Horn and Ousland’s Arctic Expedition Still Isn’t Over Yet

Just a quick update once again on the current status of Mike Horn and Borge Ousland. If you’ve been following their Arctic expedition, you know that they reached the edge of the ice last weekend, where they were picked up by their extraction ship, the Lance. By that point, both Mike and Borge were exhausted, pushed completely beyond their limit, and ready to head home. But as I noted a few days back, they’re still stuck in the ice and waiting for their opportunity to go home.

In order for Lance to reach the two men the ship had to navigate through an open lead to the edge of the ice. While the crew waited for them to arrive, the lead closed behind them and the vessel became squarely stuck in the ice. Since then, its been able to make barely any progress in escaping the icy grasp of the Arctic, despite the best efforts fo all involved. Meanwhile, Horn’s own ship, the Pangaea, is still waiting to rendezvous with Lance to transfer Mike and Borge back aboard for the final push back to Svalbard.

The weather report had indicated that high winds would hit the area where the ship is stranded today, which brought some hope that they might break free. Those winds help to push the ice around, possibly opening up a channel for the ship to sail through. An update on Instagram indicates that those winds did indeed arrive, but they only allowed the Lance to make the barest minimum of progress. For now, they sit and wait and try to be patient.

After spending nearly thee months out on the ice, I’d be willing to bet all Horn and Ousland want to do is go home. They’re tired, battered, and suffering from frostbite and other ailments. With the holidays looming, I’m willing to bet they’re hoping to be home with their families, and that still might happen. But every day makes it a little bit tougher. Hopefully conditions will improve soon and they’ll be on their way. We’ll keep watching for more updates on their progress.

Kraig Becker