We have another update from ThePoles.com on the Winter North Pole expedition that is already underway. Russian Polar explorers Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin are attempting the first trek to the Pole completed entirely in Winter and in darkness.
The latest dispatches from the team indicate that the extreme cold of the Arctic Winter has already begun to take it’s toll on the two men. The mention that they are burning fuel at a faster rate than they had expected, and are now forced to conserve their fuel for later. This in turn makes for colder conditions still as the men struggle to stay warm while their stoves burn less.
In order to lighten their load, with the hopes that it will allow them to move much faster, they have also left behind their boat and 20 kilograms (45 pounds) of food. This may allow them to pick up speed, but it also shows they are taking some rather large risks as well. The boat would help them cross open water, which is still common at this time of the year at the North Pole, and the food could put them in a bind should bad weather slow their march later on.
Because of the time of year that they have set out, the entire expedition will be in darkness. And thanks to the extreme cold and Polar winds, should the two men run into trouble, or become stranded, it could be extremely difficult for a rescue team to get to them in time. To hear them remark that the cold weather has already begun to effect them does not bode well for the future of the expedition, but the lighter sleds may very well help in the long run and ultimately allow them to reach their goal safe and sound.
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