They knew Ousland and Horn were exhausted. They had food for 13 days. Broken ice created difficult obstacles for the sleds. This is one of the hardest polar journeys that ever has been made.”. More than one polar adventurer has been swallowed by the frigid sea in the night, never to be seen again. ... North Pole Last Degree Expedition Teams. In his journal, Gamme wrote facetiously, “Two ungrateful shit sacks, here we drag lots of goodies! Even staying close, the men periodically lost sight of each other’s headlamps in the blizzard. Using his knife, Ousland sawed off Horn’s sled harness, which was encased in ice. The boat and crew would now thread through the Northeast Passage and aim to meet the men in two and a half months on the far side of the ice cap, in the waters north of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. We've got 149 tours going to Arctic / North Pole, starting from just 3 days in length, and the longest tour is 33 days. He was certain his partner had suffered cold injuries that would require immediate rescue. Somewhere near the North Pole, in a small tent staked to a plate of floating ice, Børge Ouslandâs satellite phone buzzed. Svalbard expedition in detail: Since 2000, the TOPtoTOP Expedition has covered 111,000 nautical miles and visited more than 100 countries. In all their years, neither man had finished an expedition with so little food remaining. Ousland messaged with news of the accident but assured them, “We have control.”. Yet he was happy: He’d solved the problem. The 14-day North Pole expedition aboard 128-guest Fifty Years of Victory is a chance to add your name to the short list of adventurers who have made the ultimate journey to the top of the world. “But now we were skiing just a little crust basically, with 4,000 meters of sea underneath our feet.”, In places, the ice offered a gin-clear view into the void. We will also set up a way for ALL of you to come with us. You have one, max two tries and then all you can do is just think of all the good things you have experienced.”, Horn remembers being more deflated than afraid. The sky was clear that day, an oval moon illuminating the landscape. The North Pole Expedition Museum is centrally located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The adventure begins in Murmansk, Russia, and the roundtrip journey will take you through the frozen Arctic Ocean to the the highest latitude possible, 90º north. “Polar bears will eat you if you let them,” Ousland says. The edges were crisp—the bears were close. PUBLISHED January 24, 2020 The phrase âon top of the worldâ carries ebullience and enthusiasm, as if nothing could be better than standing at 90° north latitude. It would be a mark of failure. And there was the matter of age, with both men now on the far side of 50. When they crossed for the third and final time, there was no celebrating. The Norwegian was struggling to sleep as he worked through strategies and scenarios and drift angles, trying to map every possible eventuality. Norwegians have long been the Earth’s premier polar adventurers, and in Ousland they see reflections of their most legendary explorers: Leif Ericsson, Fridtjof Nansen, and Roald Amundsen. Horn’s daughters had never perceived their indomitable father’s voice so listless. I picture myself back home instead of on the ice, and maybe I start questioning myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’”. The cold caused the snow crystals to become sharp and grabby, preventing their skis and sleds from gliding. Which raises a good question: Why were they doing this? Normally the men wouldn’t sleep near fresh bear tracks, but they were self-described “stumbling zombies.” Inside the tent, Ousland asked Horn to keep his ears attuned. Top Expeditions 1970-2020, #4: North Pole at Night . Climbing from the ice’s often unstable edge into the unsteady packrafts and paddling while pulling the heavy, but buoyant, gear sleds across open water proved effective, if nerve-jangling. “When it got to the stage where my thumb was double the thickness it should have been, I said to Børge, ‘I think I need antibiotics.’”. “It’s interesting, that progression we have in our mind," Horn says about facing intense bodily pain and staggering fatigue. When Horn reached solid ice, he yelled back into the inky channel, toward the light of Ousland’s distant headlamp, “Can I pull?”, Horn pulled the rope. Read more. Says Gamme, “The great modern polar exploration era ended with that trip.”, The untold story of the boldest polar expedition of modern times, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/2020/12/borge-ousland-mike-horn-epic-journey-across-north-pole.html, he river-boarded 4,000 miles down the Amazon, circumnavigated the planet at the equator, narrowly escaping Congolese firing squads. The ice had closed in and frozen it firmly in place and it would take two weeks of working with chainsaws before Lance finally could set sail for home. About half of the melt ponds were completely melted through to the ocean and the floe itself contained a network of old, melted cracks. Horn promptly invited him on his next adventure: a traverse of the Arctic ice cap on skis. “We become like the world we evolve in. Because I have to learn to like what I hate.”, They quickly adapted to life on the ice. We have traveled to nearly every continent, including the Antarctic. Not that we complain, we take that fight.”. You can find us just behind the University building (UNIS), near the fjord. Eventually several dead tips were amputated. “It’s where my senses come alive ... you become, in a way, a complete human being” says Horn. We have been invited. From the North Pole, we established a new ice camp at 87.717N, 104.313E on about 1.3-meter thick, first-year sea ice with numerous interconnected melt ponds. Their noses and cheeks wore away into open wounds that wouldn’t heal in the razored air. With wind chills of 50 below zero or colder—their spittle freezing solid in mid-air—they sheltered a day in the tent. Back in Oslo, a relieved Ebbesen says, “I had a very, very big glass of wine.”. To participate, fans must subscribe to Hollow Earth TV with the button below. Whether the Earth is a globe, flat, hollow, or a triangle is irrelevant. Wind and waves lashed the vessels; capsizing could be fatal. Taking off from Spitsbergen by the AN-74 aircraft, you will land on the ice camp "Barneo", â¦ Horn paddled first, without the gear, until the rope neared its limit, when Ousland eased into his packraft bobbing on black water. After encountering more than 50 polar bears in his journeys, Ousland has developed a suite of strategies to repel them. Extreme low sea ice in the Arctic made the journey shorter, but also more dangerous due to the thin ice fracturing and blowing in wind storms. Expedition North Pole 2020 They had 49 days of food in their sleds when they set out on the morning of October 18. For 86 days we were fighting that specific moment.”. Horn spoke first, “In a couple of hours, our expedition is finished. On August 28 of last year, with little fanfare or media hype, Ousland, Horn, and their crew set sail from Nome, Alaska, in Horn’s 115-foot sailboat Pangaea and headed north into the Arctic Ocean. Rotmo and Gamme were moving toward them cautiously, on newly formed ice so thin it was clear as glass.
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