North Pole 2009: At The Starting Line

The 2009 Arctic Season is just about to get underway, and there are a few updates today from teams that are getting ready to hit the ice.

We’ll start with the Calin Arctic Survey Team, who were apparently planning on setting out today, but ran into a few minor snags, and elected to delay a day in order to take care of the issues. Apparently there is an issue with the team’s technology and their survival gear, and while the problems are specifically mentioned, they are described as minor, but they felt it was best to address them while still in Resolute Bay rather than dealing with them on the trail. Considering the conditions they are about to set off into, I’d say that was a wise choice. The plan now is to get underway tomorrow, and begin their survey of the arctic ice using a special ground penetrating radar.

Christina Franco is also in Resolute Bay and continues the process of inspecting her gear and packing for her expedition as well. She’ll be making a solo expedition to the North Polo, and in order to begin the acclimatization process for the temperatures she’ll experience, Christina has been strolling around the rather small town. She reports that while the walks have been short, it doesn’t take long for the cold to sting her face. Bad news Christina, you have two months of that ahead!

Finally, some news from the Baffin Babes as well as it seems they are now down a babe. When the girls set out from Qikiqtarjuaq, on Baffin Island, there will be only three of them, as Ingebjoerg Tollefsen has been suffering with a stomach ailment for some time, and will not make the initial trip. Instead, she’ll concentrate on getting better, and join her pals in April, hopefully in Clyde River, to finish up the expedition. Get well Ingebjoerg!

Also, if there are any companies out there that want to sponsor the Babes, they note that they still have room on their hats for a sponsor patch. Obviously this would be a highly visible spot for any sponsor, so drop the girls a note if you’re interested. Their expedition should receive a good amount of attention.

By next week we should start to get some reports back from the ice. Good luck to all the teams, and remember, don’t feed the polar bears.

Kraig Becker

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