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Twin Otter plane to deliver food to Russian dogsled Arctic expedition from Canada

April 18, 2013, 12:52 UTC+3

As of today, the expedition is yet to travel 650 kilometers before it reaches Greenland

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VLADIVOSTOK, April 18 (Itar-Tass) – A Twin Otter plane will deliver foodstuffs to Russian famous traveler Fyodor Konyukhov’s dogsled expedition from Canada in the period from April 30 to May 1, which is on its way from the North Pole to Greenland, Konyukhov’s son, Oskar, told Itar-Tass on Thursday after a communication session with the expedition.

The plane equipped with ski landing gear will deliver to the Arctic Ocean ten plastic casks with foods. The plane will try to land on ice near the expedition’s camp.

“Yesterday, we fought our way through ice hummocks and biting winds, going on thin ice,” Konyukhov told his son. Every day, the expedition starts at 07:00 a.m. Moscow time to finish its daily progress at six or seven in the evening, with short breaks to rest during the day. “We feed our dogs one a day, in the evening, when we finish our daily yomp. The dogs eat seven kilograms of dog food a day,” Konyukhov said.

On Wednesday, Konyukhov and his fellow traveler, Viktor Simonov, checked their food reserves. They have dog food to last till May 1. Initially, they planned to replenish their food reserves on April 25. Now, the term has been postponed to April 30 or May 1. “Me and Viktor Simonov have food to last till May 5 or 6. We did not eat much during the first three days until we got accustomed to the routine. So, now we have some reserves,” he said.

So far, the two explorers have been managing to get over ice holes quite safely. “Yesterday, it was a real miracle - we came up to an ice hole, and while we were thinking how to cross it, a vertical hummock came down left of Viktor making a kind of bridge for us,” Konyukhov said.

According to him, as the expedition proceeds further to the south it encounters more and more opening in ice.

Kohyukhov also said that the dogs of the Karelian breed have adapted to conditions of drifting ice, with ice floes moving and crackling permanently. “During the first days, the dogs looked rather dismayed, but now all of them feel perfectly well and are doing their job properly,” he noted.

Konyukhov and Simonov, who set off for a 4,000-kilometer-long dogsled Arctic expedition on April 6, plan to cross the Arctic by mid-June at which point they will change their sled dogs of the Russian breed for two teams of dogs of Greenland’s breed, since local laws prohibit to bring animals to Greenland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.

The expedition will proceed in several stages during which the explorers will reach the North Pole and then cross the Greenland from North to South. This will be the longest and most hazardous route in the Arctic. At the end of the 1970s, legendary Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura tried to accomplish this task for the first time. However, he did not succeed in doing this completely - because of the slow progress at the very start, a polar bear attack and bad weather he had to fly to Greenland from the North Pole by plane.

As of today, the expedition is yet to travel 650 kilometers before it reaches Greenland.


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