North Pole Winter Update: Still Going, Still Suffering

After several weeks of silence from the Winter North Pole team of Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin, we’ve finally had an update on their progress. Checking their website regularly showed that they were still on the move, as their GPS coordinates showed their slow but stead march North. But today, has posted an update on their struggle.

This latest dispatch will do nothing to dispel the impression that these two hardy Russians continue to suffer on this expedition. Matvey notes that he finally had to give in and begin wearing two pairs of double layered mittens, and even that did not help to keep his hands warm. But the duo continues to make progress, moving 9 to 10 hours a day, trying to stay warm and avoid the pitfall of traveling through the arctic wasteland with almost complete darkness still around them.

It seems that they couldn’t avoid all of the pitfalls however. On Feb. 20th Boris broke through the ice and fell in up to his shoulders into the water below. At the time of the incident, he wasn’t wearing his survival suit, which is designed to protect them from the frigid waters. As you can imagine, that incident left him quite wary upon moving forward, but despite all that they say that they are in good spirits, and are looking forward to reaching their goal.

As of today, their coordinates are 88° 28′ N, 69° 27′ E. They are approaching the last degree, but have only 17 more days to reach the Pole in Winter.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “North Pole Winter Update: Still Going, Still Suffering”

  1. Hard. Core. Whether or not they make it, these guys deserve a toughest-explorers-of-the-year award.

  2. You’ve got that right! In fact, I think we should petition Webster’s to put Mat and Boris’ picture next to the definition of hardcore.

    These two have all of my respect. Amazing stuff.

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