The Geographic North Pole marks the location of the rotational
axis of the earth. It is the most northerly point on earth at which
all lines of longitude meet and all directions indicate South. In
the middle of the icy Arctic Ocean, the Gegraphic North Pole is
approximately 800 km from the nearest land. The sun lights up the
vast stretches of pack ice continuously during 6 months (March-September)
and never appears above the horizon during the next half of a year.
The thin layer of pack ice (1 to 4 meters thick) is in constant
movement. Enormous ice floes collide,overlap and form, with a mournful
creaking sound, the pressure ridges up to 10 meters high. When two
such floes separate, the channels of open water come to life running
like rivers sometimes for hundreds kilometers.
This is the icy domain that lured explorers. Peary and Cook, Amundsen
and Nansen, Duke of Abruzzi and Sedov sought the glory and mystique
of conquering the North Pole. Now it is generally accepted that
the first to reach the North Pole were the Russians P. Gordienko,
M. Ostrekin, M. Somov and P. Senko. They reached the Pole on April
23 1948 with an aircraft. The first to reach the North Pole using
his own force (but with air support) was the dog-sled expedition
led by Wally Herbert in 1969, which crossed the Arctic Ocean from
Alaska to Spitsbergen via the North Pole.
At the North Pole in April: clear and dry with temperatures ranging
from -30ø C (-22ø F) to -20ø C (-4ø F). Winds 10-20 m/s and occasional
blizzards are possible. Midnight sun at the North Pole.