TRAINING, LONGYEARBYEN, BORNEO, AND REACHING THE NORTH POLE
// Duration: 15 Apr to 2 May 2003
// Goal: Last degree North Pole ski tour
// Distance: approx. 110km (140km on terrain)
// The North Pole trip was an intense expedition with three days introductory training in Longyearbyen on Svalbard and twelve days on the arctic ice.
On 27 Apr 2003, at 12:20 CET, Patrick Peters became the first Luxembourger to reach the North Pole.
Holding the Luxembourg flag at the North Pole
After sled-hauling across icy terrain, on overnight stop, the team had about an hour and a half left to travel until the North Pole. On 27 Apr 2003 at 12:20 CET, Patrick became the first Luxembourger to the Arctic pole.
Crossing a lead (sea-ice)
A lead is a large fracture of refrozen water on a stretch of sea-ice.
Day 1 – 15 Apr
Flight Duesseldorf – Vienna. Flight Vienna – St. Petersburg. Meeting of the guides at airport St. Petersburg. Lunch in St. Petersburg. Flight St. Petersburg – Moscow with guides and full expedition equipment. Bus drive to hotel in Moscow with guides.
Day 2 – 16 Apr
Breakfast in hotel in Moscow. Transfer to nearby airport in Moscow to take specific arctic aircraft. Flight Moscow – Svalbard. Transfer to hostel in Longyearbyen on Svalbard. In the evening first conference with detailed information and planning. Meeting of other North Pole teams.
Day 3 – 17 Apr
First training session – building the tent and working with the stove – in a hall at the harbour. Packed lunch. Free afternoon with sight seeing in Longyearbyen.
Day 4 – 18 Apr
Second training session – building the tent and working with the stove – as well as packing session of the food and the other materials for the expedition. Packed lunch. Free afternoon. Cold training – acclimatisation by walking around with only thin layers. Buying a new lens for the reflex photo camera at the shopping centre.
Day 5 – 19 Apr
Early morning flight Longyearbyen – Arctic and landing on Arctic ice runway. Helicopter flight Arctic ice runway to ice camp Borneo. Packing of the sleds in ice camp Borneo. Test sled hauling in ice camp Borneo. Night in tent in ice camp Borneo.
Day 6 – 20 Apr
Start of – last degree expedition -? to the North Pole from ice camp Borneo. Helicopter flight to start point. First 4 hours of sled hauling. Camp building and putting polar skills into practice.
Day 7 – 21 to 26 Apr
Sled hauling over varying ice terrain. Camp site on 26.04.2003 at approx. 1.5 hours skiing from the North Pole N90.00.00.
Day 13 – 27 Apr
Skiing the last kilometres to the North Pole and reaching the North Pole N90.00.00 at 12.20 MEZ. Luxembourg flag at the North Pole N90.00.00. First Luxembourger at the North Pole N90.00.00. Official celebrations, pictures and videos. Skiing back to the camp on the arctic ice. Taking more pictures and videos and continuing celebrations. Satellite phone call home to announce the successful expedition.
Day 14 – 28 Apr
Helicopter flight back from the last expedition camp on the arctic ice to the ice camp Borneo in the morning. Packing bags at ice camp Borneo. Meeting a beauty queen from Moscow in evening dress at ice camp Borneo. Helicopter flight to Arctic ice runway. Flight Arctic – starting on the Arctic ice runway – to Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Arrival at Longyearbyen. Shower and shave, fresh clothes.
Day 15 – 29 Apr
Stay at Longyearbyen on Svalbard with post expedition debriefing and chill out.
Day 16 – 30 Apr
Stay at Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Snowmobile tour to Barensburg (Patrick and Fritz). «Pole party» at night with celebrations.
Day 17 & 18- 1 to 2 May
Very early morning flight to Moscow. Early morning bus to St. Petersburg.
Sight seeing and visit of museums with guide in St. Petersburg. Arctic museum visit (Director: Victor Boyarsky) as final point. Transfer to airport. Flight St. Petersburg – Vienna. Flight Vienna – Hannover. Meeting my very happy family.
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