St Albans adventurer set to reach the North Pole tomorrow

Ed Suttie

Ed Suttie - Credit: Archant

Plucky polar explorer Ed Suttie is now past the halfway point on his epic trek to the top of the world.

Ed set off on his 231km journey last week, and his last update on Tuesday reported that he was just 52km away from the North Pole, and his team may actually reach it by tomorrow (Friday).

He said: “This is such an incredible place I can’t help but be excited to be here. The vast white landscape is punctuated with blue and green sea ice rubble drifts that look like gemstones when the sun shines on them. Drifting snow is sculpted by the wind into beautiful peaks and sastrugi [parallel wave-like ridges caused by winds on the surface of hard snow].

“The days are arduous - 16 odd km doesn’t sound far but there is little left in my tank at the end of the day. The sled is getting lighter as I eat my way through the vast rations but it is still weighty and pulls me backwards when I want to ski forwards!”

He is already behind schedule due to extensive delays caused when the ice runway cracked at Barneo camp, from where his team were due to begin their mission.

The Russians who run the camp had to fly in a new suitable piece of ice from Russia and drop it from a plane onto the ice to build a third runway 27km away from the previous sites.

During the course of his trek Ed has been surviving on a limited diet which has included porridge, chocolate, figs, cheese, nuts and salami, and temperatures have plummeted to as low as -30C.

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He said on Saturday: “Thought a lot today about all the brilliant people who sponsored, donated to charity, supported and helped me get on the ice. Not least my wonderful family. Thank you.”

He is expected to return home to a hero’s welcome around April 27, depending on sea ice conditions which may affect his flight.