Some ridges require a helping hand.

by Tyler Fish

One of the attractions of the journey to the North Pole, at least for me, was the diversity of landscape that we would encounter from the beginning to the end of the trip, from mountains of rubble to huge ice boulders of the bluest ice to the flattest of the flat. But then there are those days when you experience all of that in one day and that was yesterday (3/30). It took us by surprise a little bit. We felt like we'd traveled backwards in time and then forwards in time very quickly.

We woke up on a slab of ice. That was about 6 feet thick of floating, frozen above the rest of the ice and we are camped there because we are in a heavy rubble field and it was the only place to camp. It's like our own little island.

Yesterday (3/30) was a heavy day. We traveled across what I would call the surface of a lasagna. It was very uneven with piles of hamburger here and there, and wavy cheese, some deep cut now and again, definitely a lot of Parmesan cheese strewn all over the place. But still even though it was a heavy, heavy day for us, we made a surprising 7.4 nautical miles. We did not think we had done that, so we are very pleased.

The only thing that we haven't seen so far that we're looking for is open water. We have not seen any open water. However, we did yesterday for the first time hear the ice moving. So, who knows what's going to happen soon. We ended the day yesterday camped on our favorite hard packed snow which is great for tent set up, so we're happy with that.

It was a tough day mentally. And we need to remind ourselves that we will see rubble and days like that go all the way to the North Pole. It was made slightly easier because it was the day after family day. What is family day? Family day is part of our weekly routine. Every Sunday, John and I call our family. Well for me it's my wife and for John, it's his girlfriend. So it's only one call apiece. But these people, both these people, have connections to the rest of our family and friends and the outside world. And that's something to look forward to. So on Saturday we start looking forward to Sunday if not before and a good family day phone call can take us all the way to Wednesday. So we appreciate those conversations. It's part of our positive routines that are going to get us to the North Pole. Thanks so much. Take care. Have a good last day of March.

Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 30, 2009
Location: N85° 27.344' W074 34.404'
Time Traveled: 9 hours 30 minutes
Distance Traveled: 7.4 nautical miles
AM Temperature: -32°F
PM Temperature: -28°F
very clear and sunny, no wind in AM, slight S/SE breeze in PM
297 nautical miles to the North Pole