Fedor Konyukhov
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21.08.2013

The construction of the 9 meters rowing boat is completed

The construction of Fedor Konyukhov’s new ocean row boat has been completed this summer at the boat yard near Ipswich, England.  This boat was designed and built specifically for solo crossing the Pacific Ocean.  Fedor Konyukhov plans to start the journey on his Birthday, December 12th, 2013 from Chilean sea-port Valparaiso heading to the east coast of Australia.  Fedor estimates that for a distance of 8000 nautical miles he’ll need 200 days.  This route is considered the most challenging in the world of ocean rowing.  To this date, there hasn’t been a successful crossing between the two continents: South America and Australia

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The construction of Fedor Konyukhov’s new ocean row boat has been completed this summer at the boat yard near Ipswich, England.  This boat was designed and built specifically for solo crossing the Pacific Ocean.  Fedor Konyukhov plans to start the journey on his Birthday, December 12th, 2013 from Chilean sea-port Valparaiso heading to the east coast of Australia.  Fedor estimates that for a distance of 8000 nautical miles he’ll need 200 days.  This route is considered the most challenging in the world of ocean rowing.  To this date, there hasn’t been a successful crossing between the two continents: South America and Australia.

In 2002 Fedor Konyukhov rowed across the Atlantic Ocean solo in a record time of 46 days. After more than 10 years, the technology of constructing ocean row boats has significantly improved.  Based on his previous experience rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, Fedor Konyukhov asked British boat designer – Phil Morrison for a few changes in the design of the new hull.  The length of the boat will exceed the previous boat URALAZ by 3 meters. The water tight aft cabin is divided in two parts; the closest one to the exit will contain a navigation station and galley, the other part of the cabin will be for sleeping. The food and equipment will be stored in the bow section of the boat. The length of this carbon fiber boat is 9 meters and the weight, before being fully equipped is 260 kg.  The estimated weight of the boat after it’s stocked and ready for a launch is 600 kg.  The equipment for the ocean crossing is very familiar to the explorer: the GPS unit, lights, VHF radio, a few water makers (turns sea water into drinking water), satellite phone, etc.  The electrical items will be powered by batteries which in turn will be charged by solar panels placed on top of the cabins. This time Fedor will have two sets of oars: long ones for calm waters, and short ones for stormy weather.  Besides equipping the boat, it is critical to plan the right amount of food for one person who will spend 200 days on the ocean.

The main challenge of this crossing will be the distance. To cross the Pacific Ocean on a sail boat is a great achievement, but to row across such ocean is a task that’s close to unattainable. The boat has to endure the ocean and the human body has to endure the ocean as well. Cargo shipping in these parts of the Ocean is sparse, and in case of an emergency it can be more than a week before any help arrives. To compare, it takes about 24 hours to receive help in the Atlantic Ocean.

Given the distance of 8000 nautical miles, Fedor Konyukhov foresees that he won’t be able to complete the crossing before the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer and will have to deal with the arrival of the fall which means a lot of stormy weather as he gets closer to the coast of Australia. After the first 3500-4000 miles Fedor Konyukhov will enter a zone of atolls.  This location is filled with numerous islands, of which many have yet to be mapped (or tidal).  As he will continue approaching Australia, Fedor will enter the Great Barrier Reef with its atolls and islands as well.

The boat, with its preliminary name “K9”, will be shown at the Southampton Boat Show in England between September 12th and 22nd. To learn more about the show click here.  It’s estimated that “K9” will be shipped to Chile on a cargo vessel leaving England by mid October. 

The person in charge of building and equipping the «К9» boat is Charlie Pitcher.  In February-March 2013, Charlie has done solo rowboat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 35 days, beating world solo record by almost 5 days.  Read more about Charlie Pitcher here.  

http://www.konyukhov.ruassets/images/news/41751/IMG1188_590.jpg

The project manager is the most experiences ocean rower - Simon Chalk (UK).  He is also known for putting together the races across the Atlantic Ocean.  This Englishman has had 5 successful crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and 2 of the Indian Ocean. In 2003, Simon rowed the Indian Ocean in 108 days – becoming the youngest, fastest and the first Briton to row this ocean solo.  Simon is the only person in the world who rowed 7 times across oceans. Read more about Simon Chalk here.

Between Fedor, Charlie and Simon they have 10 successful rowing boat ocean crossings.    

Translated by Tatiana Koreski  

 



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06.06.2013

The expedition “Greenland: coast to coast” was postponed

Despite the fact that everything was ready for the second stage in the expedition “North Pole- Southern Coast of Greenland, 2013” Fedor and Victor have decided to postpone crossing the archipelago until next year.  “We have lost too much time while waiting on Ward Hunt Island and then in Greenland for a series of snowstorms with hurricane speed that were raging in this area for about two weeks.  These two weeks were critical for the Arctic summer has arrived and we have yet to start our 2500 km journey from the Northern point of Greenland to its outmost southern point.  Based on the weather prognosis and our own experience with the massive

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Despite the fact that everything was ready for the second stage in the expedition “North Pole- Southern Coast of Greenland, 2013” Fedor and Victor have decided to postpone crossing the archipelago until next year. 

“We have lost too much time while waiting on Ward Hunt Island and then in Greenland for a series of snowstorms with hurricane speed that were raging in this area for about two weeks.  These two weeks were critical for the Arctic summer has arrived and we have yet to start our 2500 km journey from the Northern point of Greenland to its outmost southern point.  Based on the weather prognosis and our own experience with the massive melting in the Arctic, it is wise to postpone this lag of the expedition until next year. Greenland ice sheet is vulnerable to climate change and we have already experienced some unexpected surprises due to the warmer climates in the Arctic.  When the summer turns even warmer the ice sheet will turn into slush and ponds of melt water, especially at lower elevations near the coast.  Given the fact that our expedition is a dogsledding kind, it is best to wait the summer season out.  After crossing the Arctic Ocean from the North Pole and reaching Ward Hunt as our final destination this year, it will only be fitting to come back to this island next year and resume our dogsledding endeavor.  From Ward Hunt we plan to reach the cost of Greenland via Bassin Hall. This time we would strive to do so without an airlift. Once ascending the ice sheet of Greenland, we would head south hoping to complete the north to south crossing route before summer arrives.”



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28.05.2013

Expedition update from 28.05.2013

After reaching the shores of Ward Hunt Island, Fedor and Victor set up a long-term camp waiting for favorable weather for an air lift. The Kenn Borek Air plane will pick them up and fly to Fjord Victoria, north Greenland. While Fedor and Victor and their 12 dogs were recuperating from 46 days on the drifting ice of the Arctic Ocean, their support team was working on finding the best Greenland huskies for the second stage of the expedition

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After reaching the shores of Ward Hunt Island, Fedor and Victor set up a long-term camp waiting for favorable weather for an air lift. The Kenn Borek Air plane will pick them up and fly to Fjord Victoria, north Greenland.

While Fedor and Victor and their 12 dogs were recuperating from 46 days on the drifting ice of the Arctic Ocean, their support team was working on finding the best Greenland huskies for the second stage of the expedition. Finding 22 dogs was only part of the challenge, convincing the owners to sell the dogs was a process that took some patience, ingenuity and a lot of back and forth communications with the locals of Tasiluk town. The Greenland husky is a hard working dog that works all winter long and spends summer gathering its strength. A week is very short time to purchase two teams of 12 and 10 dogs that are all in good shape to run for 2500 km from the north to the south of Greenland. The next challenge was to deliver the dogs and the two new sleds to Fjord Victoria.

The pilots of Kenn Borek Air informed Oscar Konyukhov, manager of the expedition, that the ice in the bay of Tasiluk is not suitable for landing due to the warm temperatures of Spring. Since Tasiluk doesn’t have a landing strip, the team would have to travel north to Kulusuk town that has a small airport. The distance between these two towns is 30 km, and on a good day you can get to the other side in 60 minutes by a boat. However, despite the warm weather the ice in the bay has not melted away and what should’ve been a 60 minute trip turned into a 10 hour adventure. The pictures say it better than words.

Oscar Konyukhov: “To get to the bay was not a problem. However, facing the crushed ice and sparse open water, the local guides decided to picnic on the shore and talked it all out: should we turn back to Tasiluk or take a huge risk and venture into the water, or rather ice in our case. While the guides discussed our options, one of them shot a seal, and in no time he was preparing a large dinner on one of the boats that had a propane stove. Deciding that catching the seal was a good omen, the most experienced guide named Tobias insisted that we should face the ice. We were in no position to argue for the man has successfully hunted 25 polar bears in his life and probably knew a thing or two about a good omen. After dinner was finished, the boats’ engines started and did not stop for a moment all night long. There were times that the boats would run into so much ice that we literally had to pull them on ice. On a few occasions, there was a talk about spending the night on the ice. It’s a good thing that each boat comes equipped with camping gear. Long after midnight we finally reached Kulusuk town and set a camp near the airport.

Right now, we are awaiting the Twin Otter plane scheduled to arrive from Iceland today and take us to Fedor and Victor’s camp up north.”

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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23.05.2013

The Expedition has reached the land

Late at night on May 22nd Fedor and Victor Simonov had reached the coast of Cape Columbia. It is the northernmost point of land of Canada, located on Ellesmere Island. For the first time Russian explores were able to cross the Arctic Ocean from the North Pole to Canada on a dog sled. The first stage of the expedition is accomplished: the team had dogsled and skied across the Arctic Ocean and reached the land. The next step is to get to Greenland (most likely by a plane) and begin dog sledding across the archipelago. Fedor Konyukhov: “Today we made a great effort to leave the drifting ice of the Arctic and cross onto the land ice

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Late at night on May 22nd Fedor and Victor Simonov had reached the coast of Cape Columbia. It is the northernmost point of land of Canada, located on Ellesmere Island. For the first time Russian explores were able to cross the Arctic Ocean from the North Pole to Canada on a dog sled. The first stage of the expedition is accomplished: the team had dogsled and skied across the Arctic Ocean and reached the land. The next step is to get to Greenland (most likely by a plane) and begin dog sledding across the archipelago.

Fedor Konyukhov: “Today we made a great effort to leave the drifting ice of the Arctic and cross onto the land ice. The effort paid off and we reached the coast of Canada. The last few kilometers were particularly grueling. The five meters hummocks stood in front of us like walls, and we had to climb over them without non-stop. The dogs, sensing that the land was near, didn’t not slow down and pulled the sled with a great determination. When we touched the land, the feeling was unbelievable. After 46 days of dogsledding and skiing, we have left 900 km of the Arctic Ocean behind us. We are standing on terra firma and are swaying as if we just finished sailing around the world. The dogs are joyful, sniffing the air and licking the rocks. Victor and I both reached down to pick up a few small rocks as a keepsake of this special moment and place. Cape Columbia was a starting point for 1909 expedition of Robert Peary to the North Pole, and in 1979 Naomi Uemura’s polar expedition on a dog sled.

As soon as we reached Cape Columbia we started to move along the coast towards Ward Hunt Island. It’s only 20 km away. Right now we are having a quick break for a cup of hot tea and phone call to the office in Moscow. We are sitting on our sled and taking it all in. It’s very quiet here, a bit eerie. The sun is out. To observe the surrounding mountains and cliffs is very therapeutical.

We are planning to reach Ward Hunt Island later today and set up a camp. That will conclude the first chapter of our expedition. The next one will unfold as soon as we reach Greenland and begin our crossing from the north coast to the south which amounts to about 2500 km.”

May 22nd is Saint Nicholas day. Three years ago, Fedor was ordained as a priest of Russian Orthodox Church. The success of this expedition so far, and the total outcome of this endeavor is in God’s hands.

Fedor and Victor would like to thank each and every one who supported, cheered on, and contributed in big and small ways to the success of this Arctic crossing.

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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21.05.2013

Expedition update from 21.05.2013

Blizzard Warning:22-23 of May 2013. Attached are some blizzard warning forecast maps which show a serious situation developing over the next two days. A Low pressure center is tracking towards the north pole, and there is a sharp front extending southwards from this Low towards Canada. Winds ahead of this front (to the east of the front) are from the south-southwest and they are gale-force (35+ kts).  The Blizzard forecast maps show the area with greatest blizzard potential in red (where winds are 35+ kts and where there is also falling snow).  This front will reach Ward Hunt Island Wednesday evening and will then cross the area overnight

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Blizzard Warning:

22-23 of May 2013.

Attached are some blizzard warning forecast maps which show a serious situation developing over the next two days. A Low pressure center is tracking towards the north pole, and there is a sharp front extending southwards from this Low towards Canada. Winds ahead of this front (to the east of the front) are from the south-southwest and they are gale-force (35+ kts).  The Blizzard forecast maps show the area with greatest blizzard potential in red (where winds are 35+ kts and where there is also falling snow).  This front will reach Ward Hunt Island Wednesday evening and will then cross the area overnight. By Thursday morning winds should start shifting. Winds behind the front (to the west of the front) are from the west.

Ice Warning:

The strong southerly winds ahead of the approaching front will open and widen many east-west oriented fractures in the area of the expedition.  The shore lead between the pack ice and the coastal fast ice in the vicinity of Ward Hunt Ice Shelf will widen significantly.  The westerly winds behind the front on Thursday will not help very much with the closing of this shore lead.

From their reported position, it appears the expedition are now just on the north side of the shore lead.  I am not sure if they can find a way across before the blizzard hits them.  Otherwise they will be in the precarious position of having to camp in a blizzard on very mobile pack ice which will be actively fracturing around them.

Trudy Wohlleben – Canadian Ice Service

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

 



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16.05.2013

Expedition update from 16.05.2013. Land Ahoy!

Today calls for a celebration. If we had a bottle of champagne, we’d definitely have a toast. The occasion is simple and yet profound – Land Ahoy! Victor was the first one to spot the sight.  He, as usual, was up ahead scouting the route, when suddenly he came to a stop. He was standing still for a while looking straight ahead

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Today calls for a celebration. If we had a bottle of champagne, we’d definitely have a toast. The occasion is simple and yet profound – Land Ahoy! Victor was the first one to spot the sight.  He, as usual, was up ahead scouting the route, when suddenly he came to a stop. He was standing still for a while looking straight ahead.  I began to suspect another polar bear when he turned around and started waving at me excitedly.  I climbed up the three meter tall hummock to join him.  My friend silently put his hand around my shoulders and pointed at the horizon.  There, a crisp silhouette of Ellesmere Island was rising from the Arctic Ocean.  It looked dark.  It looked solid.  We stood still for a moment; each one of us immersed in our own thoughts.  We’ve been crossing the ever so moving and unpredictable Arctic Ocean for 41 days now.  Our eyes got so used to the same monotonous, although beautiful, landscape of the Arctic.  And then to see the land right in front of us, only few days’ worth of running was exhilarating.  Our excitement was contagious. The dogs picked up on that and run extremely well for the rest of the day.

The end result is 25 km.  To top it off, we crossed the 84? of North Latitude, and said hello to the 83rd degree.  This degree marks the end of the Arctic Ocean and the beginning of the land.

The situation begs the obvious question: why would we see the coast Canadian territory rather than Greenland? It deserves an explanation.

According to the initial plan, we were supposed to cross the Arctic Ocean and ascend the Greenland ice sheet, in order to cross this frozen archipelago from north to south.  The Mother Nature added some major corrections to our plan.  For the last few weeks, we were facing an increasing amount of open water every single time we tried to head south-east.  The luck of solid ice would force us to turn back west, and we had no other choice but to continue running along the open water, moving away from our course on Greenland Fjord Victoria.  Once there, we would receive another air help with the provision, a second sled and two teams of 12 dogs each.  Due to the fast approaching Arctic Summer and our running pace there is a huge risk of getting stuck in the ice that is not suitable for dogsledding and skiing.  It is also impossible for landing an airplane; cutting off any possibility of an emergency air lift should we get surrounded by impassable hummocky ice or water clearings.  A Canadian plane of Ken Borek Air that has already delivered a re-supply on April 30th, would not attempt another trip since the company rules clearly state that any landing on drifting ice is prohibitive after May 8th.

The situation in the south-east of the Arctic is such that it calls for a plan B.  Here is a plan B in a nutshell: 1) Change the course to Canadian island Ward Hunt which lies off the north coast of Ellesmere Island.  We then will reach Denmark Sirius Patrol  hut which has a well-marked landing strip. This setting is familiar to the pilots of Norlandair company.  They are the ones who are bringing our provision, a second sled and the new dogs. The Russian dogs that ran with us across the Arctic Ocean will fly home.  2) The same plane will fly our team to the northern coast of Greenland. 3) We will then continue on with our expedition. The ultimate goal is the crossing of Greenland from the northern tip to the utmost south of this second largest ice body in the world.  

The decision to initiate plan B was not easy.  However, it was the right one and will not undermine the overall goal of our expedition. And just because we are turning to Canada now, it doesn’t mean the rest of the way will be a breeze.  Today we received information from Canadian Ice Service that to our right, only five kilometers away, a huge polynya (one kilometer wide) spread out from west to east. We were told that the satellite images are clear and there is no mistake that we must somehow navigate around this open water.  At this moment we don’t have a clear plan how to cross this “river”.  Tomorrow is another day.  We are hoping for some good news.  May be we should postpone popping open that proverbial bottle of champagne.

http://yb.tl/konyukhov

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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09.05.2013

Expedition update from 9.05.2013

“Today we crossed 85@@apos@@ of North Latitude, and entered the 84@@apos@@.  It is a small victory for us. There are no easy routes here and every degree you have to conquer.  We were a bit worried about the dogs since the weight of our sled is back to 500 kg after we received the air resupply on April 30th. However, the dogs are doing beautifully: they are confident in their strength and have been running dynamically all week long.  We covered 20 km today and despite the hard work we are happy with the result

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“Today we crossed 85@@apos@@ of North Latitude, and entered the 84@@apos@@.  It is a small victory for us. There are no easy routes here and every degree you have to conquer.  We were a bit worried about the dogs since the weight of our sled is back to 500 kg after we received the air resupply on April 30th. However, the dogs are doing beautifully: they are confident in their strength and have been running dynamically all week long.  We covered 20 km today and despite the hard work we are happy with the result.  A deep snow and constant graupel make it hard for us to see the ice with potential open water.  And there is a lot of open water.  We saw a seal with a pup.  It’s nice to see a sign of life in these latitudes.  This also means that a polar bear can be lurking nearby, but at this moment a bear is the least of our worries.  The most worrisome is that due to so much open water we are not allowed to keep our course straight towards Victoria Fjord in northern Greenland.  That’s where the second air- help is supposed to arrive with more provision and a second sled with twelve more dogs.  It’s been a month and half since our start and we continue to run along the 61@@apos@@-63@@apos@@ of West Longitude.  Every time we try to run more south-east towards Greenland, we come to wide open water areas and are forced to turn west.”

Starting May 8th the planes of Kenn Borek Air cannot land on a drifting ice of the Arctic Ocean.  It’s in the regulations of the company: this kind of ice is not safe for landing a plane. We cannot expect our food, second sled and the twelve new dogs until we reach the land.  There should be enough food for us and the dogs until May 25th; although, we did cut back on some of our meals.

Congratulations to the team of Marine Live-Ice Automobile Expedition 2013. Under the leadership of Vasily Yelagin the team of seven drove almost 4000km on their “Yemelya” amphibian vehicles.  They started from the Northern Land (Severnaya Zemlya, Russia) in February, reached North Pole on April 6th and then continued to Resolute Bay (Canada).  Read more about MLAE-2013 expedition here.

On a personal note, 23 years ago, on May 9th, 1990, Fedor Konyukhov reached the North Pole in his solo ski expedition.  On March 3rd, 1990 he took off from Northern Land and 72 days later was standing on top of the world. Fedor became the first Russian to reach the North Pole solo (with 3 re-supplies).

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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01.05.2013

Expedition update from 1.05.2013

Fedor Konyukhov reports via Iridium satellite phone: “Despite not covering our typical amount of kilometers, we did cross the 86? of North Latitude and entered the 85@@apos@@. The 86th was really difficult, and would not let us leave since 24th of April. Finally it’s behind us and we are a bit closer to Greenland. Every crossed degree is a psychological boost. It’s a good thing we received the air help yesterday, and not today. All day we were accompanied by the snow mist.  A deep snow continues to slow us down along with many ice cracks

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Fedor Konyukhov reports via Iridium satellite phone: “Despite not covering our typical amount of kilometers, we did cross the 86? of North Latitude and entered the 85@@apos@@. The 86th was really difficult, and would not let us leave since 24th of April. Finally it’s behind us and we are a bit closer to Greenland. Every crossed degree is a psychological boost.

It’s a good thing we received the air help yesterday, and not today. All day we were accompanied by the snow mist.  A deep snow continues to slow us down along with many ice cracks. We are constantly circling around the cracks and sometimes are forced to track back in our footsteps.

The dogs are performing beautifully. They might not be as strong as on the first day, but by now they’ve gained some experience. It shows in their approach of the obstacles; instead of force, they use their newly acquired wisdom on how best to deal with the Arctic terrain.”

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

 Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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01.05.2013

30.04.2013. Successful air resupply performed by Canadian Kenn Borek Air company

Fedor Konyukhov reports via Iridium satellite phone: “30 of April at around 21:00 Moscow time, we saw a Twin Otter plane in the sky. Not wasting a moment we fired flares that marked an improvised landing strip. However, our efforts were wasted because the pilots did not plan to land; they just lowered the plane to 50 meters above our camp, opened the side door and dropped our barrels.  After that, the plane resumed its height and turn towards Canada.  The whole drop-off took 30 seconds.  We were a bit disappointed for we expected that the pilots would land or at least try to land the plane

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Fedor Konyukhov reports via Iridium satellite phone: “30 of April at around 21:00 Moscow time, we saw a Twin Otter plane in the sky. Not wasting a moment we fired flares that marked an improvised landing strip. However, our efforts were wasted because the pilots did not plan to land; they just lowered the plane to 50 meters above our camp, opened the side door and dropped our barrels.  After that, the plane resumed its height and turn towards Canada.  The whole drop-off took 30 seconds.  We were a bit disappointed for we expected that the pilots would land or at least try to land the plane. Why then did we have to look for a solid ice of 500 meters? With this approach the barrels could’ve been dropped in almost any place.  All right, these are only our emotions speaking. The most important part is that we received the barrels without any complications. All 13 of them (11 were packed in Russia and 2 with extra equipment were packed in Canada) landed safely and only one broke open. Luckily there were only our clothes and sleeping bags.  Imagine, if a barrel with the dry food got spilled; we’d have to gather every morsel of food on the ice.  To establish our coordinates we use the equipment provided by Russian company NIS- GLONASS. Based on the fact that the Canadian pilots were able to locate us at their first attempt, we conclude that the coordinates were spot on which means the equipment is working very well.   

Our dogs received an extra serving of food today.  Victor and I both decided to continue our journey on May 1 and skip an extra day of rest, as we initially had planned.  The weather is excellent: sunny with a light south-east wind.  We must carry on.  We still have to run 4 degrees south to reach Greenland.  Since Victor is the one responsible for the wellbeing of his dogs, it is his decision how long and how often the dogs need to rest.  He’s confident that the dogs are in good shape and can continue running without a prolonged stopover.  Most likely we’ll hit a few storms on our way to the land; that will be our chance to stop and rest.”

According to the satellite updates from Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Fedor and Victor are going to face more ice cracks and polynya as they continue south towards Greenland.  These conditions will greatly slow down the expedition.  This might require another air drop before Greenland. The provisions provided with the last drop should last three weeks.  However, if everything goes according to plan and if the weather permits, the expedition will ascend the Greenland ice sheet around May 20th.

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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28.04.2013

28th of April 2013. Expedition covered half way from North Pole to Greenland through the drifting ice

Fedor Konyukhov reports: “Today we covered 21 km during which we had to cross four ice cracks.  All the cracks were covered with a thin ice, but no snow.  Every time we had to run across this ice, it would bend underneath our sled.  Thankfully, our sled is half empty. If it was as heavy as on the day of the start, we would take a dip for sure.  Today’s running is significant in terms of our overall distance coverage.  We have crossed that imaginary line that marks half of the distance between North Pole and Greenland.  Our expedition consists of several legs

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Fedor Konyukhov reports: “Today we covered 21 km during which we had to cross four ice cracks.  All the cracks were covered with a thin ice, but no snow.  Every time we had to run across this ice, it would bend underneath our sled.  Thankfully, our sled is half empty. If it was as heavy as on the day of the start, we would take a dip for sure. 

Today’s running is significant in terms of our overall distance coverage.  We have crossed that imaginary line that marks half of the distance between North Pole and Greenland.  Our expedition consists of several legs. The first one is North Pole- Greenland is considered the most challenging since we are navigating the drifting sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. As of right now, we have managed to cover half of our way to Greenland, but the route ahead of us is anything but easy. According to the satellite images there is a tremendous amount of open water which begins somewhere in the northwest and continues to the south-east covering total of 100 km.

   

We are heading straight towards this open water and don’t yet have a plan on how to cross over it but we’ve got our warning so we can’t be surprised by this challenge. Another puzzle is to find a strong, large and open area of solid ice to organize the landing strip for the Canadian Ken Borek Air that plane that is bringing our provision on April 30th - May 1st for the next log of our journey.  We will take a break and stay put on Tuesday and Wednesday, waiting for the plane to arrive.  During this time we’ll pack up the sled with the arrived food for us, dry food for the dogs, and clothes - dry clothes!  It will be a good break for us and the dogs in order to prepare for running the next 350 km before reaching the shores of Greenland.  We are racing with time; as it gets warmer we are going to run into more and more areas of open water.  There is nothing to do about it but to get out of these latitudes as soon as possible.

Our coordinates are 86° 11@@apos@@@@apos@@ North Latitude and 59° 22@@apos@@@@apos@@ West Longitude.

The air temperature is -12° to – 17° C.

The wind is northwest or west of 2-7 m/sec. 

Best regards, Fedor Konyukhov and Victor Simonov”

Expedition is using satellite tracking beacons – Yellow Brick. Current position is here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov

Translated by Tatiana Koreski  



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