Polar Explorer Hannah McKeand is off and running on her solo, unsupported trek to the North Pole. She set out from Canada last Saturday, and has now moved 15 nautical miles to the North West. As of today’s dispatch she has moved within 400 miles of the Pole, which sounds like a minor milestone, but at this state, you’ll take them where you can get them.
In the early going, Hannah has struggled with what she calls the worst cold she has ever experienced. It was -49 degrees Fahrenheit during the day time on her second day out. In fact, it’s been so cold that she hasn’t been able to post her own dispatches yet, having to rely on her sat phone to call in the reports. That should change as things warm up later on, but for now she’s making due with what she can.
The latest report also says that she’s been kept awake at night by the cracking of the ice around her, something that she didn’t have to deal with when she went solo and unsupported to the South Pole last year. I’m sure that’s an unnerving feeling while you’re trying to sleep. The dispatch also says that she has struggled thus far with challenging sastrugi and yesterday she spent most of the time in whiteout conditions.
Still, she remains chipper and vibrant as she did throughout her South Pole adventure. And things will improve with time. The weather will warm up, the days will become longer, and she’ll make increase the milage she attains each day as she goes along. With any luck, she’ll be at the Pole in just a matter of seven or eight weeks! 😉
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