Magnetic North Pole Exp – Day 10

Position: 79°05'740" N  105°37'325" W

Blog written by Arianne

The minute we got dropped off the plane, I seriously asked myself why I was there. The wind was whipping my face and I could not see more than 10 meters before me. The plane took off and I realized that we were alone in this freezing wilderness.

At first, I thought that a little sled could not be that heavy and that cross country skiing would be a piece of cake. Wrong. Combine a 100 pounds sled to a bad skiier and you get a clumsy young explorer trying to reach the pole. We then slowly but surely found the right balance and started our journey to the pole.
What most people ignore is that the Arctic sea is not a flat boulevard where you peacefully go ski touring. It is bumpy, rough and unforgiven. The second day of walking, we got our first glimpse of the Arctic; the pack ice. There are huge blocks of ice in which you can hardly navigate. We were falling every second step, trying to find our way through it. After this rough day, a good night of sleep was needed.

We routinely wake up at 8, eat an enormous quantity of porridge, walk for 8 hours and set up camp for the night. It's simple, right? Besides Felix's huge blisters and everyone's burnt faces, nothins is simpler.
Every day, we make progress. 14, 17, 18 km. We have 6 days left and more than a hundred km to cover. So far, the weather has been fairly mild and polar bears have kept away from us. However the wind can turn quicly here and in a minute, one of us could be in the water. But the constant danger and pain is definitely worth the view. Nothing is more unique and breathtaking than the Arctic desert.

This place, this austere and cold Arctic, only fews have seen it. It is indescribably liberating to be here. We live so much of our lives surrounded by things human have made. Here, i'm reminded that everything comes from the earth, the air and the sea. I feel strangely little in this white desert but yet, I feel in my element. Walking through infinite snow enthralles me and I can't wait to reach that magnetic North Pole.

Blog written by Luana

The endless white and gigantic arctic desert surrounds our small colourful tent. This part of the world is known to be hostile to man. We nontheless feel more alive than ever before. The twelve of us have squeezed into our little refuge where we find ourselves protected for the night.

Our bodies ache from todays efforts. The steemy food and heat coming from our four stoves are a rare luxury in these cold conditions After eight hours of continuous skiing we are greatful for a few hours of rest. In the tent we listen to adventurous stories from all around the world.

I could not be happier now. I am living every moment here. Us young explorers are slowly starting to understand our new environment. We very quickly realized that without Mike's incredible expe
rience and knowledge about the Arctic ocean none of us could have survived this longer than a few days. The vast masses of ice, water and land of this unique place are incredibly impressive to me. This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. At the same time though it is also the most dangerous one I have ever been to. Funny enough I do not feel scared at all. Yes I do have a lot of respect for the Arctic – we all do – but we know what we are doing here. Nature is unforgiving and we are part of it so we have to adapt. Unfortunately in civilization people do not always think that way.

We have warm clothing, rich food and a supporting team standing behind us to protect ourselves from the cold. Six days are left, this seems too short of a time. On the other hand we want to reach our goal – the magnetic north pole. We are very optimistic and we will give everything to get there together!

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