There are only a handful of polar expeditions in history that have ventured into the polar winter. Beginning in December 2013, as part of a multi-phase landmark expedition, a small international team will travel into the darkness.
Between mid-December 2013 and July 2014, Alex Hibbert and the Dark Ice team will each haul over 250kg the length of the Nares Strait and then make an unsupported return attempt on the Geographic North Pole. In August 2013, an initial preparatory phase will take place to lay and prepare depots for the main phase, with that ultimate goal of the Pole unsupported in winter. This has never been achieved. The Pole has also never been reached from Greenland - the final main route as yet untravelled.
The route for will cover up to 1800 miles over fractured and mobile sea ice between the cliffs and glaciers of Ellesmere Island and North-West Greenland and then the vast, frozen Arctic Ocean. The team will set out from the Greenlandic Inuit village of Qaanaaq and travel north to the edge of the Arctic Ocean and then the North Pole, before returning. The sea ice through these narrow straits is amongst the most dynamic and technically demanding in the world.
The team will have only their tent as protection against the, at times, brutal Arctic winter conditions and their trusty Inuit dog, Dave, as a companion and warning against over-curious polar bears.
Alex and his team will be relying on aspen 4 to provide them with heat and energy to cook their food and melt ice into drinking water. Alex tried all different kinds of fuels before choosing aspen to be the quickest and most reliable way to fuel his stoves on his mission.
Alex and his team of explorers will be leaving the UK on the 9th December and are set to start their journey on the 15th.
For more information and to track their progress, see http://www.darkiceproject.com
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