Journal

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” § Patañjali

This journal chronicles Elham's attempt to realise self-discovery and push internal and external boundaries.


90°L

90°L

At 13:15 on 23 April 2010, my team mates and I dropped our sled harnesses and took our skis off one last time and stuck them upright in the snow at exactly 90 degrees latitude. A few moments later it had already moved and we scampered forward to capture the moment again, to look down at our GPS screen showing 90.00 00 000 000.

Drifting

Drifting

We are five miles from the North Pole. Five miles. Nature has blown us all away... no pun intended. The ice slowly started drifting north overnight! Slow, but north anyway. We will make an attempt on the pole tomorrow, two days ahead of our estimation.

12.3 miles away

12.3 miles away

Had a phenomenally cool day on the ice. Skies are totally clear, minimal wind and sunshine most of the day. I woke up feeling the aches and bumps today, but half an hour into the trail the excitement kicked in and I let go of the pain in my mind. I managed to keep up with the lead guide most of the day which was fun as I got to understand more about scouting and planning the route which is perhaps the most crucial aspect of success to the journey.

For the young ones…

For the young ones…

Today was another challenging day on the ice. Even Ian, who normally jumps in the tent saying something like, “Wow, I could've gone on for hours,” conceded this evening. Skied around 9.5 hours and only gained 7.3 true north miles.

Wind, snow and water

Wind, snow and water

We woke up to overcast skies, snow and winds around 10mph blowing in from the north. The winds overnight left us a lot of powdery dunes to navigate and I was never more grateful for all the uphill work my trainers put me through.

About this journal

This is Elham Al-Qasimi’s journal, kept as she prepares for her North Pole expedition. Keep track of both her preparation as well as her progress during the expedition here.

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Journal archives

2010
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Photos

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Elham’s daily schedule

Before she sets out on her expedition, Elham has a very busy schedule to follow. Follow a date link to read what she’ll be doing on that day.

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