North Pole Update: “Everything Is Much Worse In The Darkness”

20080119darknessshparo has another update from the North Pole Winter Team. It seems that not only are the Boris and Matvey battling the extreme cold, avoiding open water, and keeping an eye out for polar bears, but they’re also having their nerves frayed by the constant fear of the ice giving way. Even while sheltered inside their tent for the night, the men get little rest, as they are constantly on alert. The ever present, and complete darkness, is said to make everything “much worse” as well.

As if those weren’t enough problems for the intrepid explorers, they are constantly having to deal with negative drift as well. The article notes that when they stopped for the night on January 14th, they were just 200 meters away from 82 degrees North. Overnight however, they drifted 5.2 km to the South and East while resting in their tent. A frustrating phenomenon to have to deal with to say the least.

The two Russians have received quite a lot of support from other polar explorers, receiving notes of encouragement from Will Steger, Borge Ousland and others. The latest to offer up his support is none other than Sir Ranulph Fiennes himself, who is busy preparing for his Everest expedition in the Spring.

At this point, I think Boris ant Mat have to be struggling mightily. They are attempting the first ever unsupported trek to the North Pole completely in Winter, and from the sound of their dispatches, it seems that the cold and darkness, combined with them constantly being on the edge, has begun to take it’s toll on them. I’m pulling for them to reach the Pole, but they still have a long way to go, and it isn’t going to get any easier for them.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “North Pole Update: “Everything Is Much Worse In The Darkness””

  1. Negative drift? Ouch!
    (Note to self: Next time when planning polar expeditions, consider routes with positive drift.)

  2. LOL! Good plan! That would be when you START at the North Pole and work your way South. Ski for 20km during the day, then climb in the tent, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up 5km further South. 🙂

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