There are small moments in life; there are big moments in life. For me, crossing the 89th degree was both: symbolic yet a small step on the way to the North Pole. Crossing the 89th was a momentous occasion as it demonstrated the resolve required to travel this far. Climbing twelve foot high pressure ridges and dragging a pulka over the same obstacle is physically demanding and many of those ice formations have been crossed to reach the 89th degree. And there in lies the symbolism - an acknowledgement of all we have achieved so far.
But boundary; this crossing from one time zone to another is a small step along the way. There will be many more pressure ridges. Vast plains of thin ice lie ahead and will be given a wide berth (an act that will possibly add miles to the journey). Open stretches of water will cut from left to right and may require us to swim across the gap and set up a pulley system for our pulkas. And then there are the fields of ice rubble that force constant changes in direction, adding miles to the trek! Now you understand why the 89th is also only a small step.
And now the journey is over halfway complete. Shortly after midday, just before hauling gear over a monstrous pressure ridge, we crossed 89 degrees and 20 minutes latitude. Another mini celebration and then on to an expanse of deep snow lay on top of freshly formed ice!
Distance covered today: 16.4km
Mood: upbeat, but tired.
Now I'm going to get my eight hours of sleep in preparation for another hard day