7 Summits 8000ers Adventure Films Adventure Travel Africa Alaska Alaska Alpine style Ama Dablam Amazon Andes Annapurna Annapurna Antarctic Antarctic Archaeology Arctic Arctic Aviation Ballooning BASE jump and Paragliding Big Wall climbing Breaking News Broad Peak Buyers Guides Canoeing & Kayaking Caving Cho Oyu Climate change Climbing COVID-19 Denali Desert Dhaulagiri Dhaulagiri Elbrus Endurance Environment Everest Expeditions Exploration mysteries Explorers First ascents Flying Gasherbrum Gear Geography High altitude skiing Himalaya Hindu Kush History Ice Climbing Indigenous cultures K2 Kangchenjunga Karakorum Kilimanjaro Lhotse Long-distance hiking Long-distance Trekking Makalu Manaslu Manaslu Marathon Medical Misc Sports Mountain Mountaineering Nanga Parbat Natural History Nepal Nuptse Ocean Rowing Oceanography Oceans Patagonia Photos Polar Exploration Polar Research Poles Reviews Rivers Rowing/canoeing Science Sherpa Siberia Skiing Solo South Pole Space Sponsored Content Survival Swimming Tropics Uncategorized Unclimbed Volcanos Weather Wildlife Winter 8000ers Winter Himalaya

North Pole skiers tent bounded in blizzard

Posted: Mar 23, 2014 02:32 pm EDT


(By Correne Coetzer) Yasu Ogita reported during the week that he was blown back 2 km by the wind and yesterday he was storm bounded, as Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen.


A few days ago Ryan and Eric had two polar bears following them unnoticed, which were eventually stopped 15 feet from the two men.



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


Unassisted, Unsupported:


Yasu Ogita, Japan, solo 

(start March 7)


Reports sent over to ExWeb from Yasu’s home team in Japan:


March 20th:

Location: N83º 39 49.0   W077º 37 55.1

Weather: Cloudy skies

Temperature: -24ºC


His physical condition is good but he is getting exhausted, Yasu reported. He struggled with minor leads, about 2 meters in width and rough ice due to continuous wind from the day before. "I was able to earn only 1 km within 5 hours in the morning due to these problems. I am also struggling with the weight of folding kayak but I still think that I should not abandon it because I expect some leads coming." 


March 21th:

N 83º 43 96.8   W077º 37 80.6

Distance covered: 8.3km

Weather: Clear

Temperature: -28ºC


Hs remarks: "Physical condition is good. No rough ice in the afternoon and I feel that I am walking on the large ice flow. I expect that I can earn more distance from tomorrow. I abandoned one of the sleds but I retrieved it because of possible rough ice coming. I expect that I can find the lead opened from south to north." 


March 22nd:

N 83º 42 92.1   W077º 19 1.0

Distance: 0 km

Weather: Blizzard 

Temperature: -20ºC 


Yasu says he is maintaining good physical and mental condition although he could not travel today due to blizzard. "The blizzard has driven the ice where I am camping 2 km to South and 4.3 km to East from the last position. The wind has been weakened although still strong. I want to know when this blizzard is passing." 



Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen (USA) 

(Start March 15th)


Ryan described a "crazy story” on March 19th as they stopped at the end of a section and happened to turn around, two polar bears were "walking casually" behind them in their trail, "and I mean right behind us. A mother and her cub who had been following us for a few hundred feet just kept walking toward us as we began to yell and reach for our flares, rather anxiously I might add. Eric managed to get the gun out of a sled as I shot the third flare at the them which finally stopped their progress. A couple bear-banger shells from the shotgun finally sent them running off! Startled and kind of in disbelief we paced off the distance from where we had been to their prints where the finally ran, 15 feet."


The blizzard started as the two men were ready to leave the tent, reported Ryan. “After careful consideration, with regard to ferrying loads and having the trail disappear from spindrift instantly, in the total whiteout through big ice chunks that are very easy to ski right off and not know what comes next, we decided to get back in the tent to wait for better weather."


It was a frustrating day in the tent as every moment counts for them to gain distance, Ryan said. They laid inside their vapor barrier liners in their sleeping bags as they couldn’t burn their stoves. The team don’t get resupplies so they are in the unfortunate position not to have fuel to warm themselves.  



March 20th: 1 mile?

March 21st: 2.25 nm / 4.14 km

March 22nd: 0 km


Position March 23rd 15:12 GMT

N83.208, W076.807



Barneo Ice Camp


In Russia preparations are underway to open Barneo Ice Camp, which is built on an ice floe about 89 degrees North every year. Victor Boyarsky told ExplorersWeb that he and the Vicaar people operating at the Camp, are soon leaving for Longyearbyen, Svalbard, "to keep the situation under control”. 


They are also keeping an eye on the progress of the Barneo preparations. On March 17th the Mi-8T helicopters departed Russia to fly 3000 km in search for the suitable ice floe. Equipment and freight to build the camp, including the tractors to prepare the runway and the building staff, are ready in Murmansk, Russia, to be air-dropped by an Ilyushin-76 plane.  



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: Norwegians evacuated due to frostbite


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)


Ryan Waters, USA



Mountain Professionals

Mountain Professionals Facebook


Eric Larsen, USA








Starting from Geographic North Pole (90N) to Canada

Assisted, Unsupported


'Arctic March' team:

Eric Philips, Australia

Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada

Martin Hartley, UK




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 








Ryan Waters, March 22: "Well it does not happen much, having to take a weather day on a polar expedition. I remember talking with the Norwegians just before leaving where I said there is no such thing as not travelling because of "bad" weather, you just keep going. Today I take it back."
courtesy Eric Larsen, SOURCE
Eric Larsen says they had brought a second sled to Resolute but opted not to bring them to the start as they didn't want to leave the sleds on the ice. "Needless to say it was a bad call on our part considering how rough the ice has been. 317 pounds is too much to move in these conditions." Image: Ryan route finding.
courtesy Eric Larsen, 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