Too much weight for North Pole plane – Skiers in Resolute Bay UPDATED

“Too much weight, I am leaving stuff behind.” … For the next 3.5 hours to Iqaluit, his mind was “tortured with anxiety.”

UPDATE March 1, 2017, Martin told us he is ready to leave Resolute Bay for their start point, but they could not fly because of freezing fog today.

The two North Pole teams, Sebastian Copeland (US/FR) and Mark George (AU), and Martin Murray (CA) and Sky (CA) arrived in Resolute Bay, high Canadian Arctic, over the weekend – already with a nerve-wrecking challenge.

Sebastian and Mark’s gear

Sebastian writes in his blog on Saturday the 25th. “I started to believe that after so many trips up North where cargo always gets delayed and lost, I finally beat the system and found the way.” 800 pounds of gear made their way from Los Angeles via Chicago to Ottawa. There the men had it picked up by truck and driven, twenty hours away, to Winnipeg and loaded on their North Pole plane. Martin has arranged the driver from Ottawa, who also carried all his gear and sledges to the plane.

Dave Mathieson, the pilot on this mission, then flew the single Otter, prop plane directly up North for a two-day flight to reach Resolute. Just as Sebastien relaxed on in his seat on his flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit, he received a message from Dave. “Too much weight, I am leaving stuff behind.” For the next 3.5 hours to Iqaluit, his mind was “tortured with anxiety.” Six pieces did not make it on Dave’s plane. Of those, were Sebastien’s two bags and all of their food.

“Today is Saturday, and thanks to the network of my old friend Aziz up here, and after manning the phones to coordinate the 20 hour drive of our gear back to Ottawa; and convincing a First Air Cargo employee to add five hours to his shift to receive it – I am told tonight that the six pieces of missing luggage are loaded on the cargo plane that leaves tomorrow for Iqaluit! It will fly the following day – Monday [27th] – up here, and we should be able to resume our preparation.”

The bulk of the gear has arrived with Dave in Resolute Bay, which they unloaded in -40 degrees.

With the flight to the start point, all Sebastian and Mark’s gear will be off-loaded at the edge of Canada, as they attempt to do their expedition unassisted (no resupplies). Martin and Sky plan to have one resupply after 22 days.

Martin and Sky’s gear

It seems as if all Martin and Sky’s gear and food have arrived in Resolute. Here is the usual gear check we have with skiers, Martin provided the following:

Skis: Fisher 99, (200), took 3 pairs to find the right grip. I will have skins for the first legs (start and resupply)

Snowshoes: GV 8 x 28 with modified harness (850g each)

Sled: 2 X Acapulka MAC 160

Down jacket: Mountain Hardware, had this jacket since 2003

Boots: Weber boots with custom JV harness and at resupply Alfa Polar Advance with 75 mm binding. The boots have and over-boot glued to the sole

Do you have booties for Sky? Yes, in case of injuries

Sleeping bag: Mountain Hardware -40

Where will Sky sleep? In the snow? Inside the tent? He will sleep in the vestibule on a foam mattress. We will carry also a dog jacket for the nights

Drysuit: H/H [Helly Hansen], not sure which one

Tent: Nammatj one person.

On his blog, Martin provided the following numbers:

22 days – weight in kg:

Fuel: 500mL, 406g, 8.9kg

Dog food: 825g/day includes 200g lard mixture; 25 kg

Martin food: 1500g/day; 32 kg (averaging 7000 cal/day)

Pulling weight:

Pulkas (2): 20kg

Gear: 38 kg

Food for 22 days: 32 kg

Dog food for 22 days: 25 kg

Total: 124 kg ( 272 Lbs)

Follow the team blogs in the Dispatch Stream on

Both team’s Maps/Trackers are done by Explorers House

Previous 2017:

North Pole Interview with Sky, the Dog: “Things might get bloody”

North Pole Interview: Martin Murray with dog, Sky

Interview: Sebastian Copeland, North Pole attempt despite grave notes

2017 Ski North Pole Expedition List by Explorersweb/Pythom

Dixie Dansercoer: North Pole Gear and Antarctica kiting

Skiers’ Media

Sebastian and Mark’s Website and Facebook

Martin and Sky’s Website and Facebook

Note: A North Pole Ski expedition covers the full distance between land (Canada/Russia/Greenland) and the Pole, no flying part/most of the route. The two 2017 teams will start from Canada: ice-depending, either Ward Hunt Island (775 km) or Cape Discovery (780 km) on Ellesmere Island.The distance from Land to Pole is calculated in a straight line from where the skiers start. What is not added to this distance, are all the detours around high ridges, hummocks, ice blocks, rubble, thin ice, or leads (open water). Also not added, are the negative drift, and relaying sleds.

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