• Julie Brown

Next stop: North Pole

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

Longyearbyen, Svalbard's largest settlement, is buzzing with the polar expedition vibe. It is from here that all North Pole expeditions depart, an annual season of exploration limited to the month of April each year. While many expeditions pique our collective curiosity, the North Pole remains the most elusive of destinations, mostly because one must travel upon a dynamic frozen ocean to get there.

Dixie, together with our travel and logistics partner Eric Bonnem of Expeditions Unlimited, has spent the last few days in Longyearbyen in solid preparation modus with our very special father/son duo, Mathias & Virgile Dufour. This is not a typical spring break for a 14-year-old, especially since Virgile and his father will attempt to accomplish the ambitious goal of reaching the North Pole by trekking the mythical Last Degree (111 kilometres in distance).

Between the vast amount of preparatory tasks involving equipment and safety training, Dixie and his small team have enjoyed the unique atmosphere of Svalbard in early April. Tonight, they attended a safety briefing hosted by the Barneo Ice Camp Team where they learned that their departure to the High Arctic floating ice station could be as early as Friday, April 5th.

We'll report here on Mathias & Virgile's adventure on a regular basis and you may also follow their progress live in both French & English at Expeditions Unlimited. Dixie plans to phone each day via Iridium satellite phone with anecdotes of their journey.

For now, we patiently wait together with our intrepid trio for news of their flight from Longyearbyen to Barneo.

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