ebbesen.



Canada to Geographic North Pole

Unsupported, Unassisted:


Yasu Ogita, Japan solo


March 17 report as sent over to ExWeb from Yasu’s home team:


Present location: N83º29.2,  W 77º53.145

Distance covered: 6km

Weather: Clear after cloudy skies

Temperature: -33ºC

His physical condition is good, reported Yasu. "Low visibility due to little snow in the morning but got better in the afternoon. Been informed that the water sky is not making lead. I am heading towards north-northeast."


Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen, USA


Yesterday evening in a voice dispatch over CONTACT, Ryan says it is tough going and they are doing short distances in the rough ice field. But they are staying positive. The ice blocks are 3-4 meter high in some parts and they have to get across them. Because their sleds are heavy they are “double carrying”, says the high altitude mountaineer. On the first day, 20 minutes out they saw a polar bear's tracks.  



A note on the distances: They are calculated in a straight line from where the skiers start in the mornings and end in the evenings. What is not added, are all the detours around high ridges, ice blocks, rubble or leads (open water). Also not added are the negative drift and relaying sleds.


A North Pole expedition covers the full distance between land and the Pole (90ºN).

The Cape Discovery route (Canada) to the Geographic North Pole is 780 km. 

Ward Hunt Island (Canada) start point calculates at 775 km.


Geographic North Pole is at 90ºN

1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole: 

78° 35'42.00"N, 104° 11’54.00”W 

Resolute Bay: 74° 41.808N, 094° 49.402W


Follow the teams' blogs (those with RSS feeds) in the live News Stream on Explorersweb.





North Pole: Irish team injured and evacuated - update: Norwegians also off


North Pole Norwegians and Americans flying to Cape Discovery - updated landed and skiing


NASA: Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt


Norwegian North Pole team talking to ExWeb from the high Canadian Arctic


North Pole 2014: first skiers flying to their start point


Dmitry Shparo's Top 5 North Pole Tips


Irish North Pole team checking in at ExWeb from Resolute Bay


The cost of Arctic travel: Jerry Kobalenko talks to ExWeb


Yasunaga Ogita talking to ExWeb from the high Canadian Arctic


North Pole 2014 full route ski expedition list


ExWeb interview with Ryan Waters, "an unwritten and unexplainable mental edge”


ExWeb interview with Eric Larsen, "a mix of poetry and hell to the North Pole”


ExWeb interview with Bernice Notenboom, the Arctic and the world’s climate




Ray Zahab and team Baffin Island run 2014


Vincent Cochin to sledge-haul 2300km Canada to Greenland



Teams starting from Cape Discovery, Ellesmere Island, to the Geographic North Pole (90ºN)


Unassisted, Unsupported:


Yasu Ogita, Japan, solo 

(start March 7)




North Pole Solo website

North Polo solo Facebook





Team Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters

Last North Expedition:

(start March 15)


Eric Larsen, USA







Ryan Waters, USA



Mountain Professionals

Mountain Professionals Facebook


Team Kristoffer Glestad (24), Norway and 

Lars Mangerud Flesland (25), Norway

(start March 15, evacuated March 17)




Assisted, Unsupported:


Irish team Clare O'Leary and Mike O’Shea
The Ice Project Expedition

(start March 7, evacuated March 17)





Mike O’Shea Twitter

Clare O’Leary Twitter




Starting from Geographic North Pole (90N) to Canada

Assisted, Unsupported


'Arctic March' team:

Eric Philips, Australia

Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada

Martin Hartley, UK




1996 Magnetic North Pole

Matt Stowers and Kev O’Brien

(Start March 3, aborted March 10)



Matt Stowers Twitter

Northern Exposure live tracker 



Canada to Greenland (Kugaaruk and Qaanaaq) 

Vincent Cochin 

(start March 3, rescued March 12)

Blog (personal)

Blog (Nanook expedition)





Follow blog posts in the live News Stream on ExplorersWeb.


Weather links:


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


Canada Weather Office satellite image


NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory


University of Illinois cryosphere images


Wayne Davidson’s Extremely High Horizon Refraction


Wayne Davidson’s EH2R blog 



#polar #northpole2014  #evacuation







The Norwegians' frostbitten toes turned black.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita, SOURCE
Solo Japanese, Yasu Ogita, leading the pack now.
courtesy Yasunaga Ogita, SOURCE
Cape Discovery route to the Geographic North Pole.
courtesy Arctic Ice Drift Maps 2013 : Image from http://www.arctic.noaa.gov / Mike O Shea and Clare O Leary, SOURCE