Fedor Konyukhov

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.  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