The North Pole is one of the most hard-to-reach places on our planet.
Wherever you stand, there is only drifting ice and several kilometers of crystal clear, cold ocean under it. When our plan to go there in 2021 got postponed we decided to Dream Bigger!
Our initial plan was to ski the last degree to the North Pole and back to Borneo in 2021. Siv even planned to ski the last degree in 2020 with a different group, but the last two years have both been postponed. Now that it has been postponed until April 2022, we are happy that it happened, because it gave us an opportunity to rethink our plans once more. We decided to Dream Bigger!
We are taking on a tougher challenge across the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean.
With temperatures that can reach as low as -40˚C, we decided we will not only ski the last degree, we will start at 88° North and ski the last two degrees to the North pole – 90° North. The distance depends on the ice drift – it will be further than 222 km.
How We Are Getting There
We will start our journey in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. From there we'll fly to Borneo Ice Camp at 89° North, an amazing camp that the Russians set up "every" April for explorers and scientists. Except for the last 3 years when politics and travel restrictions have prevented it.
The Borneo camp is created by them first sending flights from Moscow, Siberia and Svalbard with parachutes and skydiver drops onto the Arctic Ocean. Once the ice runway has been prepared, using tractors parachuted onto the ice, a plane can land and the camp infrastructure is set up. To be able to land they need to find a location that has several-years-old ice, so that it is thick enough for a plane to be able to land.
From Borneo, we will fly a Mi-8 helicopter back south to 88° north – over 222 km from the North Pole.
From there we will be on our own, moving towards 90° North and the North Pole as best we can pulling our sleds with all we’ll need for the next 3 weeks. This will be a challenge where the ice is like a huge game of chess – while we hope not to have a close encounter with a polar bear!
This is true Arctic Ocean expedition, alone against the elements, challenging the drift, overcoming the constant obstacles: the cold, the pressure ridges, the leads, the drifting ice, how to survive and conquer the harshest environment on earth!
The beauty about it is also that there will be stunning light, the team spirit, joy, pride, humbleness and immense happiness. A good mix of enjoyable, frustrating and rewarding. The two of us are really looking forward to this – like, "can't wait to go" yet at the same time we recognize that this is something for the very few!
The Polar Sea is under severe pressure from global warming and ice melt. The thinning and shrinking ice in the Arctic makes it uncertain how much longer it will even be possible to go on an expedition to the North Pole.
Reaching this goal will for both of us be a huge step towards our personal goals and for us as Team Dream BIG.
The Arctic Sea Ice
Each year, the Arctic Sea ice expands as the sea surface freezes during the long, dark winter. At its maximum size in March, the ice covers nearly the entire Arctic Ocean. It melts back during summer, reaching its lowest point in September.
Satellite recording of the ice began in 1978 and these show that the Arctic Sea ice has undergone a major decline in recent decades. Estimates of past sea ice extent suggest that this decline may be unprecedented in at least the past 1,450 years.
A published study predicts that the Arctic Sea is likely to lose its cover by 2035. It will be impossible to go on an expedition to the North Pole long before that happens.