Skiing to the North Pole ninth youth expedition finishes
The Skiing to the North Pole Russian youth expedition has come to an end. On April 24, 2016, seven university and senior school students from seven Russian cities reached the North Pole and planted the Russian flag and the flags of their home regions there. The expedition, sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, was led by Russian polar explorer Matvei Shparo.
Shparo said at a news conference at the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper that this year, the expedition set off on April 19, several days later than planned. The delay was caused by difficult weather conditions at the Barneo drifting polar research station airfield; its runway was covered in cracks and needed repairs. Therefore, the expedition route was also shortened from 110 to 80 kilometers.
Shparo said that the young expedition participants managed to become a solid team. "During this expedition, I felt that the group in the Arctic became friends very fast. Everyone took care of each other and tried to help," he added.
The young polar researchers had to traverse ice hummocks and even swim across an ice-hole. However, due to good preparation and organization of the expedition, the team easily overcame these difficulties.
"We had wonderful leaders who told us what to do, and we reached the North Pole smoothly and did what we had to," said expedition member Artyom Rakotsa.
Dmitry Shparo, director of the Priklyuchenie (Adventure) club, said that the Skiing to the North Pole expeditions will be held in the future as well. According to Mikhail Bostandzhoglo, head of the Federal Center for Children and Youth Tourism and Local Lore, the 2018 expedition might include international participants from the CIS countries. "It is possible that children from the former Soviet republics, and definitely from the Union State, the Republic of Belarus, will take part in it," he said.