Our 2015 North Pole Flight is rapidly approaching! Bags are being packed, tickets double-checked and everyone is getting verrry excited for the upcoming adventure.
This blog officially kicks off on April 12. Check back again then to be a part of the adventure!
Today the team reached the North Pole under blue skies and calm conditions. The temperature was quite warm at around zero degrees F.
This was a very special and eventful day at the top of the world. Rick Sweitzer, our Chief Adventure Officer, officiated the vow renewal ceremony for Daniel and Sally Pena. They renewed the marriage vows that they first exchanged at the South Pole in 2011, making them the first couple to get married at both the North and South Poles. Natasha Avanessians was the ring bearer for the bride. The ceremony was concluded by the arrival of a skydiver from the Czech Republic.
The team from Canada Goose was also very busy. In addition to attending the wedding, they took photos, videos, and conducted interviews. They even collected images from a small drone.
It was a great day to be at the Pole and they were able to spend roughly 2.5 hours at 90 degrees North.
Tonight the team will spend the night at the Barneo base camp. This is one of the most unusual base camps in the world and a fascinating place to spend the night. Of course the 24 hour sunlight means that there is no night. Rather the sun circles overhead without dipping 24 hours a day.
This is a photo of the Barneo base camp taken from the helicopter. The entire camp exists for only three weeks each year.
Today we officially kicked off the expedition with a pre-flight briefing and a welcome reception. Everyone gathered to review the itinerary, get acquainted and to help celebrate Natasha's 25th birthday.
We plan to depart Longyearbyen for Barneo tomorrow morning around 9 AM. With a 2.5 hour flight we should land at the Barneo Ica Camp around 11:30. There is always the possibility for delays, but this is the current plan.
We will keep you posted so check back again tomorrow for another update from the team, hopefully from the North Pole!
We'd like to introduce you to the adventurous group that makes up our 2015 North Pole Flight.
My name is Natasha Avanessians and I am 24 years old. I am a born and raised New Yorker who enjoys traveling to exotic, new and adventurous places. My father and I have traveled throughout Europe and Asia and look forward to this expedition up north! I work in government relations in New York City and New York State.
|My name is Armen Avanessians and I am a father of two. I was born and raised in New York City and have a background in electrical engineering and finance. Four years ago my daughter and I began choosing different areas of the world to explore, and we look forward to experiencing the arctic together this Spring.|
|Sally & Daniel Pena||UK|
|Hello All, I am a retired business man. This trip is a gift to myself celebrating my 70th birthday (March 16th). It also celebrates my retirement from the snow as my family (self, wife Dina, daughter and grandson) is moving from Cleveland to San Diego this summer. Given the winters we've had in Cleveland the last two years I'm not sure the North Pole will be much of a change, but I'm looking forward to finding out.|
I am 34 years old and have been advised by medical and mental health professionals to not marry or reproduce. When not at work I love to travel and explore the world, both under my feet and between my ears. I have had an interest in traveling to The Pole since I was a child. My cold weather experience includes some time in Alaska and Norway, and that one time I forgot my jacket going to the store in Florida. I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of great explorers, minus the walking, risk, and death.
|Eric came to Polar Explorers with an extensive, well-rounded background in a wide variety of outdoor skills. His real strengths lie in his teamwork and problem-solving abilities. His empathetic nature and fun personality are put to good use helping our Polar Expeditioners reach their goals. Eric is an avid backpacker, bow-hunter, and fisherman. His advice is, “Take every opportunity offered to enjoy nature. Experiencing the outdoors is what keeps us grounded and allows us to appreciate our day-to-day lives.”|
|Rick Sweitzer created and co-guided the first ever dogsled and ski expedition to the North Pole for amateur adventurers in 1993. Since then he has guided well over a dozen expeditions to the North and South Poles. Rick has been guiding winter mountaineering and ski expeditions for the last 25 years. He is an expert at spinning the "fun meter" and often hosts a "cocktail hour" in his tent at night. He is a legend in the industry and a great companion on the ice!|