North Pole close for some, far for many


Some walk, some ski, some go by dog team, some have it easy and some don’t.

Despite continually warming weather, the North Pole was still the objective last week for many trekkers, even royalty, as Prince Albert of Monaco traveled a short distance by dog team from the Borneo ice camp to the North Pole.

The YES Consultancy, handling media for Conrad Dickinson and Richard Weber’s unsupported North Pole Classic trek, wrote an article about Prince Albert hitting the ice, called “A tale of two expeditions”.

“The Prince and his team of seven will enjoy twice-daily hot meals prepared from the kitchen of world-famous chef Alain Ducasse, while Conrad and his trekking partner, Canadian Richard Weber, 46, have to rely on modified dog food rations that have now been contaminated by fuel that is carried in the same sledge.”

Communicating via the Northgate North Pole web site, Dickinson said, “The taste is unpleasant, but just palatable. However, the worst effect is that it makes you belch with a fuel-tasting burp? Disgusting!”

Weber and Dickinson must achieve a daily mileage of at least 18 km to reach the North Pole by their scheduled finish date of April 29.

“We had six consecutive days of near whiteout and the surface conditions of soft snow and perilously thin ice have slowed progress. Richard has over 20 years’ experience of the Arctic Ocean, and he has never seen such bad conditions and such thin ice. The April weather is more similar to May, which rather worryingly could be the effect of global warming,” Dickinson reported.

“The top of the world is melting right in front of my very eyes!!!!” is what David de Rothschild of the Top of the World Expedition wrote this weekend.

“You can call it whatever makes you feel comfortable, climate change, global warming, a cyclical trend, green nonsense, solar flare, wobbly axis — whichever side of the fence you sit on, there is no denying something is amiss, when for the last two days the temperature here has only got down to –6 C.”

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