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North Pole

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 -30 C (-22 F) to -20 C (-4 F). Winds 10-20 m/s and occasional blizzards are possible. Midnight sun at the North Pole.

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