Text by Tetsuhiko Endo
It wasn’t the most smoothest expedition to ever traverse the Arctic, but after 75 days at the top of the world, Pen Hadow, Anne Daniels, and Martin Hartley of the Caitlin Arctic Survey are off the ice and headed home. They were picked up at 85 degrees north latitude earlier this morning.
“It seems that we are the last out here,” wrote Hadow in one of his final blog posts, “so I guess we can claim to be the first out and last back this year!” For a man who has endured -50 degree days, repeated equipment failure and 10 day food shortages, he is in pretty high spirits.
And why shouldn’t he be? He’s getting flown off a giant sheet of ice that is beginning to become dangerously unstable due to it’s annual summer melt. Although the team did not reach the North Pole, their mission was always more about research than glory. Hadow and Hartley have been measuring the thickness of the ice as they move north in an effort to provide definitive data relating to climate change. Since their GPS-enabled measuring device broke, they have been hand drilling core samples.
Now that they are off home, the big news is what their findings will reveal about the state of the ice on the North Pole, stay tuned for the results.
Read our interview pre-departure interview with Hadow here.