Man on ice hummock
Credit: Arctic Arc

Two Belgium explorers on a mission to measure snow depths across the Arctic Ocean have launched a grueling 500-mile trek across the ragged, crevassed ice between the North Pole and Greenland.

Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercoer reached the North Pole on April 24, after traveling on foot from the remote north coast of Siberia almost 578 miles in 54 days. Now they enter the unknown.

Almost no one ventures into this area. In an age when tourists visit the pole itself, and adventurers regularly visit the ice cap north of Alaska and far northern Canada, the shattered floes leading toward the all-but uninhabited corner of Greenland remains Ultima Thule. Untouched and unmeasured.

As the team reported in a May 1 dispatch:

The story on this side of the Pole is different. This is truly the road less travelled. Few have ever attempted this approach to Greenland over the Arctic Ocean. On this ‘Greenland side’ the skiing conditions are far more difficult.

“Before the Pole, there was more chance of encountering hard and relatively flatter ice” explained Alain. “But now there is more than a knee-deep layer of snow on the ice, which forces us to remove our skis and to proceed on foot, as the surface of this snow is frozen into a hard crust and so irregular that it is impossible to use skis”.

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