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North Pole or Bust

Where are we?

CANADIAN FORCES STATION ALERT, ELLESMERE ISLAND, CANADA—Eight participants from the 2007 North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO) climbed into a Hawker-Siddeley turboprop plane at 10 a.m. Central Time today. Four were going north to stay, while four of us came along just for the roundtrip plane ride and an opportunity to get seven degrees closer to the Pole.

Everyone awoke in Resolute Bay this morning eager to get to work and eager for an escape from the cabin fever of the Narwhal Hotel. The first cargo flight for NPEO 2007 was supposed to take off on April 14, with more flights of people and instrumentation scheduled for the 17th, 20th, and 22nd. Instead, today was the first real shipment of science gear. It was a welcome, if late, start to the program. The Narwhal and the warehouse were bustling with activity, as the novelty of cribbage games, billiards, Web surfing, nature walks, and good conversation were starting to wear off. “If you want to do something difficult, you’ve got to have patience,” said Rick Krishfield, who keeps that in mind every time he works in the Arctic. And patience has certainly been needed this week. Read more about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »