Adventurers Mike Horn and Borge Ousland reach the North Pole.
Borge Ousland (left) and Mike Horn in their tent at the North Pole.
Borge Ousland (left) and Mike Horn in their tent at the North Pole. Mike Horn
Horn at Cape Arkticheski in North Siberia, at the beginning of the men's journey.
Horn at Cape Arkticheski in North Siberia, at the beginning of the men's journey. Sebastian Devenish
Mike Horn and Borge Ousland spoke with Michele Norris before they embarked on their trip.
After 61 days of traveling across Arctic ice on skis, Mike Horn and Borge Ousland have completed their unassisted trek to the North Pole. They're the first explorers to do so in winter, during complete darkness. Along the way, they fended off polar bears, illness and frostbite, dodged holes in the ice, and swam through unspeakably frigid water.
The two men departed from Cape Arktichesky in Western Siberia on Jan. 22 and reached the North Pole on March 23, after traveling 620 miles.
Horn, a South African, and Ousland of Norway had explored the region before, though not together. This time, they didn't have the benefit of airdrops of supplies or pre-arranged depots of food. They dragged sleds filled with all their gear for the entire trek.
The men spoke to Melissa Block by satellite phone from their tent, which is drifting on an ice floe about two miles south of the North Pole. They are awaiting a Russian helicopter to bring them back to civilization.