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

Thomas Ulrich abandoned North Pole ski

Posted: Apr 21, 2015 07:08 am EDT


(Newsdesk / Press Release) News arrived from Hans Ambühl, manager of the only skier who attempts a full distance ski this season, Thomas Ulrich. The risk is just too high for the joy gained, said the Swiss skier, who has decided to abandoned his North Pole to Canada ski/kite.


Here goes Hans’ report:


About a week ago, Thomas started at the North Pole. Marching (respectively kiting) towards Canada. He was able to use his kite and make good progress (50 miles in 3 days), even if conditions were quite rough (white-out and stormy winds). Thomas was perfectly adopted to the conditions due to the fact that he just guided a group to the Pole. His equipment worked perfectly, the sleds proofed to be the best ever.


But then the story took an unexpected turn:

Friday night I got a call from Thomas via satellite phone and he told me that he will quit the test-expedition! I was very surprised and Thomas told me his reasons for the decision:


During the first days on his solo trip he already used up a good amount of luck to get out of several critical situations without physical injury. These critical situations (one of them was a wide crack in the ice that opened just 6 feet from his tent over night – he just accidentally discovered and moved his camp) led Thomas to rethink again.


He was always clear that both – the solo expedition from the Pole to Canada and next year’s crossing of the entire Arctic – involved an unlimited risk. On previous expeditions Thomas has accepted exactly that: full commitment and the risk to die and go ‘all in’. The joy gained from overcoming difficulties and maybe even mental boundaries did not outweigh for him the necessary physical and psychological pain inevitable.


Thomas has now changed his direction and he is walking back to Barneo ice base that he should reach in the next 1 or 2 days by himself. From Barneo he will fly back to Switzerland via Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.



Drifting Ice Station Barneo’s position


April 20, 2015

Coordinates: N 89* 22 'and W 054* 09' 

Distance from the pole 68 km. 

Weather: blizzard, and western wind of 6-8 m/s, 

the temperature -17*C. 





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)














"Full commitment and the risk to die," Thomas Ulrich realized that he was no longer ready to accept that risk.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE
Skiers and Barneo's positions as on April 18th.
courtesy Barneo Ice Camp Journal, SOURCE