Great news to hear that our friend Charlie Paton has reached the North Pole as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010. The Survey was led by Pen Hadow last year and has been continued this season by Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley. The unique survey will establish realistic data of the ice thickness from over 700km and 60 days of sampling. Charlie was a leader on our crossing of South Georgia in Nov. 2008. Below is their latest news report which is taken from the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 website. Hope to see some footage from the expedition soon on the Telly probably BBC documentary at some stage - keep an eye out for that later this year or maybe 2011.
Explorers Reach North Pole After 60 Day Survey Trek
Described as three of 'the world's toughest' explorers, Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley reached the Geographic North Pole at on 12th May, ending a grueling 60-day trek across the floating sea ice of the Arctic Ocean.
The Catlin Arctic Survey expedition's headquarters in London were contacted at 20:05 hours (BST) to confirm the team had completed their final scientific data capture on the very top of the world.
The explorers have been collecting water and marine life samples from beneath the floating sea ice as part of the expedition's leading edge science programme which is assessing the impact of carbon dioxide on the ocean and its marine life.
Their celebrations could not begin until they had taken the last samples through a hole drilled manually through the ice at the North Pole.
"We called it our Hole at the Pole," said Ann Daniels. "Getting the science work done has always been our top priority, but it is absolutely fantastic to reach the Pole as well. We’re ecstatic."
Speaking from Catlin Arctic Survey's headquarters in London, the Survey Director and explorer Pen Hadow described the achievement as extraordinary."It's not possible to imagine what this team has had to do to pull off this extreme survey. Together they’re the face of modern exploration helping to advance the understanding of scientists and public alike about how the natural world works.“
The three explorers have travelled over 483 miles (777 kilometres) in total since March 14th, but to reach the Pole have had to increase the amount of trekking time each day. They made it with only hours to spare before a Twin Otter plane was scheduled to land on the ice to collect them.
Commenting on the harsh conditions Ann Daniels said: "It has been an unbelievably hard journey over the ice. Conditions have been unusually tough and at times very frustrating with a frequent southerly drift pushing us backwards every time we camped for the night. On top of that we've had to battle into head-winds and swim across large areas of dangerously thin ice and open water."
The second phase of the survey will see the samples the team have collected, along with the data captured at the Scientific Ice Base that formed the other part of this survey, undergo analysis by the participating institutes. Results are expected in September.