gadget shop

Only 240 miles to go!
5 April, 2006    86.0000N, 77.8000W
Keeping warm in the Arctic is critical for survival. Richard's wife Joseé came up with idea of having a ball of muskox wool inside our mittens to prevent frozen fingers. The wool fills in all the excess air spaces and the fingers can burrow deep inside it. To keep warm at night we sleep in a 3 layered system. The inner plastic vapour barrier prevents moisture from the body penetrating the middle down bag, but makes for a damp and clammy environment that is not pleasant to sleep in. The outer bag acts as a barrier between the cold outside and warm middle bag but accumulates condensation, which turns to ice. Our outer bags are sorry specimens weighing an extra 2 kilos and are full of ice balls, but should recover with the April sun.

For socks and underwear I stand by the Scandinavian Ullfrotte and Brynje but Richard and I both relish the warmth & lightweight "monkey man" jackets by Mountain Hardware.

The last 3 days have seen less than hoped for progress due to the very difficult travelling conditions of deep soft snow, acres of ice rubble and numerous open water leads to detour around, combined with terrible visibility. Nevertheless we today reached the 86th degree and still continue north with only 240 miles to go to reach the Pole.

Previous Dispatches

Cravings for pure butter    2 April, 2006
A clear sign that we are working hard is that we are each consuming 7000 calories a day & still tightening our waist bands a notch or two!! Our diet consists of pasta and pemmican. The pemmican is a m

Whisky levels dangerously low    29 March, 2006
Monday was spent resting bodies and repairing equipment, especially Conrad's sled that needed major surgery to hold it together. Tuesday presented no major obstacles and we made 8½ nautical m


Encountering open water leads    27 March, 2006
It's the morning of 27th March. On Saturday we encountered numerous open water leads where we used a variety of techniques to cross, such as walking around, shovelling snow to bridge the gaps and

Later dispatches - Previous dispatches