Ulrich and Ousland Enter Franz Josef Land

Polar explorers Thomas Ulrich and Børge Ousland continue their expedition from the North Pole to Norway via Siberia. According to ThePoles.com, the two men reached Franz Josef Land on June 22 after kite skiing from the Pole and are happy to find solid ground waiting for them. They’ve been on glacial ice or water for the entire trip, and are happy to have soil under their skis.

Now 58 days into their expedition, the pair have cut their rations to half in order to have enough food to complete their journey unsupported. They also say that their rest times have gotten longer and they are on the move only 8 1/2 hours a day. Clearly the journey has taken it’s toll on these two very experienced arctic explorers.

If every thing goes according to plan, the two will cross Siberia, where they will catch a ship in Cape Flora to carry them to the Northern most part of Norway. From there they will disembark and make their way on foot to Oslo.

Thomas and Børge are following in the footsteps of a Norwegian expedition from 1895, in which explorers Fridtj of Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen, attempted to reach the North Pole but were forced to turn back. They entered Franz Josef Land from the North and explored regions not seen by man before that time, but were stranded their when the seasons changed and were forced to build a stone hut and live off the land while they waited for Spring. They survived, and then headed South where they met a ship of their own in Cape Flora. Nansen and Johansen did it all without the aid of modern gear too.

Kraig Becker

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