North Pole Skydive part 1: The Trip

This is the first blog in a series of an epic trip, The North Pole Skydive.

As some of you know and others have figured out, I am, weather permitting, going to the North Pole. Every year, there is a camp set up on the ice cap by Russian teams, close to the North Pole. The purpose with this camp is for a yearly handful number of adventurers, tourists and scientists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barneo

Every year, the camp is also closed after a month of business or so.
There is even an Arctic marathon each year.

Most people fly in from Svalbard on a round trip with an Antonov 74, perfect for the arctic conditions.

I have, however, the opportunity to be part of the pioneering team. There is an incredible logistics involved, which I will post in a later post. In general, it includes flying in with 2 helicopters from Franz Josefs land to the ice cap. The choppers will get fuel dumped by a wide body jet an Illusion IL76 so they can continue to the North Pole to set up a camp. The IL76 is no small jet, it is currently beeing used in the search for MH370 outside Australia. The IL 76 then takes several trips from Murmansk to drop supplies to the camp, including 2 tractors needed to make the runway at Barneo, so the Antonov 74 can land from Svalbard.

All supplies are dropped by parachute from the IL76. So will I. I will skydive a tandem jump and hopefully help with setting up the runway before the other tourists arrive from Svalbard Longyearbyen.

To get an understanding of how far North it is, imagine a 4 hour journey with a jet liner from Murmansk up north and you get there.

An ITV film about Barneo
http://www.itv.com/news/2013-04-12/barneo-science-camp-ice-north-pole-lawrence-mcginty/

A more raw Russian docu about life at Barneo
http://russia.tv/brand/show/brand_id/42387

Currently, there is a small delay in waiting for the lift. The helicopters are on site and scouting for the best spot. Just now I am waiting in Murmansk for departure, after some transfer in Moscow.

Stay tuned for the next post….

P

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