North Pole 2009: Baffin Babes Are Off!

The Baffin Babes got underway on Wednesday, finally starting their 80 day expedition to scout the impact of global climate change on the Baffin Islands and the Inuit people that live there. Unfortunately, the girls are having an issue with their GPS tracker at the moment, and it’s not updating their position on the ice. They hope to have that straightened out soon, but for now we’ll just have to wait for them to send a dispatch or two, and update us all on how it’s going out there.

Meanwhile, the Catlin Arctic Survey Team has experienced some nasty weather in the past couple of days, and as a result, they elected to stay in camp on Tuesday, but got back on the trail yesterday. The team has been garnering a lot of attention, including a spotlight on and an ongoing blog over at the BBC. The home team is also using Twitter (who isn’t these days?) to send out updates as well.

The Victorinox North Pole Team is reporting that they have achieved a milestone in their journey to reach the North Pole. After very slow and rough going early on, thanks to a rubble field, they have now moved into an area with thicker, smoother, and harder ice, making it much easier going. As a result, their speed has increased and they’re now covering much better distances. They went from not even achieving a single nautical mile a few days back to nearly reaching 4 nautical miles yesterday. You can bet that the guys are very happy to have put the ice blocks behind them.

Finally, the Peary Centennial Expedition is reporting that conditions have improved for them as well. A few days back they were experiencing -50º F temperatures, and today they’ve reached a balmy -19º. When last they reported in, they were hunkered inside their tents thanks to an intense storm, but they had covered 5.4 nautical miles for the day and were quite happy with their progress. They also report high spirits, no equipment failures thus far, and a generally good outlook on the expedition thus far.

That’s all for now. More updates soon.

Kraig Becker

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