BSES HQ receives expedition field updates weekly so check back every Monday to see what has happened in the week gone by.

Saturday, April 4

Into the Swing of things

All meet at the container at 0930 for the issue and fitting of crampons. Then there is a last chance to visit the shops for last minute purchases. Later the Isbjørn and Polarrev (fire names) practice various skills whilst Jackie and Ade tidy up the container, then all turn their attention to the impending move to Base Camp 1. Light breeze, clear, -14ºc.

Friday, April 3

Settling in

After a morning briefing all meet at the container to start the equipment issue, which goes well. The evening is spent with cold injury and radio briefings followed by homework, which is stove ninja-ing

Expedition members 2am arctic rendezvous

So the expedition has finally all assembled after a 2am arrival of the rest of the party this morning! Pale moon, faint snow gently falling and about -15C...

Everyone in good spirits with tonnes of energy despite the delayed flight. The group divided into its two fires Isbjorn (Polar Bear) and Polarrev (Arctic fox) and spent the day putting up tents and getting adjusted to their skis in a gathering snow storm.

After a talk about cold injuries and how to assemble the HF radios which the fires will be using to communicate with base camp and each other every evening the group have settled into their cosy guest house for the evening. (they still have stoves to assemble, kit to check and dinner to make before bed....but they are onto it)

Tomorrow: more kit issue, last minute purchases, ski lessons and science briefing scheduled.

Thursday, April 2

Official Beginnings...

After a disappointingly easy check in, the main party were waved off by Pat and Dot this morning - next stop Longyearbyen!

Advanced Party awaits the arrival of the main group

As temperatures plummeted yesterday to -23 degrees the final preparations were being made for the arrival of the main party in Longyearbyen.

Early tomorrow morning the main party arrives and the expedition will truly begin. For the last two weeks a number of BSES office staff and expedition leaders have been working hard to ensure everything is in order for the start of the 2009 expedition. Food has been cashed at the three base camps, stoves and tents tested, climbing kit sorted and chocolate bars counted. Today all that remains is to collect the bear flares and rifles, measure radio antennae and set up the welcoming committee...

Wednesday, April 1

Base Camp Plan

This map shows key points of the expedition - Longyearbyen, where the expedition will fly into and train and the 3 base camps the expedition will move between during their 3 months. Each base camp provides access to varied scientific and mountaineering activites. Food and equipment for each phase of the expedition has already been caiched and buried in these locations so lets hope the GPS training goes well!

View Extreme Arctic 09 in a larger map