All posts by Bernice Notenboom


90 degrees north

We landed at the North Pole after midnight. It wasn’t exactly at 90 degrees north but we were just looking for a place to land the helicopter. The 20 min flight from Barneo at 89.3 degrees was glorious. The sun hangs low on the horizon and the endless planes of white was a familiar welcome back to the Arctic. You wouldn’t know that it is april in the arctic and that is a good thing. We like to have the freezer cold and firm without leads of open water and broken up pressure ridges. The Russians picked up our sleds and gave me a worried look. They are not the only ones that are concerned about the weight of our sleds, We are too but making a film adds a lot of weight.

Felix was allowed 2 hours at the North Pole to address various audiences back home to stop extracting fossil fuels from the earth to combat climate change. He did this flawlessly in german and english, never complaining about the fierce wind that blew in his face or the intense cold of the North Pole attacking his fingers. The paper tree got planted with the simple message ‘stop talking,start planting’ along with flags of the UN and various other partners in support of this expedition. While this was going on the helicopter dropped of a few groups to 89 degrees to ski the last 112 kilometer to the North Pole, a trip that can take anything from 7 to 10 days. At 3 am we crawled in our sleeping bags and when I turned on my GPS I saw we already drifted 1 km away from they pole and, yes towards Canada. We test our sleds today as we start pulling all this weight. More tonight on the progress.

The mission

Starting this April 2014 a dedicated Polar team and Plant for the Planet are launching Expedition Hope. A mission which starts with the symbolic planting of a tree at the North Pole, followed by a gruelling 50 day march across the Arctic to finish in Canada. Explorers Bernice Notenboom, Eric Philips and Martin Hartley will embark on this immense but crucial mission, with a fierce determination to testify and bear witness to the vanishing ice and our exquisite Polar world.