North Pole Exped
#18: at the pole
Published at 19:57
Our day started out dandy with a blue sky and slight wind from the south. We had drifted another 600m north overnight, a constant throughout this trip.
With 11km to the pole, only a violent change in weather or ice conditions could stop us. The warm morning had us dressed lightly, Jade in a cap, Paul bare-headed for a session, Petter without his usual padded vest and me barefoot in my boardies. Almost.
The usual ridges hampered us but some zones of cracked ice and open pools gave an edge to the day, and a foreboding one as a large cloud bank rolled in from the east, swallowing all contrast and definition.
And so it remained as we skied north. 700 metres short of the pole an airliner sporting airberlin.com on its underbelly appeared low from the murk and did three flyovers, clearly a North Pole joy flight. I've been here 16 times but that was a first for me.
At around 4pm we reached 90 degrees north, a magical moment for all of us, in particular Paul and Jade. They trained long and hard for this trip, including countless hours in the gym and dragging tyres on the beach and around their tennis court. Despite trying conditions - season delays, extreme cold, novice skiers, Paul's recovery from surgery - this stoic father and daughter duo succeeded in reaching the top of the planet. At 14 Jade is the youngest person to ski more than a last degree to the North Pole.
For me, together with my recent ski expedition with my daughter Mardi in Svalbard, it's the pinnacle of a career immersing young people into challenging wilderness environments. I love my job.
Pic of Jade and Paul crossing a ridge with Petter filming, the plane, at the pole and my GPS (which can only read 90.00.00 if it has been to that point, it can't be pre-programmed).
- Name: Day 11
- Elevation: 1 m
- Latitude: 89° 59’ 59” North
- Longitude: 150° 0’ 0” East