Monday, April 21, 2014

North Pole 2014: Yasu Ogita Abandons Expediton

A quick update from the Arctic this morning, where ExWeb is reporting that Japanese solo-skier Yasu Ogita has abandoned his attempt to reach the North Pole. His support team is arranging for a pick-up as soon as possible, although bad weather may delay any attempt to retrieve him for the next few days.

Reportedly, Yasu is in good physical and mental condition, he simply ran out of time. After setting out from Cape Discovery back on March 7, Yasu has spent the last 44 days traveling north. Unfortunately, rough ice, bad weather, and negative drift have conspired against him. Now, as he's running low on food and fuel, he knows that he won't be able to complete the journey. As of now, he is located at 86º 16’43.8”N, 63º 38’43.8”W, although drift won't keep him there for long.

Weather forecasts say that a blizzard is bearing down on his position now, and that would have prevented him from making further progress. Now, it'll keep the pilots from Kenn Borek Air from getting to him as well. Hopefully they'll be able to safely extract him in a day or two.

With Yasu's departure, on the the American team of Ryan Waters and Eric Larson remain out on the ice. They are still attempting to reach the North Pole, and while they still have 240+ miles (385 km) to go, they have been picking up speed in recent days. They have enough fuel and food to last for about another two and half weeks, so there is still a chance they could complete the expedition as scheduled. I'll post an update on their progress in the next day or two.

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