April 07, 2008

Ben Saunders's North expedition ends early: "The main bolts which attach the binding of Benís boot to the skis have sheered off and the degree of damage is beyond repair. The unprecedented, appalling conditions of the ice, coupled with Ben exerting his absolute maximum effort to achieve the speed record, have clearly impacted this crucial equipment failure. As a result, and coupled with the current ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean, Ben is unable to continue without his skis on this high speed light weight expedition." He does say that he's already preparing for his next expedition which, fingers crossed, will see SpoFi's name up on the ice somewhere on the way to the South Pole.

posted by worldcup2002 to navel gazing at 12:39 PM - 10 comments

Oh, man. That's rough. Fair play to him for trying, though. It's hard to get into the adventuring business, I guess. That investment is going to pay off eventually, I just know it.

posted by chicobangs at 02:42 PM on April 07, 2008

What does he mean by the condition of the ice?

posted by NoMich at 02:48 PM on April 07, 2008

Down here, if the ice is too slushy, it melts too quickly and then waters down your gin and tonic. /swipes away mosquito, continues to watch sunset through palm trees.

posted by owlhouse at 04:11 PM on April 07, 2008

NoMich, when he's talking about the ice, he's not just talking about how smooth it is. The ice is basically the platform on which he's skiing. Sometimes it shifts, and he could find himself having lost distance after skiing his ass off. Other times, the ice could break and he could float away or drop in and get crushed. Other times, the sections of ice "rub together" and push up, creating barriers around which he has to ski OR climb over (this includes pulling the sledge that's carrying his supplies). Check out his daily journal for examples. There aren't that many entries. Wow - I was gonna link to his journal but now the whole NORTH site seems to be down. I'm guessing they're gonna point back to his normal bensaunders.com site soon (which has been redirecting to NORTH since the expedition, but is also down now).

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:26 PM on April 07, 2008

Sometimes it shifts, and he could find himself having lost distance after skiing his ass off. Yikes! I was picturing warmer than normal conditions making the ice a bit slushy, making the way a bit harder than usual, but not this. Again, yikes!

posted by NoMich at 06:47 PM on April 07, 2008

That's just wonderful, owlhouse. Today in my little corner of the tropics, it rained, hailed and snowed. It snowed about 3 inches a day 4 days last week. It's been snowing since late October. My in-laws still have about 5 feet at their house. I'm preparing an expedition of my own to go to the liquor store and drink until the 4 nice days we are going to get in late July. Just nudge me when the sun comes out. Oh, and Ben: Good Luck!

posted by THX-1138 at 08:14 PM on April 07, 2008

You're getting four nice days in late July? Lucky bastard.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:15 PM on April 07, 2008

I thought I saw a cloud a few months ago, but it was just an eye booger on the end of a lash.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:56 AM on April 08, 2008

It got cold yesterday. I actually had to put some clothes on.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:47 PM on April 08, 2008

btw, a TED talk by Ben about his 2004 solo trek to the North Pole.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:51 PM on April 08, 2008

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