North Pole 2011: It’s Hurry Up And Wait For Ben Saunders!


Yesterday I posted a 2011 North Pole update with the news that Ben Saunders was expecting to be dropped off on the ice today to begin his attempt to break the speed record to the Pole. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and once again it is the weather that is making this a very difficult season in the Arctic.

According to an update on his blog from late yesterday, Ben says that the weather window he was hoping to take advantage of has slammed shut, and flights to Ellesmere Island are currently impossible. A weather front over Greenland is causing issues in Canada, and it appears that it will stay that way until tomorrow. Ben does say that he is now scheduled to leave Resolute Bay around noon tomorrow for his drop off on the ice, and if that happens, he can finally begin his long, cold march north.

Saunders goes on to say that this delay should still work with his schedule, although he is hoping to get well underway before the 19th of the month, as that will be the start of the Full Moon. At that stage, the moon has a greater effect on the tides, thus making travel through the Arctic Ocean, frozen or not, more difficult.

For now, Ben remains in Resolute Bay, but as you can imagine, he is eager to get started. Hopefully he’ll have a little luck go his way, and he can start the expedition tomorrow. Luck has been in awfully short supply in the Arctic this season though. Like Ben, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Kraig Becker

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