Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The North Pole 2010

A week ago I was flying north over the Franklin mountain range, over this frozen landscape of Elsmere island thinking of all those mountains down there that will never be climbed, probably never. I didn’t imagine that I would be coming back a week later. However, I always knew that there always was a possibility that if something went wrong this would be the only way out.

Now coming back from the ice my curiosity of adventure on the North Pole was somewhat eased, having only spent five nights on the ice. The curious longing for this kind of adventure has always been an appeal to experience something like what the old explores to the North Pole would have experienced. In my eyes they are the real adventures. However, I am sure that if we had a rerun at expedition, we would make a lot of changes.

However I am sorry for bringing this expedition to an end and sorry to Clare and Pat and all the work that they and their home teams had put in. It has been a amazing experience for me I had the opportunity to travel to two territory’s, Nunavut, North West, and one Provinces Ontario, and stay over night at the most northern weather station (Eureka) in the Country. Here we met scientists, who are now worried about the noticeable changes that are taking place in the northern territories. This winter is the warmest in record right across Canada showing ten to fifteen degrees warmer.

But for whatever reason people go there whether its ego, adventure, personal challenge, or curiosity, getting to the North Pole is a mammoth challenge. The North has been a pervasive influence on our world and will probably play a major role in our future. I believe that the North will shape our world the way few of us will ever in our lives have the chance to see.Leaving the future of this magical terrain in the hands of a few world politicians is not the answer; rather they should be a group of top scientist from each country making recommendations to these leaders.

The update on my fingers is that they will make a full recovery eventually. I would like to acknowledge IHI Bupa for their quick response in dealing with my situation and I would highly recommend them for future adventures.

I would like to thank my wife Mary for been so patient with me and my home team, daughters Rebecca, Imelda and son Gabriel, who did a fine job on my blog. Also Cathal Cudden for setting up the blog.

And finally thanks to all of you for logging in, John.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I regret to inform the blog that the Irish team have been evacuated from the ice. John has formed painful frost bite on two to three fingers in his left hand, this can occur due to many factors associated with being in -40 degrees conditions. It is conformed that the team left the ice last night Irish time. The team are all well and John is in good spirits, I look forward to talking to him very soon to give another update. Rebecca Dowd

Saturday, March 6, 2010


From Satellite phone John has informed the teams location as 830 Degrees, 13.51 North
+ 740 Degrees, 4.53 West. The temperature is a very cold -36 degrees.
Communications are poor due to equipment not liking the cold weather.
Other than that all the team is well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


We were lucky with the weather on Tuesday and were dropped off by plane to the northerest landmass point. We have begun!
Our position at the moment is 8307 North and 7408 West.
The temperature is -38 degrees and all is well.
Thank you for all the support that has been passed on through my family


Stating our agreement with the polar bear before the team sets off…!
I have always had great interest and respect for these magnificent animals and hope to see them on the expedition- in a non-confronted way!
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, an adult male weighs around 350–680 kg (770–1,500 lb), while an adult female is about half that size. Hunting for seals make up most of its diet. Since 2008, the polar bear has been classified as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples, and the hunting of polar bears still remains important in their cultures.
It has been proven that the effects of global warming pose the most significant threat to the polar bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food.
In preparing for this expedition we had to gain shotgun experience, so as to protect ourselves in the case of an attack, as starving polar bears pose a significant treat to the expedition.

Husky Dog in Resolute Bay

Monday, March 1, 2010

Resolute Bay

Resolute Bay is a small Inuit hamlet on Cornwallis Island in Nunavut, Canada. It is also one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, with an average yearly temperature of −16.4 °C (2.5 °F).

Resolute Bay has a population of over 250 people. On its Barrow Strait they only get supplies once a year when the sea opens up for ships and the rest is by air. We are now 5 hours behind time at home, compared to 7hrs in Yellowknife. The nearer we get to the Pole the closer we get to central London time.

To date there are only 3 teams in the ice, we had hoped to fly today however the flight was cancelled due to bad fog and weather conditions.

So we now hope that we will leave Cornwallis Island tomorrow the 2nd March on our final flight on a twin otter air craft for a 5hr flight to Ward Hunt. We will be sharing this flight with an Italian soloist Micheal Pontrandalfo; we will be the forth team to get away.

The conditions at Ward Hunt are not ideal this year but we hope that this will change and improve.

Ward Hunt Island is a small, uninhabited island in the Arctic Ocean, off the north coast of Ellesmere Island. Its northern cape is one of the northernmost elements of land in Canada. It is located 450 miles from the Pole.The island is 6.5 km (4.0 mi) long, east to west, and 3 km (1.9 mi) wide.

We have made the decision on the tent we are going to use, the Hillbourg tent which is very easy to construct.

So all our gear is on the plane tonight, so fingers crossed that in the morning, we’ll soar closer to the Pole and start the expedition.

Playing with the moon in Resolute Bay

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Resolute Bay

Our 3 member Irish team arrived in Resolute after a comfortable flight of 5 hours in which we shared the Dash8 aircraft flight with our friend Richard and his 4-member team and luggage.

We are now 900 miles nearer the pole

It is from here that all teams will depart for the top of Ward Hunt Island, which is the starting point for the North pole.

There are 10 adventures including the three Irish here now with more on the way. Some were held up with flight delays like ourselves.

At the moment two English persons Dan and Amelia are on the ice, they were flown out yesterday. This group is the first on the ice and I wish them well.

We are hearing reports that conditions are not perfect out there due to factors such as the full moon and pressure from tides. However it is believed and hoped that things will settle down in a few days.

We are now a few days behind on our schedule; this may be a good thing, we will have to wait and see and hope that things will settle down in the ice for us to begin.

The temperature here at the moment is -35, brrrrr.