The Frozen Five expedition team will be attempting to make a complete crossing of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard from March to mid-June 2007. Our expedition team composes 5 young geoscientists (glaciology, geology, geophysics, biology, meteorology), aged 22-29 years, all with relevant Arctic experience from studying at least one year at the University of Svalbard.
The actual expedition starts on March 29 at 12:45 in Longyearbyen, the "capital" of Svalbard. The planned return date is June 14, to the same location. The route, measuring some 1,000 km, will be completed on skis using our own power. All our gear will be carried on special sledges, known as pulks. We will all pull our own sledge(s), weighing about 100 kg each. The route is divided into 5 stages, with a food/fuel depot at each leg. These include remote scientific stations like Hornsund, a French research vessel frozen in the sea ice at Inglefjeldbukta and a remote trapper's cabin.
We will have to endure various dangers. Apart from the extremely low temperature (in strong winds, the temperature can easily drop to -50°C), the Svalbard archipelago is inhabited by more than 3,000 polar bears which do not hesitate to eat people to complement their diet. For this reason, we will be carrying various tools to guard us against polar bears, including two rifles. Since the majority of the route crosses major glaciers, falling into a gaping crevasse is a further cause for concern.
Apart from the large physical challenge, the expedition also has a strong education & outreach component. In association with the International Polar Year, we aim to raise awareness of the issues facing the Arctic with regard to possible global climate change. Through pre- and post-expedition presentations in schools, exhibitions and museums, we intend to make more people (especially high school students) aware of the major issues. In addition, we will be collecting snow samples, for isotope analysis upon our return.
For more information, and to monitor our progress, visit www.frozenfive.org!
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Monday, 26 March 2007 21:42
Frozen Five Expedition starts this Thursday!Written by APECS
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