First Men Out the Door
RESOLUTE BAY, NUNAVUT, CANADA—The first pair of scientists left on April 20 for the North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO), flying from Resolute Bay to Canadian Forces Station Alert on the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island. After refueling and a check of the weather conditions at the North Pole, the two scientists and two pilots flew on to the Russian-operated Borneo ice camp at 89º15’ N latitude, 0º22’W longitude. It was the end of a long year of preparation and a long week of waiting for weather and ice conditions to allow planes to fly this sometimes treacherous journey. (View the travel map)
Weather conditions at the Pole have improved, with lighter winds, greater visibility, and temperatures around -15ºC—colder than yesterday, but much better when you are trying to live and work on ice that can crack, melt, and shift with warm and stormy weather. If only we could move the weather north from Resolute; here the skies are clear and the air is a frosty -20ºC, with 24 kilometer per hour winds making it feel like -30ºC.
Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »