Fedor Konyukhov

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. 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