It looks like Hannah McKeand’s 2008 solo North Pole Expedition is over before it really had a chance to get going. Late last week there was dispatch on her site that indicated that she took a nasty fall and injured herself in the process. At the time, she decided to rest up and see how things felt later, but the extent of her injuries, while not life threatening, were enough to prevent her from continuing her journey.
Last Thursday, late in the day, Hannah stopped to get a better view of what lay ahead for her. She scrambled on top of a pile of blocks to look further ahead, and the snow beneath her gave way, depositing her in an eight foot hole. She fell onto her side, but managed to pull herself out and get into her tent to rest for the night.
On Friday however, she decided that the injuries to her back and left shoulder were too much to allow her to continue. Pulling a heavy sled with those kinds of injuries would just be impossible. She let her support team know that she would need a pick-up and yesterday they sent someone to retrieve her and take he back to Alert, a remote Canadian research facility. Today, the latest update indicates that Hannah arrived in Alert safe and sound, and is awaiting transport back to Resolute Bay.
It’s good to know that Hannah is safe and will be heading back to civilization soon, but I’m guessing the disappointment in giving up her North Pole quest is ultimately more painful then the injuries she has sustained. Knowing what I know about Hannah however, I’d be willing to bet she’ll be planning another polar expedition before we know it.
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