North Pole season over: all skiers off the ice

Posted: Apr 24, 2015 01:29 pm EDT


(Correne Coetzer) Another North Pole season is over. A very short one this year. The only skier who attempted a full distance North Pole ski, as well as all the last degree skiers are off the ice and the Russians have started dismantling Barneo Ice Camp.


Thomas Ulrich arrived back at Barneo on April 21st. On April 22nd a delegation from Krasnoyarsk came in with the AN-74 conducting a training operation for rescuing people in high Arctic conditions. The last Last Degree skiers (guides Borge Ousland and Bengt Rotmo) were also flown out. On April 23rd two flights with staff and equipment from the Expeditionary Center of the Russian Geographical Society, who staffed Barneo, were flown back to Longyearbyen. The rest of the team is scheduled to fly out on April 28th.


The SP-2015 science station is still operating with the helicopters assisting them. In about 5 to 6 days the helicopters will start flying back to Russia and the stations will operate independently. 


Polar bear visit


On April 22 a polar bear came near the SP-2015 science camp, as close as 20 meters from the tents. He was chased off and after a while one of the helicopters took off to see where he was. They found him 2 km from the camp. Expedition leader Alexander Orlov forbade employees to go beyond both stations (science base and skiers base) alone, only in groups, and only with guns.


Drifting Barneo Ice Camp’s positions


April 21

Coordinates: N 89° 18’ W 050° 35' 

Distance from Pole 75 km 

weather: clear west wind of 5 m/s 

Temperature of -28°C.


April 22

Coordinates: N 89° 13' W 048° 10' 

Weather: clear, frosty, north wind 5 m/s

temperature of -25°C


April 23

Coordinates: N 89° 07' W 046° 06' 

Distance from the Pole 97 km. 

Weather: partly cloudy, north wind 5-7 m/s

temperature of -24°C




Kites on Ice: North Pole vs. South Pole


Thomas Ulrich abandoned North Pole ski


Blessing at Barneo, flights around the clock and crowded Last Degree skiing


Christian Redl Free-dives under Geographic North Pole ice: the most beautiful he has seen


Solo Skier Thomas Ulrich sets off from the North Pole


Barneo supplied via Murmansk with Russian Military Paratroopers (Update)


One Breath at the North Pole: Exweb interview with Free-diver, Christian Redl


Exweb interview with Thomas Ulrich: North Pole to Canada solo skier


North Pole 2015 Expedition List


Jerry Kobalenko, 20 Canadian Arctic sledding expeditions: Exweb interview


Polar AdventureStats and Rules



Barneo Ice Camp sites


Expeditionary Center of the Russian Geographical Society


Barneo Journal (follow their daily updates in the News Feed on Explorersweb)










The last skiers were flown back from Barneo to Longyearbyen.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE
A polar bear came as close as 20 meters from the science camp tents. The helicopter checked that he moved away.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE
High Arctic rescue training.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE
Barneo Ice camp dismantled. Season over.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE
Ski routes and the dots showing Barneo's drift on April 23, 2015.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE