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North Pole update: Bengt Rotmo to be picked up

Posted: May 11, 2014 03:50 pm EDT


(By Correne Coetzer)  Solo Norwegian skier, Bengt Rotmo has opted for an evacuation from the ice as Kenn Borek Air has decided to close down the season’s flights over the Arctic Ocean on May 12, his home team manager, Lars Ebbesen, told ExplorersWeb.


After guiding two Last Degree expeditions (110 km each), Bengt started skiing the 780 km route from the Geographic North Pole south to Canada on April 21. Lars explains about the weather and drift, "Since he started the wind and weather have not been favorable, the wind has gone the wrong way and the drift has been very strong east and backwards. Since he started his last 'last degree' the drift was north. He has (probably) done the 15-20km planned for, but the drift has reduced that to 5-15km instead of getting some 2-3 (to 10) km bonus drift a day.”


Ebbesen added, after the decision was made yesterday, ironicaly the drift changed and Bengt gained a few miles during the night. 


[Ed note: usually the Arctic Ocean's drift is mostly south, so the skiers skiing from the Pole to Land are the ones who benefit. This year continues strong winds pushed the ice in a northeast direction.]


The past two days Bengt had the worst weather since the start. Yesterday he had to stop early as he was worried if he would be able to get his tent up. Today he stopped to wait for better conditions. Closer to land more bad ice and open water awaits and therefore he wants to play safe and get off the ice.    


ExplorersWeb is still waiting for a response from Eric Philips, Bernice Notenboom and Martin Hartley, and their home team about what they have decided.


Meanwhile, Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen, who has successfully completed the full route from Canada to the Geographic North Pole on March 6, have flown back to Canada with Kenn Borek. After packing all night in Resolute Bay, they started flying back home to Boulder, Colorado.






North Pole 2014: Bengt Rotmo to ski solo North Pole to Canada


North Pole update: “Phenomenal power, and we chose to dice with it"


Ralph Villiger and Harald Fichtinger to sail and climb Greenland



AdventureStats successful expeditions:


Land to Geographic North Pole 

2014: 1x unassisted ski team from Canada

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 drift and relaying sleds.


A North Pole expedition covers the full dist”nce 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 at 83.043627N, 077.374263W

End My 6 at 90N


Ryan Waters, USA



Mountain Professionals

Mountain Professionals Facebook


Eric Larsen, USA








Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Unassisted, Unsupported

Bengt Rotmo

(started April 21)





Starting from Geographic North Pole (90ºN) to Canada

Assisted, Unsupported

(Start April 4)

Eric Philips, Australia

Bernice Notenboom, The Netherlands / Canada

Martin Hartley, UK


Bernice Notenboom Twitter

Icetrek Expeditions Facebook

Expedition Twitter

Icetrek Twitter




Kite ski circumnavigation:


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

Blog Greenland ICE Expedition


Facebook (Polar Circles) 

Twitter (Polar Circles)

Facebook (Pittarak Expeditions)


Michael Chavarin (FR) and Cornelius Strohm (DE)



Yuri Klaver (USA to Greenland via CA)

Website 1

Website 2


Spot Location




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






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




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  #bengtrotmo






Image of Bengt at the Geographic North Pole where he started.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp / Russian Geographical Society Expeditionary Center, 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