The Arctic Polar Expedition / Season Spring 2005


Ann Daniels 2005 North Pole Solo


Display here our map covering all the spring 2005 expeditions

Monday April 4th
Due to serious problems occured between Cerpolex and russian authorities last week, french TO decided to force the expeditions to be evacuated - they could not assume their security, they say. Here is what Daniels's website has published after this forced evacuation :

Ann Daniels is evacuated from the ice. Her dream of reaching the Geographic North Pole is shattered.
After 20 days struggling against the Arctic elements, polar bears and Russian bureaucracy, this morning Ann was given no choice but to climb aboard a helicopter and be flown from the ice. She had thought that the helicopter was flying in to resupply her. Ann has been on the ice for 20 days and in that time covered 121 nautical miles. This left 399 nautical miles to go, a realistically obtainable target in the 40 days remaining to her. But, at 08:00 GMT this morning she was informed that her dream, of being the first woman to have walked to The Geographic North Pole solo, was not to be.

Due to strong head winds and wind shattered ice, Ann endured the hardest day of her expedition yesterday, travelling only 8 nautical miles in her 11 hour walking day. This morning she was waiting in her tent for her food resupply to be air lifted in. Two hours before the drop was due, she got a phone call to say that the helicopter was actually coming in to lift her off the ice and take her back to Siberia.

A little over 36 hours ago, Ann's base team were made aware that because of a conflict in the region between logistics operators, the expedition's safety procedures would potentially be jeopardised. Subsequently Ann's base team were notified very late last night that a decision had been made by her logistics organisation, Cerpolex, in conjunction with the Khatanga organisation and Government of Taymir to evacuate all expeditions travelling from Russia to the North Pole. This was an escalation of the problems which arose in Krasnoyarsk and Khatanga delaying her expedition by 16 days at the departure. Unbeknown to Ann these differences had not been resolved and ultimately resulted in the evacuation plan implemented today.
Ann is safe yet very, very disappointed that her dream to reach the North Pole have been cut short in such a manner. Ann feels that she gave her all every day for the first 20 days and that had she been given the opportunity, she would have been able to reach her goal.
Ann is now safely on land in Sredney, northern Siberia. She flies onto Khatanga tomorrow and home, to be reunited with her family and friends, towards the end of next week.

Tuesday March 29th
Five days ago, on 24th March, Ann lost the skins on her skis. Since then, she has been forced to walk. While waiting to be able to carry out some gluing work in her tent in the evening, when the weather becomes less cold, she is making her way on foot, only skiing across the channels of open water that are well and truly frozen.
Ann has observed polar bear and Arctic fox tracks, but she has not seen them as yet.
Her hips and feet hurt in the morning, but the pain dissipates gradually as she walks. She continues to wake up at night, every thirty minutes or so, shivering with cold... She is walking for approximately 10 hours a day.
Her position on 26th March: 82°41'45'' N / 93°00'32' E
Distance covered to date: 82.5 nautical miles
Distance still to cover: 438 nautical miles

Friday March 25th
22.5 miles N covered since last Sunday. The ice is more treacherous than ever and difficult to negotiate. Compression zones, numerous small and wider open leads that always beg numerous questions as to the best way of crossing them or finding a way round (do you skirt round it, but won't that take you too far out of your way? Or do you try and cross it on skis, but what about the ice? Or do you put on your waterproof suit anyway and take up more time? Don't forget that Ann Daniels is solo and does not have the benefit of assistance from a partner if she gets into difficulty - which probably cost Dominick Arduin's life last year). “The only comfort in the evening,” wrote Ann in her log on Tuesday 22nd March, “is to see that I have made progress under a beautiful blue sky today. Otherwise...”
Her position on Wednesday 23rd: 82°14'13" N / 92°36'53" E

Sunday March 20th
Ann Daniels has been progressing at about 5 nautical miles (9.2 km) and 8 hours' march a day since she set out from Arktichevsky - which obviously is not fast enough for her liking. She is being held back by the adverse drift, the channels of open water and the compression zones that rear up in front of her. The person tracking her and updating her site noted on 15th March that Ann had in fact covered 38 miles but was only 19.5 miles closer to her goal!

