We are all packed and waiting for word that the Russain plane is set to take us to Barneo Ice Camp. It is a two hour flight with all of the gear and dogs. Barneo is a temporary base the Russian's build on the ice flow each year in April. It serves as a launching pad for people making a journey to the North Pole. The Russians have a helicopter at the camp to take people to their starting point. Lots of people will fly from Barneo all the way to the North Pole and land for a toast, others will ski or dog sled the last "half degree" or the the "last degree" to the North Pole. This year our crew is the only ones dog sledding the full last "two degrees."
The Russian crews are now in place at Barneo. But in order to accomplish that feat, they had to pull of an impressive display of logistics. According to their blog this year's Barneo camp is located at 89º 39'N. Construction first began by having a team of engineers parachute out onto the ice from Russian MI-8 helicopters. Once there, they built a temporary landing strip that allowed a big Ilyushin aircraft to land and deliver the supplies they needed. Soon a small tent city was built on the ice flow. There is a group of American researchers headed there to study the impact of climate change on the polar ice caps.
We will spend only a few hourse there before heading off in the helicopter to start our journey. Next update from the Ice Camp.