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Expedition for Opportunity Travel Log 3 - Trek Day 1 - Onto the Open Ice

April 13th, 2016

Expedition for Opportunity Travel Log - 4/13/16 – Onto the Open Ice

Plane to the 89th Degree North 
Leaving Barneo

My Home away from Home

After unloading sleds we got tea/coffee in the camp mess hall. At about 6 AM our team, along with a Norwegian team, were flown to 89 degrees north. The Norwegian team started trekking right away. We elected to setup camp and get some rest. We were all tired from little or no sleep. It is COLD here!!! Just stating the obvious. You can't possibly imagine how cold it is until you set foot on the ice. I went outside and tried to take pictures without gloves and my hands were frozen before I could snap them. About 4 seconds is all that I could bear.  

I’m super happy that we got about 5 hours of sleep because we all woke up feeling refreshed and ready to roll. The trekking today was abbreviated but still extremely tough. Even with an abridged setup and take down of camp, it still took us over an hour each time. This is the ultimate test of our team work. Everything is done as a group. Our collective and individual survival depends on it.

We trekked for over 4 hours today. The scenery is totally awesome!!! The going was really tough at times. It felt like I was pulling my 165 lb. sled uphill the entire time. Who says that the Arctic Ocean is flat? It was zig and zag all day through sastrugis, pressure ridges, frozen leads (thankfully), snow drifts and the like. We saw some bear tracks, that was super exciting and awesome!!!  I'm off to cook and get ready for the evening shift.

I am trekking with a group of 5 including myself. The other members of the group include; Colin O'Brady, Eric Larson, Masha Gordon and Julia Shultz. Colin is a Yale graduate and professional adventure athlete. He is currently on the seventh leg of his quest to set the world record for fastest completion of the adventurer’s grand slam (AGS). The AGS is reaching the highest point on the seven continents and the two poles. Eric is our guide and a seasoned polar adventurer from the USA. Masha is a British/Russian adventurer who's also on her seventh leg of her attempt to set the AGS women's world record. Julia is a seasoned adventurer from Germany. Obviously, I'm in elite company and will have my work cut out for me. I think that I may have my work cut out for me.

So far all's going well on the Arctic ice.    


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