This time next year my first leg team "Amundsen" and I will be preparing to leave the UK for our Basecamp in Resolute Bay, High Arctic, Canada.
Resolute Bay is the second most northerly community at 74 degrees with the tiny hamlet of Grise Fiord being slightly more at 75 degrees. Currently temperatures are hovering around the - 42C mark with a fair breeze taking the effective temperature on your body down to -55C. The sun arose during last week for the first time in months and today there’s a whole 3.5 hours of daylight. It’s an exciting time of year when the sun comes up. Spring has sprung and the days length increases dramatically by about 20-40 minutes each day. The community begins to come alive, again.
The Ice Warrior support party would have already arrived and be busily setting up our systems, doing the inventory on our existing equipment and stores and adding the latest cargo, sorting our food supplies and organising every little aspect of our domain so that smooth running is the order of the day. No matter what happens the support team is prepared. A final leaving party and a few press interviews and finally we’ll be off to Canada. Just thinking about it, now, gives me butterflies in my stomach and pushes me to the edge of stability, emotionally speaking.
The next 12 months is full on. Recruiting the rest of the team. Keeping the existing team up to scratch training-wise. Seeking and hauling onboard more and more partners and sponsors: people who are so kind to believe in what we are doing. Pouring over the logistics and budgets. Creating and perfecting the safety plans and going over the what-ifs, time and time again to ensure I’ve thought of eventuality. How lucky am I to live such a life?!
Next week....What will the Amundsen Team face?