He also explained, by way of an anecdote, that in the evenings, Ann is so cold and her clothes so stiff with ice that she has to climb into her sleeping bag in order to change at the end of the day. She is also sleeping very poorly in the early stages of her adventure and wakes up shivering with cold every 30 minutes - which, of course, is not very restful...

Monday March 14th
After 16 days of delays in Siberia, Ann has finally set foot on the ice and started her monumental 575 mile solo journey to The Geographic North Pole.

Ann had hoped to set off on the 24th February. Due to problems, and it seems arguments involving the logistics operators and the Russian authorities, it was only yesterday (11th March), that she was allowed to leave Khatanga, in northern Siberia, and was flown to within 4 hours of her start point. Before this, in the last week, Ann had been packed on and off the helicopter three times, only to be told each time that a nameless person had phoned to deny them, without explanation, permission to leave.

With great relief, this morning, at 03:00GMT she left the weather station, at Golommiany, for the final flight to Cape Arktichevsky, her start point. She landed, at 07:30GMT, and immediately set off. This means she should be able to set up her first camp well away from the thinner and less stable coastal ice.

There has been no direct contact with Ann (she has to warm her phone up in the tent at the end of the day to make a call), but her back up team in the UK have started to follow her progress on the tracking beacon. She has covered approximately 1.8 nautical miles in the first two hours, a good start.

Sunday March 13th / 8.00 am
Ann boarded the helicopter at Khatanga with the two other teams and flew to Cape Cheliouskin to re fuel, on there arrival they were told they would be denied access to the fuel so they would not be able to continue with there journey. With the information we have so far it would appear that no reason for this refuel refusel was given. But there has been a lot of work behind the scene from the teams.
Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft are a two woman expedition team caught up in this whole sorry mess, they have been informing there relevant government agencies about the problems and asking them to take a look and see if they can help, also Ann Daniels personal logistics assistant Peter Herbert has been in touch with the foreign office in England to do much the same.
It maybe due to higher government pressure that this problem was very quickly sorted to quote Christian de marliave from Cerpolex logistics "I was surprised by this problem but even more surprised at how fast it was resolved".
The aircraft was refuelled and the teams were on there way again.
Ann has now arrived at the weather station in Golomani and is getting some sleep before the final flight to her start point on the ice. Ann will call the team the moment she is there so watch this space.
Peter Herbert, Expedition Technical support

March 8th / 10 pm
From her website :
Delays in Russia are causing major problems for this year's expedition.
Despite having all the necessary documentation, Ann and the other two expeditions hoping to leave from Cape Arktichevsky this year, are still locked in Khatanga , Northern Siberia . Cerpolex, the company supplying logistical support to the expedition, is a French based company that has been operating in the region for the past twelve years and are by far, the most superior operator in this part of the world.
The expeditions have thus far been held up by Russian bureaucracy and red tape and Cerpolex have worked hard to ensure that all the official paperwork and authorisations, have been completed and received.

Each expedition and Cerpolex had the official approval to proceed to Cape Arktichevsky and on Saturday 5 March, drove to the airport to board the helicopter that was to take them to their starting point.
They were then halted in the departure holding room and told that a phone call had been received from the military headquarters in Khatanga , prohibiting the expeditions to proceed.
No explanation was given for this course of action and our deep concern is that, even with all the official documentation in place, they are still unable to travel to Cape Arktichevsky . No official paperwork has been presented for this blockage and Cerpolex are, once again, working hard to resolve this new problem. In the meantime the greatest of patience is called for.

Despite being 13 days behind schedule, Ann is in good spirits and still hopeful that the expedition will be a success. She is spending her time taking long walks in the area surrounding Khatanga and getting to know the local people and her fellow expeditioners.