North Pole Winter Update: Dawn!

Another update on the North Pole Winter expedition today from It seems that some of the suffering may be coming to an end soon for Russians Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin, as the horizon has begun to glow with the coming of the Sun.

On February 16th, the intrepid polar explorers reported seeing “a narrow strip of the approaching sunrise” to the South of their position, which heralds the beginning of the end of the long, cold, and very dark polar Winters. The two men have been traveling i complete darkness since they set out for the North Pole back in late December. They are attempting to become the first team to reach the Pole completely in Winter, and have remarked a number of times in their dispatches on how difficult the expedition as been in no small part because of the surround darkness.

As of their last report, the team is now at 86° 57′ N, 72° 57′ E and continuing to make slow progress to their goal. Obviously they still have a lot of time out on the ice ahead of them as they work towards that last degree and finally 90° N. They have to be heartened by the fact that the long nights may soon be drawing to an end however, and even a brief amount of daylight will lift their mood.

This continues to be an amazing expedition. I’d probably go a little cuckoo without seeing the Sun after so many days. And lets not forget that a lot of expeditions provide for a few creature comforts, such as iPods, through the use of solar panels and chargers. Matvey and Boris have had no such luck on this trip, as there has been no Sun to help them charge those gadgets. This is another team I’m pulling for, and hoping that they reach their destination in one piece. I have a great deal of admiration for the two Russians.

Kraig Becker

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