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"You want me to do what? Oh boy, this could be interesting!"

 
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The Nordkapp 2004 Project:
The Aims:  to travel through Europe's last great wilderness to its northern-most point
  • For two female adventurers from different disciplines to travel  through 650 kilometres of the wildest terrain of Norway’s Northern Arctic, their destination Europe’s most northerly point – the Nordkapp.
    This route has only ever been travelled once before.
  • To share the experience with audiences in the UK and elsewhere, by radio, website, and TV documentary.
  • To raise money for / awareness of The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.
The Route:      Route Maps

The planned route will take the Nordkapp team over mountains up to 1500 metres high – not quite the height of Everest but high enough when running up the mountainside in deep snow next to the dogs. It will skirt vast lake regions, and pass through the home of the Sami, the Arctic’s indigenous reindeer herders. Passing herds of over 10,000 reindeer will require a firm hold on the dogs.

On reaching the Nordkapp the team will take the coastal steamer back to the start, past Norway’s fjords and fishing villages.

The Physical Challenges:
  • Meticulous planning: The team will have only one re-supply during the course of the expedition, requiring careful planning and well-organised self-sufficiency.
  • Physical injury: Although not life-threatening, there are dangers of physical injury to both people and dogs, from both cold and travel. The remote locations make evacuation difficult and time-consuming.
  • Acute cold: The team can expect temperatures to be consistently well below zero, with frostbite and hypothermia always a danger, especially in strong winds.
  • Emotional challenge: Equally challenging will be the mental difficulties of working together in tough conditions, under pressure to cover long distances each day. And no matter how low the team members feel, the welfare of the dogs must always come first. Rona and Cathy both have experience of emotional breakdown among team members on adventure challenges, and are well aware of the pressure they will be under on this project.
The Technical Challenges:
  • To produce a website while 'on the trot' on the expedition. This will require super-lightweight equipment in the form of a mobile satellite telephone, a PDA, and a digital camera. Keeping the equipment powered and functioning in the bitterly cold conditions, while constantly on the move, will be a tough challenge.
  • To produce a documentary of the expedition. Even more than the communications, this will take delicate equipment, a lot of power and plenty of patience.
Q: So how do you run a website from the back of a dog-sled, on the move through the Norwegian Arctic, in average temperatures of -20C?
A: With some cute kit sourced from http://www.humanedgetech.com/. Thanks, guys.

The photographs are taken on a Sony DSC-P31digital camera, and transferred onto an HP iPAQ, where they are resized in iPAQ Pocket Artist Image Editing Software. The reports are written on the iPAQ in Word. Text and pictures are then moved into the Contact 2.0 expedition software, from where they are uploaded to the website, by using an Iridium Motorola 9505 Satellite Phone.

The power comes from Energizer Lithium AA batteries, put together to form a 12V battery pack.

PS Cathy is the one who thinks this kit is cute. Rona thinks it is incomprehensible. Per-Thore just rolls his eyes and goes back to his dogs.

 


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