The curious case of Mike Horn and Borge Ousland’s much-delayed updates from the Arctic continues, even as the two men appear to be heading back south. Last week, we noted — with the help of ExWeb — that according to their tracker, the duo had already passed 90ºN, despite the fact that their dispatched that were posted to social media outlets didn’t indicate that they had reached that point as of yet. At the time, it appeared that they had visited the top of the world five days earlier than when we first noticed the discrepancy, having spent more than a month to reach that position. Now, another week as passed and we’re getting the update from the Pole at long last.
Upon reaching the Pole, Horn and Ousland apparently celebrated by enjoying a piece of cake soaked in rum. So much so that the cake doesn’t go bad on a prolonged trip nor does it freeze thanks to the high alcohol content. From the sounds of things, this tasty treat was more than earned by that point of the expedition. The dispatch doesn’t share a done of the details on what it took to get there, but the words speak for themselves. This is what Mike wrote:
“It has been a long and challenging journey to get here but we never lost hope, and never gave ourselves the option for failure. Although the pole is only a GPS position on a map, today we’ve reached a milestone. Passing the pole means that from now on, every step will be a step closer to home.
Nothing worth doing in life will ever be easy, and to achieve anything special, you need to dig deep to find the necessary resources to make it special. In order to reach any goal in life, firstly you need to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons; and once those reasons are aligned, prepare yourself to fight hard to make your way as far out of your comfort zone to achieve that goal. Now that it is done, we know it is possible. Against all odds, the only person that can make a difference in your own life is yourself.
Behind the two little lights in the second photo, stand two extremely tired men, but what you can’t see is the genuine happiness we are feeling inside. The fatigue will not last forever, but the joy following this personal accomplishment will live on forever. It is the experiences and the emotions we go through that add value to our lives – so never stop living a life full of experiences and emotions!”
On a side note, the team’s GPS tracking system seems to have been altered again. Operated by a company called Speedcast, the system is still functioning but no longer shows their coordinates. Instead, it shows a map with some dots on it marking their waypoints, but it is now more challenging to judge their progress. A previous tracking system went offline earlier in the expedition, so I’m guessing their are some technical snafus that are causing the issues. You can still see what I’m guessing is there current location however, so we’ll still be able to follow along.
For now, we’ll just have to wait for further updates to know what is happening. The fact that those updates seem to be delayed by more than ten days is a bit unusual and concerning, but these are two of the most experienced polar explorers on the planet. From the sounds of things, they are exhausted and living on the edge of their endurance, but are still pressing forward. I have little doubt that they’ll reach their goal, which at the moment is Mike’s ship the Pangaea, which is sailing to meet them at the edge of the Arctic Sea ice. I’m sure when that happens we’ll get a full expedition report.
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