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Tuesday, 14 April 2015 21:16

The Last Degree Ski Team is at Barneo!

Our Last Degree Ski team is very excited that they have arrived at the Barneo Ice Camp. Their flight departed from Longyearbyen four hours late, but that did not dampen anyone's spirits. This flight had one very special feature - a polar bear sighting! Everyone was very excited to see four polar bears from the air. The weather is warm with a breeze out of the southeast and the group is gathering for dinner. The plan is to head out to 89 degrees tomorrow morning.

Current position N 89°05.287, E 042°36.937 

The day started well with good weather, calm and sunny, able to travel about 3.5 miles smoothly. Then they hit a huge lead- fresh black water running northwest. They followed the edge of the lead for about 3.5 hours, then conditions deteriorated further with more broken and jumbled ice. They decided to set up camp around 4:30 PM local time, hoping to get up tomorrow to better conditions. The good news is they have drifted about 1/2 mile North since setting up camp! Their resupply has been rescheduled for tomorrow. All continue to be in good spirits, gorging on Dan Dahlgren's chocolate covered peanut butter balls!



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. 



Published in 2015 North Pole Flight

They are on their way!  The dogsled team flew from Longyearbyen at 10:00 AM local time today.  After days of waiting, being as patient as possible, readying their kit, exploring Longyearbyen and the surroundings, they were very excited to finally be heading to the ice. 

They spent a few hours in Barneo going through the debrief and readying themselves for the helicopter ride.  They were dropped at 88°39'35" N, 45°12'61" E.  It was around 5:30 PM local time so they decided to make camp (which went very efficiently), have dinner and get ready for an early start tomorrow.  The weather is relatively warm, around -15° C with no wind.  The day has been quite clear and sunny though it is starting to get a bit overcast.  We wish the team a good night's rest on the ice so they can hit the trail running in the morning.


Sunday, 11 August 1996 00:00

To The End of the Earth

By Bob Weinstein

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

Burt Meyer and Jim Gieske have a lot in common. Both belong to an elite group of travelers who have journeyed to the North Pole. But they didn't reach the top of the world in the same way.

Thursday, 29 October 1998 00:00

Men's Health Article

By Mark Jenkins

Mens Health

I'm in a bar with a friend. It's not late, but getting there. Sort of like the definition of midlife. We'd intended to have one beer and head home. that was hours ago...

Tuesday, 17 February 2004 00:00

The Christian Science Monitor

by R.A.

The Christian Science Monitor

Christopher Sweitzer has been to the North Pole twice. The first time hardly counts, though, since he was only 18 months old. As a fifth-grader last April, he returned with his dad, Rick, whose adventure travel business has been offering North Pole trips since 1993.

Written by Lew Freedman

Chicago Tribune

Annie Aggens stood at the top of the world marveling at the frozen horizon of white stretching for millions of acres. A step in any direction took he south...

Sunday, 06 February 2005 00:00

Q&A On top of the World

I would like to take a trip to the North Pole. Are there agencies that organize these trips? - Joseph M. Hassett, NY, NY

NY Times

The North Pole and its vast tracts of pack ice and polar wildlife have been...

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 00:00

Take a trip to the North Pole – Seriously

The Wilmette Life, A Chicago Sun-Times Publication

Chicago Sun Times

By Jackie Pilossoph

WILMETTE — Just off the beaten path in downtown Wilmette sits a yellow house marked by a totem pole and two signs that read "Polar Explorers" and "The Northwest Passage."

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