North Pole 2013: Barneo Ice Camp Opens For Business

329px Ice camp Barneo

One of the annual rites of spring in the world of adventure has come to pass with the opening of the Barneo Ice Camp. The floating base will now serve as a launching point for excursions to the North Pole with researchers and adventure travelers all completing “last degree” journeys to that point.

For those that aren’t familiar with Barneo, it is a temporary camp created each spring by a private Russian company. In order to create the arctic base, the company first locates a suitably large piece of ice to serve as its home and then a team of engineers parachute onto that surface. Once there, they build a series of structures and tents, while also creating a runway for large Ilyushin aircraft to land. Those planes bring more equipment and deliver any arctic adventurers as well.

Typically Barneo is only open for a few weeks each spring. It is there to serve as a base of operations for a very limited time and then it closes down once again. The camp helps grant access to the North Pole and in the past, helicopters working out of Barneo would retrieve full-distance skiers coming from either side of the world. Since no one is skiing that route this year, there will be no need to conduct those operations.

The location of this year’s camp is at 89° 30’03” N and 167° 59’20” E. That puts it roughly 35 km (22 miles) from the Pole. Temperature is reportedly a balmy -20ºC/-4ºF. The camp now intends to stay open until April 22.

Kraig Becker