First Sighting of Axel Heiberg Island

axel Position: N 77° 47′, W 093° 05′
Estimated Temperature: -35 °C / -31 °F

We are now making our way up Norwegian Bay with our course set for the remains of Ayles Iceshelf. The sleds are light as we are awaiting our first resupply in a couple of days. The light sleds are a good thing for the dogs who are getting as tired as we are after 17 straight days of traveling. Today we saw Axel Heiberg Island with its beautifull mountains on the horizon. The sight told stories about the adventures still to come on this trip.

The island was named after a Norwegian business man who sponsored Otto Sverdrup’s expedition between 1898 and 1902. Axel Heiberg also has a glacier named after him in Antarctica. As we were crossing the bay today I was thinking about the members of the Sverdrup Expedition who spent four whole years in this wilderness. Our two months does not compare to that achievement. Many of the members of the Sverdrup expedition were the same age as we are. One of the expedition Members Per Schei was only 21 when he left and he was the expedition geologist. His work was amazing despite his young age and it changed the map of the Arctic forever.

We are all doing well. Slightly tired but eagerly looking forward to continue.

All my best,


More Information:

Axel Heiberg Island

180px-AxelHeibergIslandCloseupMap.pngAxel Heiberg Island has been inhabited in the past by Inuit people, but was uninhabited by the time it was named by Otto Sverdrup, who explored it around 1900. He named it after Axel Heiberg, manager of the Norwegian Ringnes brewery which sponsored the expedition[2]. Other explorers visited the island during the early 20th century, during which time it was claimed by Norway until 1930. It is now part of Nunavut Territory, Canada. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that the island was aerially photographed by the United States Army Air Forces‘ Operation Polaris. In 1955 two geologists of the Geological Survey of Canada, N.J. McMillan and Souther, traversed the interior as part of Operation Franklin. McMillan’s observations of Bunde Glacier, in northwest Axel Heiberg Island, are the earliest glaciological observations on the ground to have found their way into a scientific publication.

Source: Wikipedia: Axel Heiberg Island

Norwegian Translation of Toby’s Dispatch:

Temperatur: -35 °C
Posisjon: N 77° 47′, W 093° 05′

Axel Heiberg Oy I Sikte

Vi har naa jobbet oss godt opp I Norwegian Bay og har I dag sett Axel Heiberg Oy I horisonten med sine imponerende fjellpartier. Det var stort aa faa se denne oyen som Otto Sverdrup oppdaget I aarene mellom 1898 og 1902. Forholdene er bra. Det er kaldt men det er lite vind og sol. Sledene er ogsaa ganske lette siden vi naa venter paa nye forsyninger om et par dager. Da faar vi ogsaa en pause dag etter 20 dager paa reise, noe som naa merkes paa kroppen. Kursen er naa satt mot restene av Ayles Iceshelf som ligger innefrosset I havisen nord oest av Amund Ringnes Oy. Det skal bli spesielt aa besoeke dette beviset paa at Arktis naa er I forandring. Ayles losnet I Augusst 2005 og et bit paa storrelse med Manhattan drev sorover mot Ringnes oyene der den delte seg I to. Det e en av disse gigantiske bitene vi naa skal besoeke og dokumentere.

Alt vel I Sverdrups Rike.



This dispatch was created and posted using Dispatch 1.0 – an expedition dispatch software developed by Climate Generation and Global Warming 101 Expeditions.


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