Ryan Waters, Eric Larsen and a Polar Bear closing in on the North Pole

Ryan Waters, Eric Larsen and a Polar Bear closing in on the North Pole

Posted: May 04, 2014 12:00 pm EDT

 

(Correne Coetzer) Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen, the only Land-to-Pole team in 89N since 2010, are on a "berzerker run" to the Pole. They are tired but are managing, says Ryan. "The end is (potentially) in sight but we have been focused more on short term goals: one hour, soup break, getting to the tent.”

 

The Americans are on a new time schedule since May 4; skiing 6 hours, with a few minutes break in between the hours, putting up tent, eat, rest, break camp, and ski 6 hours again. They plan to follow this routine for 40 hours - while they have been loosing track of hours and days in any case, says Ryan. 

 

Besides "all the other stuff” there is a polar bear, “with big tracks”, heading the same direction as the two men, since traveling in 89 degrees.

 

Eric Philips explains why he says the Arctic Ocean is a place like no other that so perfectly blends everything required in a day of high adventure. He and his team got a warning from Trudy Wohlleben at Canadian Ice Service about a massive open lead; 2 to 5 km wide in places. Trudy explained to the team and to ExplorersWeb that the big lead is drifting North, as the team is doing as well, with south-southwest winds ahead of an approaching storm.

 

 

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

Unassisted, Unsupported: 

Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen (USA) 

(Start March 15 at 83.043627N, 077.374263W)

 

In the last miles of 88 degrees the guys experience pressure ice similar to 85 degrees, which took a lot of energy and negotiation. Getting into 89, the last degree, on May 1, Ryan said he hit a wall; dehydrated, super tired, flat light and really difficult. That night, an extra 45 minutes sleep, while Eric prepared dinner, made him feel rejuvenated again.

 

Tracker: 04 May 2014 13:36 GMT

Latitude: 89.498 | Longitude: -25.69

Dist To Pole: 30.2 Nautical Miles / 34.7 Miles / 55.8 km

Lots of leads 9open water) and flat light.

 

 

Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Skiing South

 

Unassisted, Unsupported

Bengt Rotmo

(started April 21 at 90ºN)

 

On May 1 Bengt tweeted that he finished the 89'th degree and crossed into 88. "Ice a bit bumpy but generally flat. Happy Feet!" 

 

 

Assisted, Unsupported

Expedition Hope:

Eric Philips, AU, Bernice Notenboom, NL/CA, Martin Hartley, UK

(Start April 4 at 90ºN)

 

"The Arctic Ocean is a place like no other that so perfectly blends everything required in a day of high adventure.” Philips explained, "Contrast and definition were dismal which made route finding through the pressure ridges and sastrugi like navigating a boulder-strewn maze with a blindfold. I went by intuition today, using 12 years of memory mapping to predict what might lie ahead of that I felt beneath my skis. Mostly it worked but not without battle scars." 

 

"The strain of 10km of working my sled through the mess, and occasionally those of Martin and Bernice as I would unclip and return to help, left me with claw hands, swollen knuckles, bloodied toes (from a renegade toenail), a twisted knee and strained eyes. To boot I swam a lead just before lunch.”

 

Bernice describes the condition of her body in a dispatch, and says "the physical hardship is temporarily forgotten when all attention is needed for a lead crossing or pressure ridge scramble but when we slog our sledges forward, the sensation and pains are right back. Hardship belongs on expeditions, it is not the same without it, the driving force of it all is suffering and no where to go for relief. How you deal with hardship is a purely up to the individual.”

 

Latest available position

May 3, 12:00

85º14’26.52”N, 079º 18’1.01"W

 

 

Previous:

 

Sean Chapple's insights: Laying the Foundations for Success

 

The Hunger Game: Yasu Ogita recaps his North Pole attempt

 

 

AdventureStats successful expeditions:

 

Land to Geographic North Pole 

2013: 1x car team from Russia (did a crossing)

2010: 1x unassisted ski team from Canada

         3x assisted ski teams from CA

2009: 1x unassisted ski team from CA

         1x assisted ski team from CA

2008: 1x assisted ski team from Russia (winter exped)

2007: 1x assisted ski team from CA

 

Geographic North Pole to Land

2013: 1x assisted dog team to CA

2012: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Svalbard

2011: 2x assisted ski teams to CA

2009: 1x unassisted ski team to Greenland

2007: 1x unassisted ski and kayak team to Franz 

         Josef Land

         1x assisted ski team to Greenland

 

assisted = resupplied

 

 

A note on the North Pole daily ski 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 dr”ft 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.

A Degree of Latitude is 60 nm / 110 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

 

 

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

 

Unassisted, Unsupported:

Team Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters

Last North Expedition:

(start March 15)

 

Ryan Waters, USA

Website

Facebook

Mountain Professionals

Mountain Professionals Facebook

 

Eric Larsen, USA

Website

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Tracker

 

 

Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Unassisted, Unsupported

Bengt Rotmo

(started April 21)

Website

Twitter

 

 

Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Assisted, Unsupported

(Start April 4)

Eric Philips, Australia

Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada

Martin Hartley, UK

Website

 

 

Greenland

 

Kite ski circumnavigation:

 

Eric McNair-Landry (CA) and Dix”e Dansercoer (BE)

Blog Greenland Ice Expedition

Tracker

Facebook (Polar Circles) 

Twitter (Polar Circles)

Facebook (Pittarak Expeditions)

 

Michael Chavarin (FR) and Cornelius Strohm (DE)

Website

 

Yuri Klaver (USA to Greenland via CA)

Website 1

Website 2

Facebook

Spot Location

Twitter

 

 

Follow blog posts (with RSS feeds) in the live News Stream on ExplorersWeb.

 

 

Previous/Related

 

 

Sean Chapple's insights: Laying the Foundations for Success

 

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

 

Dixie Dansercoer and Eric McNair-Landry to kite-ski 5000+ km around Greenland

 

AdventureStats

 

Ray Zahab and team Baffin Island run 2014

 

 

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   

 

 

 

 

 

Bernice Notenboom: "By now I am used to the biting wind in my face, the cracks in my lips, the itching frostbite on my cheek, the bruises on my legs from falling on ice blocks and the nasty blister that won't go away under my toe... I press my fingers around my thumbs that are frostbitten to get the blood pumping into my extremities, that can last a long painful hour." Click to enlarge image.
SOURCE
Ryan Waters (pictured) and Eric Larsen are experiencing lower ridges and more open water (they swam a lead) in the Last Degree NP, while Eric Philips and team, skiing towards Canada, are experiencing higher ridges and bigger open water.
courtesy Eric Larsen, SOURCE
Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen's position on May 4 (click to enlarge).
SOURCE
Eric Philips, Bernice Notenboom and Martin Hartley position May 3.
SOURCE
Guide Eric Philips looking for a safe route for Bernice and Martin. "I went by intuition today, using 12 years of memory mapping to predict what might lie ahead of that I felt beneath my skis. Mostly it worked but not without battle scars."
courtesy Martin Hartley, SOURCE
Eric Philips' team traveling in a glass of milk (click too enlarge).
courtesy Martin Hartley, SOURCE
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